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2H04 | TGV | Buzzman
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Industry: Transport & Tourism
Published:May, 2017
Style: Minimalism
Since July 2nd 2017, people are able to travel by train (TGV) from Paris to Bordeaux in just 2h04 instead of 3h15 previously. This technological leap is the result of years of hard work by TGV engineers and is great news for the French. The first TGV was scheduled to travel at the beginning of the summer period which is the key moment for TGV’s business. Therefore, in order to generate ticket sales upstream from the inauguration, TGV asked us to create a campaign announcing this upcoming launch.
Our strategy is based on a strong insight: 63% of the French like to watch movies on the train. This figure is even higher for those who travel to Bordeaux for most of them belong to the AB+ category. The choice of Kevin Costner was obvious, since he is an Hollywood star who is easily recognizable (vs. C. Nolan for example) for our target audience which is around forty. Moreover, he is famous for his long movies (Dance with the wolves, Robin Hood, JFK, …) and was in the news at the time of the campaign for his role in Hidden Figures. Finally, we’ve also decided to launch our campaign during the Cannes Film Festival in order to « hack » this event and thus gain media coverage.
When the French railways shorten their travel times, Hollywood must shorten its films. We’ve developed this idea to promote the launch of the new Paris to Bordeaux in 2h04 train line and generate ticket sales. The campaign was composed of digital videos, outdoor, press and cinema advertising. The common denominator of our campaign was Valérie Ducombe, TGV’s Customer Relationship Manager. While the digital video was showing her trip to Hollywood, the press campaign was made out of open letters she’d written to famous Hollywood directors and the outdoor campaign promoted the digital video as if it was an upcoming blockbuster.
It was impossible to miss the launch of the new Paris to Bordeaux travel time. Within just a few hours of launching, the campaign became a trending topic on Twitter generating a total of 66,5M media impressions. The 4-minute video has been watched over 7M times and France’s leading VOD website even spontaneously listed under 2h04 films, pending the result of our efforts to shorten films. But what’s most important is that we’ve sold 1M tickets to Bordeaux for the 2017 summer, which is 40% higher compared to last year ! It seems that communicating the good news through its unique inconvenience was a winning strategy.
Overall, the campaign lasted three weeks. First, on May 10th, we launched the outdoor campaign that promoted the digital video like an upcoming blockbuster and we also released a trailer of our film. A few days later, we released the film that quickly went viral on YouTube and Facebook. On May 17th, the opening day of the Cannes Film Festival, we issued our first letter in the press to Almodóvar who was the President of the Jury. We then published the other letters until the end of the Festival on May 28th. In parallel, we broadcasted our warning in the theaters during the two weeks of the Festival which is a period when they experience a record crowd.
Paris to Bordeaux in 2h04 is great news! Yet, we’ve decided to communicate on the only inconvenience of this new travel time : 2h04 is often too short to watch a movie …Since we can’t extend the travel time, we must shorten the films. First, we’ve produced a short film showing Valérie, TGV’s Client Relationship Manager, travelling to Hollywood and convincing Kevin Costner to shorten his upcoming movie. We’ve promoted this film with outdoor advertising just like a blockbuster. After having convinced Hollywood, Valerie tackled the Cannes Film Festival and issued letters in the press to Pedro Almodovar (Cannes Film Festival President) and to Hollywood’s most famous directors urging them to produce movies that could be watched in the TGV. Finally, in theaters, just before any over 2-hour-long movies, TGV has broadcasted a warning telling the audience they would not be able to watch these movies during their travel.
Executive Creative Director:
Art Director:
Account Supervisor:
Production Company:
Sound Design:
Other credit:SNCF Voyages
General Director: Rachel Picard

General Secretary: Isabelle Bascou-Debleme
Communication Director: Delphine Nathan
Communication Manager: Maële Mauget
Vice-President: Thomas Granger

Associate Director: Julien Levilain
Creative Assistant: Thibault Picot

Strategic Planneur: Clément Scherrer
Head of PR & Communication: Amélie Juillet
PR & Communication Assistant: Victoria Morin
PR & Communication Assistant: Kenza Bennani
Head of TV Production: Vanessa Barbel
TV Production: Katya Violi
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Direct
Sectors > Travel
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Media
Excellence > Use of Integrated Media
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