Despite the myriad and systematic issues — the price! The cleanliness! The lack of seats! The replacement bus services which see you stuffed uncomfortably close to someone eating a tuna salad for an hour or two! — there is something undeniably romantic about travelling by train. As we hurtle toward autumn’s mellow fruitfulness, the idea of boarding a cross-country train with a steaming mug of Bovril and a fresh batch of crosswords for company is more enticing than ever. Norwich to Nuneaton, Preston to Plymouth, Liverpool to Llandudno — we’ll go anywhere.
As will, it seems, Enid Blyton’s rag-tag bunch of youthful adventurers, the Famous Five. In a new campaign orchestrated by adam&eveDDB, Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy find themselves exploring the far-flung-furthest-reaches of the Great Western Railway network, taking in everything from Exeter Cathedral to Bath’s much-loved Roman baths.
The campaign — which, yes, visually harks back to the long-running series’ watercolour covers — will run across TV and cinema, as well as feature in a series of print and outdoor adverts too.
Adam&eveDDB’s Paul Billinglsey believes that the adverts will get GWR passengers to revalue rail, “by bringing to life the adventure and excitement that its customers can access while using much-loved characters to build appreciation and loyalty.”
In the TV clip — which you can stream to your heart’s content below — our fearless five find themselves pursuing a wanted, and extravagantly moustachioed — criminal across the south-west, from Cardiff to London. They take the train, he chooses numerous cabs, and…well, we’ll leave it to you to see if they managed to apprehend a bloke who couldn’t look more like a baddie from a series of 1940s children’s adventure books if he tried.
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