Toy trains make surprise bid for West Coast mainline?
God bless workplace comedy. Where would we be without a joke here, and a laugh there with which to brighten up the days and improve that sense of office camaraderie? Well, not too far, probably.
Like any social media, marketing, and public relations firm we love seeing examples of innovative and amusing brand exercises. After all, getting people talking about what Company X did is really a win for Company X, unless of course Company X has dumped nuclear waste in The Wash, or committed a similarly deplorable act of negligence and irresponsibility (say, for example, non-payment of tax during an era of national economic strife).
It seems someone working for Bigjigs Toys agrees with our theory and, given the recent headlines in The Drum and elsewhere, understands exactly how to achieve a little coverage from nowhere. More so, the individual responsible also seems to share in our view that something needs to be done about the West Coast mainline tender to ensure First Group never gets another look in. Apparently the 174,455 signatures on a petition to Government weren’t enough.
Cutting to the chase then, the aforementioned maker of fine play things issued a letter to the Department of Transport back in late-December, expressing its interest in bidding for the heavily used route (which includes Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime St. to London Euston). The plan apparently being to run wooden trains on the line, providing a free service to passengers. Better yet, Bigjigs has never recorded a rail accident to date, which is impressive to say the least. Take a look at the note below:
As if that wasn’t amusing enough, a reply was received, in which the Department of Transport outlined some issues that would need to be overcome in order for the bid to be successful. These included conversion to aluminium carriages. Again, the evidence is right here, so click to enlarge:
With column inches claimed everywhere from Metro to Huffington Post, this is a fine case in point to prove that sometimes the smallest, simplest, and least expensive idea can actually hit home in the right places- so long as innovation and originality are evident. A notion that sits well with the Smoking Gun PR mantra, we just wish more organisations could identify and seize such opportunities, in turn making the world a distinctly funnier place.