Scotrail uses humour to bring their Games sponsorship to life

August 13, 2014

Scotrail was one of the official travel partners of the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. To help build on their sponsorship they changed a few station signs across their network in Scotland. They tweaked the names to reflect a particular sport that was part of the Games. And they’ve come up with a few nice little ideas.

Cambus langjump (at Cambuslang)

Cambus langjump (at Cambuslang)

Ding-Ding! wall (at Dingwall)

Ding-Ding! wall (at Dingwall)

Falkirk Higher (at Falkirk High)

Falkirk Higher (at Falkirk High)

Longerniddry (at Longniddry)

Longerniddry (at Longniddry)

Muscleburgh (at Musselburgh)

Muscleburgh (at Musselburgh)

Pole vault (at Polmont)

Pole vault (at Polmont)

Sprintburn (at Springburn)

Sprintburn (at Springburn)

I think it’s a lovely little touch to strengthen their sponsorship. They didn’t change every sign at the station, just one. So people could still easily know where they are. And the signs would have cost a very small amount of money (compared to all the free column-inches they generated in the worldwide press).

And it shows that whoever is doing the creative work for Scotrail is paying attention and looking for opportunities. They’re building the brand and engaging with people using a little bit of the famed Scottish humour.

While looking for the images to illustrate this idea I came across a Facebook page referring to the signs. And it reminded me why I don’t do Facebook. It’s a bunch of moaning–faced people with nothing better to do than expose their own ignorance. They moan about “councils wasting money” – thus demonstrating they have no idea how our transport network operates (and is funded).
There’s even one saying “That’s the wrong spelling! Why?”

How mental do you have to be to comment on something when you’ve clearly not bothered actually reading the story? And these people post under their own names. I’m used to anonymised idiocy on forums, but to see people using their real identities to do it is pretty special. It’s like running down the street with a dunces cap on, screaming about how hard of thinking you are.

Someone should do a book showing the craziness of Facebook and how a few strong opinions can cause a whole message thread to turn into a witch-hunt. Chill out or find something worthwhile to get indignant about. Like the middle east. Or children dying in their thousands across Africa every day. Or even spend the time volunteering in your local area and actually make a difference with your energy.

There’s the occasional voice of sanity pointing out that the signs are a little bit of fun to help bring the Games to people across Scotland. But these are soon shouted down by the nut-job brigade.

I know it’s not Facebook’s fault, but it’s a scary place once the loons stick their heads up. Pretty soon a critical mass of stupidity takes over.

As for Scotrail – nice work. I travelled to and from the Games on the train and they were great. Pretty busy, but on time. And as we passed through ‘Falkirk Higher’ lots of people were noticing the signs and pointing them out to their travelling companions. Not one single person complained about them. People enjoyed a wee smile. Some even took pictures.

These were the friendly games – pity some of our fellow Scots forgot.

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