Virgin, Unsurprisingly, Gets a Little Smutty While Discussing the Pleasures of Train Travel

How long is it again?

Headshot of Angela Natividad

Why take a car when you can take the train? It won't get your back all sweaty. 

In a pair of risqué ads by TMW, British transport company Virgin Trains is using couples to illustrate why trains are better than cars or planes. In each ad, a couple talks about a good experience on the train; another talks about a bad experience on either of the other transport options.

The hook is that you can't quite tell who is who, and it kinda sounds like they're all talking about sex.

The first spot is about flying, which kicks off with one couple comparing sizes. Because people do that with trains … ? 

And here's the one about cars, in which one woman reveals, "I always like to spread out on the table." Also, we learn that leather is a lovely touch.

"At Virgin Trains we like to do things a little differently, so we've decided to highlight the fantastic experiences we offer customers compared to road and air travel in an entertaining, playful way," says David Horne, managing director of Virgin Trains' east coast lines.

Since the videos are a little short on features (apart from leather), Horne also seizes the chance to expound on them: "With free on-board wifi, free movies, TV episodes, magazines and games on Beam, our new on-board entertainment service; delicious food from our revamped menus; refurbished trains; increased rail connectivity between the English and Scottish capitals; and frequent services to the heart of cities along the east coast, we're hoping that our tongue-in-cheek approach will encourage even more people to hop onboard!"

The ads will appear on Facebook and AOL's ad network. They also accompany Virgin Trains' "Plane Relief" offer, which enables London-to-Scotland flyers to take advantage of discounts on the east coast route. 

Who knows? The cliché may well convince a few people to forego the Mile High Club for something a little less bumpy. 


Client: Virgin Trains

Agency: TMW

Creative Director: Dave Willis & Luke Clark

Art Director: Luke Clark

Copywriter: Dave Willis

Account Director: Clare Franks

Agency Producer: Tracy Woodford

Director/ Production Co: Nick Collett with Salt TV

Producer: Zoe Waller

Editor: TBC

Postproduction: Salt TV

Sound Design: Simon Buck

DoP: Ricky Patel

Media Planning/Buying: Manning Gottlieb OMD

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@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.
Publish date: October 24, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT