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McCANN Australia Truth Well Told

Guilt Trips

Cannes Lions | Creative Effie | ADMA | Echo| AWARD | Adfest| WARC

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People who had moved into the city, loved the city. But despite their love of their new lifestyle and reluctance to leave it for even a second, there was still a very real sense of obligation amongst young Victorians to visit their family and friends in regional Victoria.

We realised that this sense of obligation was best unlocked with guilt.


We knew we needed to leverage the power of guilt, but the challenge was to do so in such a way that directly impacted V/Line ticket sales. Our creative solution wasn’t to advertise the trains or even the country. And as a train operator we didn’t feel we had the right to make people feel guilty about their reluctance to travel. But we could create a new product to advertise — The Guilt Trip, V/Line’s first new product innovation in over 50 years.

The Guilt Trip is a pre-paid V/Line ticket that friends and family in regional Victoria could buy for those living in Metropolitan areas.

To drive awareness of the Guilt Trip ticket we used traditional media and PR to kick things off. We then leveraged the power of guilt and got regional Victorians to do the selling for us. Online films, regional media and Guilt Trip DM handbooks all drove people to a new website that allowed people to buy tickets and send them with a guilt ridden message. We used social as another vehicle to guilt and share the message.

We saw a 15% increase in off-peak sales with an additional 123,000 tickets sold, smashing our 5% KPI. Guilt Trips generated $4 Million in additional revenue; exceeding our KPI by 167%.

The campaign has been awarded globally, winning the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix at the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival.

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