LNER dances into the New Year with new brand mascot

The campaign from M&C Saatchi takes inspiration from Fatboy Slim

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Taking inspiration from Fatboy Slim’s iconic track, Weapon of Choice, LNER, the rail company that operates across the East Coast Mainline, celebrates the freedom and joy of railway in travel with a new campaign that introduces a new brand character, Eleanor.

Borrowing from the iconic Fatboy Slim track and music video which stars Christoper Walken letting loose in a dynamic dance routine, the campaign entitled ‘Freedom all the way’ introduces Eleanor, a puppet with striking LNER red hair.

Much like the ‘Weapon of Choice’ music video, the campaign film sees Eleanor bouncing off the walls and seats of the train, dancing while singing about the array of places LNER can take you.

The puppet’s upbeat dance routine is designed to capture the joy and possibility of rail travel. As Eleanor enthusiastically makes her way through the train carriage, she passes people enjoying their journeys, highlights the comforts on board and awes at the many places train travel can lead. Whether using the journey to catch up with friends, relax or get work done, the character shows the versatility of the train. At the end of the film, the puppet takes her seat on the train with a warm welcome from her fellow passengers and LNER’s onboard crew.

The campaign is a new look and feel for the brand that showcases joy and excitement while extending the iconography of the existing striking red branding. Eleanor will become a mascot for the brand and beyond out of home she will engage with customers on their journey across a range of other channels to highlight the benefits of train travel.

“Eleanor encapsulates the freedom of doing whatever it is you want to do when travelling on an LNER train – whether that’s catching up on work, spending time with friends or enjoying some downtime,” says John Galloway, Head of Marketing, LNER.

The campaign will run across TV, video-on-demand, out-of-home, digital audio, social and digital channels, as well as on the LNER network.

A mascot for creativity

The campaign sees the brand use Eleanor to showcase an updated look and feel which includes a new bespoke headline font and features the iconic LNER route line.

Throughout the festive period, Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot showcased the power of a recognisable brand mascot in building a solid brand identity, while John Lewis’ Snapper underlined that weird, unexpected creative can capture the imagination of audiences. LNER proves that creative mascots are able to help deliver a marketing message in a way that both entertains and informs.

“How do you demonstrate the freedom you experience onboard an LNER train? By having a puppet called Eleanor dance through the aisles to Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice”, obviously.” adds Matt Lee, Executive Creative Director, M&C Saatchi. “We’re delighted to launch this new campaign, featuring a show-stopping performance from Eleanor, who simply points out all the things you can do on an LNER train. A bit of lunch? A good book? A movie? Daydreaming? Time to yourself? Who wouldn’t go for that?”

By highlighting the benefits of train travel with dance and with joy, Eleanor helps LNER liven up the railway

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