Helping to manage the transformation of Britain's busiest station

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The idea:
For a bigger and better service down the line


In the last 20 years, the number of passenger journeys on the lines in and out of Waterloo more than doubled to 234 million. 

Network Rail and South West Trains needed to deliver an £800 million investment programme to create 30% more vitally needed space for passengers. We were tasked with creating a campaign that could build awareness, improve advocacy and support for the works and change travel behaviour during the crucial 3 weeks of disruption.

While customers were familiar with train operators warning them of train trouble, what they were rarely told was the reasons behind it. The truth was that while customers faced disruption in the short term, they’d enjoy a vastly improved service in the long-term. 

We used this insight to come up with our creative platform: For a bigger and better service down the line.

We gave people the practical information they sought but also inspired them about how much better London Waterloo, and the services in and out, would become after the upgrade had finished. Everything we communicated supported the fact that this was an exciting and transformational programme of work.

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We started the communication one year in advance so that by the time the disruption came along in August 2017, people were much more understanding about the short-term changes they needed to make to their journeys. 


We gave the upgrade meaning

We made sure people understood not only that work was happening, but the benefits it would bring.


And finally, we dialled up the urgency and directness to ensure no-one missed it

A comprehensive media plan, including a 'Waterloo domination' shortly before the work commenced meant the message was inescapable. 



“I knew everything I needed to know with plenty of warning to make alternative arrangements”

“The upgrade works are necessary and long overdue. Waterloo is frequently overcrowded, trains are delayed and extremely busy. These upgrades will alleviate the issue”

South West Trains customer quotes


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Since helping with the Waterloo and South West Upgrade we’ve done an extensive range of work across similar projects which you can see here. Get in touch if you’d like to know more.