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Amtrak Launches New Ad Campaign After Reaching Record-Breaking Ridership


Mar 07, 2014 6:00 am

Skift Take

Amtrak isn’t trying to take Americans any further than they’d already be going, and probably not for a better price. Instead, it wants to give them a better way to get there whether it be more comfortable or more direct.

— Samantha Shankman

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The national ad campaign compares the comforts of Amtrak’s long-haul trains to that of a car, suggesting that train travel is the more comfortable method of transportation.

The Northeast Regional ads focus on the events and attractions in each city, and how Amtrak gets travelers closer to the action than any airline.

Amtrak is on a roll.

Two weeks after blowing up social media due to writers’ excitement over Amtrak’s new residencies, the rail system is launching two new ad campaigns for its national and Northeast Regional service.

The campaign will focus on the amenities available on long-distance trains and the convenience of its still unprofitable, but well-ridden, Northeast service.

The national ads will compare the benefits of rail travel to road trips by touting features like private sleeper service, panoramic windows, and wider seats. Each ad, show above, ends with the slogan ‘Making 500 destinations a far better ride.’

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Amtrak’s action-focused ad campaign for its popular Northeast Regional service. The ads show how Amtrak takes passengers directly into the heart of city. Think about arriving in Penn Station on Amtrak versus arriving in LaGuardia by plane.

The campaign comes after a year of ridership records.

Amtrak’s long-distance routes combine had the best year in twenty years in 2013 with 4.8 million passengers. And the Northeast service set a new ridership record with more than 8 million riders.

Amtrak worked with Draftfcb to develop the ads, which will be featured in print, digital, and mobile media.

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