Eurostar to reposition as gateway to Continent

Eurostar: looking beyond promotion of fares to destinations
Eurostar: looking beyond promotion of fares to destinations

LONDON - Eurostar is positioning itself as a wide-ranging travel brand to fend off potential competition from other rail networks seeking to operate the cross-Channel service.

The cross-Channel rail operator has traditionally promoted only its core services to the destinations of Brussels, Lille and Paris to UK travellers.

However, it is now looking to advertise the dozens of destinations across France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands that customers can reach from Eurostar terminals.

The change of strategy comes after this year's European Union liberalisation of the high-speed rail route between London and Brussels, Lille and Paris, with Eurostar likely to face competition from rail providers such as Deutsche Bahn in the near future.

Sales and marketing director Emma Harris is leading an ongoing project to reshape Eurostar into a wider travel proposition, as opposed to simply a cross-Channel rail operator.

The business will promote the positioning with a brand-led TV ad campaign in July. The work, created by Fallon, is the brand's first foray into TV advertising since 2007, when it marked the launch of High Speed 1 (HS1) services from its new hub at St Pancras Station.

Later this month, Eurostar will roll out the third phase of its ongoing destination-led ‘Little break, big difference' ad campaign, promoting fares to Brussels, Lille and Paris.

In 2009, Harris oversaw a search for a design agency to overhaul Eurostar's visual identity, hiring Chime-owned agency Someone after a pitch against Wolff Olins, Dave, and incumbent ad agency Fallon.
It plans to roll out the fresh identity in September.

In April last year, Eurostar launched a £1m project to refurbish its trains, hiring Italian design company Pininfarina to carry out the project.

Since December, the brand has carried out an overhaul of its social media and digital strategy, following a damning independent report on its handling of service disruption during difficult winter weather conditions.

The report, commissioned by Eurostar, said the company had made ‘insufficient' contingency plans, and claimed its communications strategy was ‘not satisfactory'.

As a result, the brand will soon launch a consolidated social media platform, providing 24-hour information and updates about services.

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