All Aboard East Coast Trains

The Brief

National train operator East Coast Trains was the subject of a ten-part Sky 1 documentary ‘All Aboard: East Coast Trains’ between November 2013 and January 2014. The documentary went behind the scenes to showcase the day-to-day stories of front line employees and customers who use the company’s services.

We were tasked to produce and implement a range of creative activities and content across various social platforms to amplify conversation and buzz around the television show in the run up to each weekly broadcast.

Using the Sky 1 documentary as source material, our specific objectives included:

1. Position East Coast as being socially innovative
2. Develop conversation around East Coast before, during and after each episode
3. Increase Facebook fans
4. Support East Coast’s HR team in driving interest in jobs

In 2014, the campaign was nominated for Best Use of Social in the CIPR Pride Awards.


Our Response

To drive social conversation around East Coast on social, as opposed to broadcaster, Sky, our strategy was to create unique, visually engaging and ownable content across various social channels before, during and after each episode.

To achieve this, we increased East Coast’s social footprint, adding Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube to the already established Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels.

To position East Coast as innovative within its industry, we created content not used before within the travel sector: taking advantage of Instagram’s 15 second video platform, exclusive trailers were created offering sneak peeks to episodes, whilst dedicated Pinterest episode storyboards provided a unique content not implemented by rival train operators.


Exclusive trailers: To position East Coast as being socially innovative, we produced 15 second trailers for each episode. Each episode’s trailer was posted on Instagram 24 hours prior to broadcast to create exclusivity and drive conversation.
Exclusive storyboards: We produced dedicated Pinterest boards for each episode. These storyboarded key moments in the episode and were posted 24 hours prior to broadcast to create exclusivity and drive conversation.
Moment of the Week: We created ten humorous short videos, each one dedicated to an individual episode. These were constructed by selecting a funny moment in each episode and editing the clip to create humorous content.

Live Q+As: After each episode was broadcast, a live question and answer session took place with staff who were featured in the show.
#AllAboardECT: General content around the show and sharing of other channels posts used the dedicated hashtag #AllaboardECT
* Golden Ticket: To encourage viewing of the show, a weekly like-gated competition, hosted on the Facebook page tab, asked a question during each episode’s broadcast relating to the programme. A winner was chosen at random to win First Class train travel, with a ‘Golden Ticket’ winner decided at the end of the series. Running for ten weeks, this helped drive Facebook growth.
* Which Character Are You?: To support potential recruitment opportunities, we built a dedicated unique Facebook quiz app which allowed users to discover which East Coast character from the show they were most alike, and then recommended a job role at East Coast.
* Vote for your Favourite Star: As the series drew to a close, we created a like-gated voting application for people to choose their favourite member of the East Coast team featured in the documentary.


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Creative and innovative social content amplified online buzz for the TV documentary series, resulting in an over 11 million+ audience reach and an industry first in the use of Instagram video.

Highlights include:
•    Official hashtag #AllAboardECT generated 10.4 million impressions
•    @eastcoastuk achieved a 13% growth in Twitter followers
•    Instagram trailers and Moments of the Week content achieved over 5,000 views
•    Facebook fans increased 35% during the campaign
•    Facebook reach was over 650,000 over the campaign period
•    Which Character Are You? application, below,  drove over 1,000 new career enquiries at

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