News & Views

InterRail / InterRail Mobile

by Contagious Team

Travel brand expands its offering with mobile data roaming

In a campaign to promote its Europe-wide train travel ticket, the Global Pass, transport company InterRail has launched a campaign that provides its customers with the cheapest data roaming rates in Europe. 

Via Havas Worldwide, Brussels, the company has announced the creation of a dedicated mobile phone operator, InterRail Mobile, enabling Global Pass customers to stay connected throughout their travels.

SIM cards are available to buy from the InterRail website, and 2,500 are being given away for free on a first come, first served basis. The service covers 97% of Europe, and costs just €17 ($22) to buy alongside a Global Pass rail ticket. For this, customers receive a micro-SIM and mobile phone number, which, once activated, offers the lowest rates when calling or messaging in different European countries. 

Contagious spoke to Jorrit Hermans, executive creative director at Havas Worldwide in Brussels, to find out more on the campaign.

What was the brief? 

To stimulate sales for the summer. It was very promotional, but we wanted to expand it and make it into a larger brand purpose. We wanted InterRail to become more than a train carrier - a brand that enables people under 25 to travel. 

We like to create circumstances under which things happen more easily for people. We wanted to take the borders away for people considering this type of holiday. We wanted to lower the barriers of entry and offer [our market] the most ideal circumstances to take this trip. 

You see thousands of posts on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #interrail. The target market is sharing this stuff, so the idea for us was about enabling that.

How did you execute the idea? 

We started researching how we could make this happen. How could we organise this? And then we found a partner company in Spain that buys local roaming rates. Local carriers in different EU countries give their customers a fixed amount of data that can be used each month, and if that remains unused, it goes on to be resold on the data market. The company we found buys unused tariff plan data, and using this, we found the easiest and cheapest way to start our own operator. 

By doing so, we were able to offer the lowest rates in Europe to our customers, and there is definitely scope expand or extend the offer to our customers in the future.

Contagious Insight      

Giving people the opportunity to stay in touch whilst on holiday will surely resound with the play and display culture of InterRail's youth-orientated target market. This campaign positions the brand as one that understands how important it is for young people to stay connected abroad, where roaming costs can cut deeply into holiday budgets. 

This is a smart move for the brand, and a well thought out piece of service design. By providing a cheap and easy way for young people to stay active on social media whilst on holiday, word about good times abroad is bound to spread to those back home, and result in some actionable Facebook envy. As early as 2011, a study by Teletext holidays found that one in four Brits have booked a holiday after becoming green-eyed on seeing their mate's snaps on social media. 

By facilitating sharing in this way, InterRail has alleviated a pain-point for the always-on generation, whilst also ensuring it benefits from some decent exposure across social channels.

This story originally appeared on Contagious Feed. Contagious Feed is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious Feed contact