• Gemma Vardon
LNER (London North Eastern Railway) became the new brand for the East Coast Mainline in 2018, taking over from Virgin Trains

We were tasked to mark the return to public ownership and celebrate the launch of LNER amongst Britons based along the line aged 18–65

Driving awareness and positive sentiment, but also demonstrating how LNER proudly serves and aims to make real progress for the people and places along the line

We started by looking at the line, and how uniquely different each of the towns and cities that LNER serves are, searching for a common thread

And we came upon the voice of the people

Wherever you are from in the country, the accent and dialect is distinct, loved by and protected by its locals

Despite this, accents and regional dialects are dying out – particularly in the North where researchers have found accents becoming ‘more Southern’

The idea was to create a Track Record, to preserve the voices along the line

An audio journey of the LNER route featuring real passengers, locals and staff, narrating an evocative spoken-word track – as their unique accents travel from North London to North East Scotland

We worked with acclaimed poet Ben Norris (from Nottingham) and broadcaster Edith Bowman (from Fife) to create the spoken-word piece

The poem shone a light on the towns and cities along the line and obscure regional words and phrases used within those communities, as LNER sought to preserve them

Creating a community-led campaign and positioning LNER as champion of Britain’s East Coast voices

But it wasn’t just positive sentiment that the earned campaign delivered, as LNER saw a real business impact from an uplift in ticket bookings to dwell time on their new website

And it’s since won a number of industry awards