Magazine article Marketing

Adwatch: Virgin Trains - 'The Return of the Train'

Magazine article Marketing

Adwatch: Virgin Trains - 'The Return of the Train'

Article excerpt

I love old movies. Remember that great one with Steve Martin, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid? To be honest, I don't either. Nor can I remember any of the old films GGT used for the 80s Holsten Pils ads starring Griff Rhys Jones, which is just as well - it might have coloured my opinion of this very slick ad for Virgin Trains.

The idea is extremely simple. Take scenes from classic movies in which the characters are seen travelling on trains and put them on a modern train. Like I said, the idea is simple enough to write down - but I bet it wasn't nearly so easy to put together.

For those of you who haven't yet seen it, it begins with the young Jenny Agutter and her on-screen siblings from 70s film The Railway Children looking on in awe as a Virgin train thunders past. (Whether they are amazed by the shiny new rolling stock or the fact that it's running on time is anyone's guess.)

We are then treated to Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot in the dining car, while sitting nearby a black-and-white Dame May Whitty is ordering tea from a full-colour Virgin waiter. 'Make sure the water's absolutely boiling,' she insists in a plummy voice that I'm certain would, in real life, result in some very colourful language from said colourful waiter. …

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