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Tuesday, 03 November 2009

Comments

twitter.com/ifeeloldwhen

Loved this. Great approach to strategic thinking -- having just traveled by train from Chicago to California, I'm all about the underlying sense of adventure and experience that is at the heart of travel, day trips or otherwise. And what a fun creative result. Next time I make it over to England I'll add this to the itinerary!

Toby

Look at all those free seats! Surely this can't be the Southern I travel to work on!?

Nice campaign though. Just hope they have enough seats to cope with the inevitable influx of happy travellers.

twitter.com/robwatts

Gr8 stuff - and a tip for a book to read too :D Luckily for me I don't live in the region, so will be spared the dulcet tones and cheesy grin of Senor Toledo - Or maybe we'll see him on Great Eastern, capital connect etc. Who actually owns the character? You guys or the client?

Daniel Kane

I reacted with with jaw-dropping disbelief on seeing your latest marketing
scheme based around the fictional figure of one 'Loco Toledo'. Clearly your
advertising 'team' hasn't quite dragged itself out of the Pleistocene era
to join our current civilization, so let me take the liberty of offering
some advice. Basing a campaign around a fictional Mexican figure who is a
fat, lazy wrestler from a small town in 'Mejico' (what's up with that 'j',
anyway?) is stunningly offensive. Add to that a moronic 'back story'
complete with a 'happy song', a mustache that grows down to the ground, and
so forth, and one wonders as to whether all Southern Railway is composed
primarily of beer-swilling BNP-voting imbeciles. I mean, seriously, why on
earth do you think such a campaign is funny? Would you laugh if you were
traveling in Mexico and saw a poster of a bloated, pasty, snaggle-toothed
English man in a vomit-encrusted t-shirt extolling the virtues of the
Mexican public transportation system? Think about it. Then please, for all
our sakes, get rid of Loco Toledo, your 'lovable Mexican friend'.

By the way, given Southern Rail's dismal track record on running trains, it
is ironic to say the least to find you using a cultural stereotype
lamenting that, in Mexico, 'the train it hardly ever comes'. You might want
to improve your own record before putting down public transport in Mexico
which is generally excellent. I should know, as I grew up in Mexico and have visited many times since moving away.

Sincerely,

Dr. Daniel Kane
Department of English and American Studies
University of Sussex BN3 3DA

Amelia

Hi David - I am sorry if this campaign caused offence. In the same way that a little furry Russian meerkat was not meant to be an incitement of the Russian business scene, nor was Loco Toledo meant to be a satire of the Mexican rail network.

It was meant in a spirit of fun with the objective of increasing off-peak rail travel.

Early indications are that travel targets are being hit, which is a good thing.

Thank you for taking the time out of academia to leave a comment on this blog. Really do appreciate it. The reason that I post is to share campaigns and ideas that I find interesting and get feedback.

Look forward to seeing you on the blog again soon

John Challoner

I have written to Southern Rail to complain about the campaign. I have four guests from Mexico staying with me over Christmas and find it incredibly embarrassing. If you think that this is unreasonable then consider whether you would be happy for Southern Rail to use a French stereotype named "Fou" instead? Needless to say our trips to London will be by bus.

amelia

John - again apologies if the campaign offended you. As I emailed to Daniel the campaign was designed in a spirit of humour not malice and was extensively tested before going live.

(and Francois my French husband I think would be fine with a character called Fou)

Roland Mitchell

Message to John Challoner!

How can you find this advert offensive, do you actually have a life, or do you spend all your time looking through adverts picking out bits which could be made to look offensive when their not?

Southern railway have done a marvalous job with this new campaign and a lot of my friends who only used to get the train too/from college after seeing this advert made them think they they need to get out more and enjoy life. They have also joined Loco Toledo's facebook group.

Your pathetic making out this campaign to be offensive, look at all the comedy shows we have here in Britian, nearly all of them could be made out to look offensive in some way. The fact you are critisising Southern Railway for having a slight sense of humour and making them out to be offensive towards mexicans....well I think is absolutly ridiculous.

The whole storyline is fictional anyway and suggests nothing about poor transport links in the whole of Mexico or that all Mexicans are fat and lazy. It's basically suggesting that in some 'remote' and 'isolated' villages of Mexico, the transport links arn't good and that we should all take advantage of the great public transport links we have here in Britain.

It's people like you with the attitude you have that ruins it for others trying to enjoy life, clearly you have no sense of humour.

I use Southern Railway often and although some of their trains maybe delayed on occassion, the overall service and punchuality is excellent and makes up for any delays that I may encounter on my daily commute. If you want poor train service take a trip back to the BR days with the slammers and crumbling stations, then you will appreciate the service we have today.

If you feel that you need to complain to Southern about this, well it's up to you, but clearly to do something like that suggests you need to get out more.

Maybe you should think about Loco Toledo's message 'why is everyone staying at home doing nothing?'

Roland Mitchell

Message to Daniel Kane!

How can you find this advert offensive, do you actually have a life, or do you spend all your time looking through adverts picking out bits which could be made to look offensive when their not?

Southern railway have done a marvalous job with this new campaign and a lot of my friends who only used to get the train too/from college after seeing this advert made them think they they need to get out more and enjoy life. They have also joined Loco Toledo's facebook group.

Your pathetic making out this campaign to be offensive, look at all the comedy shows we have here in Britian, nearly all of them could be made out to look offensive in some way. The fact you are critisising Southern Railway for having a slight sense of humour and making them out to be offensive towards mexicans....well I think is absolutly ridiculous.

The whole storyline is fictional anyway and suggests nothing about poor transport links in the whole of Mexico or that all Mexicans are fat and lazy. It's basically suggesting that in some 'remote' and 'isolated' villages of Mexico, the transport links arn't good and that we should all take advantage of the great public transport links we have here in Britain.

It's people like you with the attitude you have that ruins it for others trying to enjoy life, clearly you have no sense of humour.

I use Southern Railway often and although some of their trains maybe delayed on occassion, the overall service and punchuality is excellent and makes up for any delays that I may encounter on my daily commute. If you want poor train service take a trip back to the BR days with the slammers and crumbling stations, then you will appreciate the service we have today.

If you feel that you need to complain to Southern about this, well it's up to you, but clearly to do something like that suggests you need to get out more.

Maybe you should think about Loco Toledo's message 'why is everyone staying at home doing nothing?'

Russell Cruse

I agree that the campaign is offensive. When the leaflet dropped through my door I was astounded. This puerile attempt to get a cheap laugh out of cultural differences was something that I thought went away in the 1970s. Clearly not. The only reason there have been few complaints so far is that the ad itself is so pathetic, no-one is bothering to read it. If any of my design students had come up with this, I'd have flung it in the bin. Incidentally, Roland I wonder who needs to get out more...someone who finds racism offensive or someone who signs up to the facebook site of a fictional character?

ROB

I love the character, it's great that we have a sense of humour displayed again, the PC guys should get a proper job and stop complaining! All this philosophizing hopefully they will soon disappear up there own tunnel. As echoed before GET A LIFE!

Tony Huckin

I could not believe how crass this campaign is. In the 1930s when the Southern was electrified passenger numbers rocketed. Why? because they found what was on offer was of quality and substance. Excellent catering, vastly improved frequency and comfortable seating in the new units. Read 'Southern Electric' by David Brown to see what I mean. Now, having little to offer that is new or improved they are resorting to a distraction campaign which has nothing to do with the product. A shame really because, in normal circumstances, the service itself is not bad compared with many other operators. Come on Southern. A campaign aimed at eleven year olds is not what is needed.

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