Winter way to travel

VIA Rail


Festival of Media

Silver, Best Use of Geolocation

Media Innovation Awards

Gold, Best in Data-Driven/Programmatic

Media Innovation Awards

Gold, Best in Travel, Entertainment and Leisure

Prix Media IP

Grand Prize, Digital Media

Canadian travellers can expect the worst during wintertime. Blizzards, heavy snowfalls and freezing rain all impact their travel plans. Amidst these harsh conditions, trains have proven to be a reliable and superior means of transportation.

a challenge to achieve an ambition

Canadians are avid car users, even during difficult winters. 77% of the transportation between Quebec and Windsor, VIA’s lucrative corridor, is travelled by car. The challenge was to change the perceptions and transportation habits of these frequent travellers.

Cross-reference VIA Rail data with third-party data to intercept weather-sensitive travellers.
Viarail Winter Way To Travel Case 4

a strategy fueled by data

Despites its high appreciation rate, VIA Rail, Canada's national rail passenger service, is still a small player in transportation. North American winters, as we know them, were the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the power of weather data to increase VIA’s share of the transportation market.

an execution driven by creativity

We progressively heavied up the weight of the messaging as we got closer to storm, and we personalized our messages in real time according to user location, expected destination, day of the storm and type of storm. A booking engine was also integrated into our retargeting placements to close the conversion loop.

For mobile, we partnered with The Weather Network and Waze to access their heavy weather-app users and driver audiences respectively. A layer of hyper-location segmentation around airports was also added to reach travellers stuck at the airport.

results that go beyond the objectives

Return on Investment

More passengers on board during storm

conversion rate increase versus regular campaign

mission accomplished!

Jean Seb

Jean Sébastien Defoy

Chef Principal Marketing, Stratégie numérique & Intégration d’affaire, VIA Rail Canada

"The touché! team was the key to making our SEM strategies and investments the best performing media in VIA Rail Canada. Both in Canada and abroad, the surgical approach of touché! has produced the desired results from all points of view."