Birds are so human in charming post-pandemic travel ad

Animated campaign for South Western Railway was directed by Smith & Foulkes of Nexus for St. Luke's

Published On
Mar 01, 2022

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The U.K.'s South Western Railway is hoping to lure office workers back to train travel again in the wake of the pandemic with a charming  animated spot starring birds as everyday commuters.

In the ad, by St Luke's, a perky pigeon called Wes and a chatty seagull, Sandy, catch up on their train journey after not seeing each other for a while, discussing the new range of ticket options that suit flexi-workers as well as daily commuters. For example, the gull is off to the city for a couple of meetings then seeing an exhibition and meeting friends for a "gull's night out," while the pigeon is heading into town for lunch with a client, then "into the office for a bit of a brainstorm." There's lots of bird-related wordplay, including the tagline "Spread your wings."

The work was directed by Smith & Foulkes via Nexus Studios, with the characters' ticks and personalities based on recordings made with the voice actors and the animation modelled, textured and animated in 3D with some 2D background work. It's supported by a wider print, poster and digital campaign also featuring the characters and promoting flexible ticketing options "so you can be free as a… well, you know what."

“The commuting friendship is a very specific relationship," said the directors in a statement. "Unlikely to meet socially, but you are always pleased to bump into one another on a South Western Railway train, happy to share easy conversation and comfortable silences. Sandy and Wes are essentially a very human pair of friends, speaking directly to all of us who are also experiencing a sense of joy as we step back out into the wider world."


Mar 01, 2022
Client :
South Western Railway
Agency :
St Luke's
Head of Marketing :
Paul Bright
Senior Marketing Manager Brands & Campaigns :
Calli Ward
Campaign Marketing Manager :
Ian Humphreys
Executive Creative Director :
Richard Denney
Creative :
Darren Keff
Creative :
Phillip Meyler
Creative :
Johnny Leathers
Creative :
Jack Stephens
Junior Creative :
Leah Wilson
Junior Creative :
Rhianna Travers
TV Producer :
Davina Hickson
Creative Producer :
Anna-Marie Mennecier
Planning :
Dan Hulse
Planning :
Jack Goss
Account Management :
Leanne Silman
Account Management :
Vicci Goulder
Account Management :
Naomi Hollowday
Production Company :
Nexus Studios
Director :
Smith & Foulkes
Producer :
Julia Fetterman
Production Manager :
Electra Fotopoulou
Technical Director :
Dave Hunt
Art Director :
Brandon Coates
Sound Design :
Sound Design :
Music :
Voice Director :
Dave Peacock
Media Agency :

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