January 22, 2018 - Comments Off on Trainline: Annoyingly Inaccurate

Trainline: Annoyingly Inaccurate

Dear ASA. I would like to make a complaint.

Not because I've taken offence to an ad. But because I'm a travel nerd, and I've uncovered lots of inaccuracies surrounding the latest Trainline advert – the Getaway.

I'm sure many a creative liberty has been taken when it comes to creating adverts. But I feel there are so many wrongs in 40 seconds, it has bugged me enough to write 400+ words on the subject.

At first, I didn't have a problem with any of it. Until we get to the end and the woman is offering help via her app.

To get to Heathrow airport, there are only a limited number of stations you can be at. If you get the Heathrow Connect there are stops at Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes & Harlington and the airport. If you get the Heathrow Express, it's non-stopping from Paddington.

So. By the simple use of your app I've worked out that you are clearly in Paddington. Yet, you're not.

Paddington looks like this. 

Not this. (I've been there many a time, those steps don't exist.)

Then it all starts to unravel. Even more.

The trains are all wrong. Our escapee jumps on to this train. 

He should be getting on either:

Or this green GWR thing:

And don't you know, NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO RUN ON THE STATION. Tut, tut.

Also, I haven't overlooked the new-look London Underground trains. 

The lack of adverts on the escalators. Or the please hold the handrail signs.

And the fact you can't run from the escalators and end up in a service passage. TfL should be having words. Clearly they didn't use their contactless card when going through the barriers – or had some special keys to gain access.

I know what you're thinking. It's a global ad, right? They just changed the person on the end.

I get that. I can kind of look passed those. I really can. Even after all I've said above.

But then it gets REALLY bad. The line on the ad says:

But I've just looked the journeys up, and one of the trains doesn't exist on your app! And the other arrives two minutes earlier than stated. Surely you'd have at least got that bit right, right? Sigh. At least if he was heading to Didcot, he'd have actually caught the train – and arrived early.

The 10:05 being referred to in the ad is actually the 10:10, not the 10:03. Get the 10:03 if you want to save money, but arrive later.

Though to be fair, usually the trains look like this. 

So, to sum up. Can we please not pretend a European/American* Kiev Passazhirskiy station is Paddington, and that the trains actually exist. Thanks.

PS. I actually like the ad, it's just that it's really inaccurate for a train company that has their HQ in London.

*Ta Daniel Liakh for confirming the shoot location.

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