Guilt Trips

Client: V/Line

How do you get country kids living in the city to come home and visit their family?


V/Line is Victoria’s regional train operator, but with more, younger country folk living and playing in the city, less people were using the service to go home. Young Victorians were fleeing rural towns for the big city, and well, they were just too busy with their new lives to visit friends and relatives back home in the country. Which niggled them with guilt.


To increase V/Line’s patronage, we needed to give adult children in the city a reason to visit their parents in the country more often. So, we used the strongest power in the world — a parent’s guilt.

A brand new product was developed — The Guilt Trip: a pre-purchased ticket that people (such as parents) could send to someone who would feel guilty for not visiting (such as their children…) The Guilt Trip ticket was promoted through traditional media and public relations. Online films, regional media and Guilt Trip handbooks were used to get country people to spread the word. Social media was used to enhance the guilt. The Guilt Trip platform was designed to allow users to publicly guilt their family and friends to come home – through Facebook and Twitter.

The travel experience as we knew it was completely rebranded. People no longer went home to visit their parents; they went on a Guilt Trip. V/Line’s 11% increase in ticket sales and enormous 400% return on investment saw Guilt Trips become the only campaign in Australian history to be awarded the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness as well as the Spikes Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness, along with countless other Cannes Lions and global awards.

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