Rocky Mountaineer’s sensorial narrative

A new campaign takes an integrated storytelling approach to capture the entirety of the travel company's unique experience.

Rocky Mountaineer has launched a new campaign that shows how its travel experience is not just about the sights, but about what happens inside the train along the way.

In 2017, Rocky Mountaineer launched “Glimpses of Amazing,” a campaign focused on the scenery of Canada’s Rocky Mountains and the unique vantage point the travel company’s trains offer riders.

Kari Grist, head of brand, content and digital at Rocky Mountaineer, says that while the previous campaign performed well, the company wanted to better align its advertising with its mission and brand promise, which is to provide “life-changing experiences.”

“['Glimpses of Amazing'] was really looking at the scenery, and the new spot… tells the story of the whole experience on board, not just one aspect of it,” she says. “We’re… telling an integrated story that is maybe a little more emotive and uses storytelling.”

And now, the brand has launched “It Stays With You,” a spot that shows various sensorial experiences, from the taste of the food to the feeling of movement as a Rocky Mountaineer train make its way through the mountains.

Grist says that the campaign marks a return to a more integrated approach for Rocky Mountaineer, which had been doing separate campaigns for different markets, or across different platforms, in recent years. While Rocky Mountaineer is positioned as a luxury experience, Grist says it has a lean marketing team with a smaller budget than some of its competitors – which includes other destinations in and around the Rockies, such as cruise lines that serve the west coast like Carnival, Norwegian and Holland America – and so it is taking a more integrated approach as a way to drive efficiency and effectiveness.

The new spot ends by focusing on how these experiences will lead to a memory that will last a lifetime. Grist says this not only reflects Rocky Mountaineer’s mission of creating life-changing experiences, but it also reflects research that showed how riders remember the experiences (beyond just scenery) that they share with others on the train, as well as the luxury services provided to them.

“It’s warm, welcoming, luxurious slow travel where everything’s taken care of, and there’s an amazing socialization that goes on between people,” Grist says. “We felt we were missing out by not talking about the other aspects of the experience.”

Grist says that there were three campaign concepts that were tested with consumers. Fitting with the theme of the campaign, she says the chosen concept ranked particularly high on memorability by creating “a multi-sensory experience.”

The campaign is led by DDB Canada, with OMD on media, and it’s running in Canada, Australia and the U.S., which are Rocky Mountaineer’s key markets. In addition to the video, which is running on TV and in pre-roll, the campaign includes digital display and print ads, as well as social content rolling out in the near future.