TransPennine Express characters make the most of travelling by train

The 'Lovely Day' campaign was created by The&Partnership Manchester and directed by Catherine Prowse through Blinkink

By creative salon

TransPennine Express has unveiled a campaign that sees charming characters embark on an action-packed day out, encouraging everyone to make the most of getting together.

Created by The&Partnership Manchester and directed by Catherine Prowse through Blinkink, the hero 30-second TV commercial starts at a train station and then follows a bucket and spade as they cram in a raft of activities to their day trip.

The duo are joined by more and more loveable characters along the way, including a set of bagpipes huffing and puffing on a hill walk, a paint pot and brush visiting an art gallery and a torch and battery enjoying a movie at the cinema.

Adam McGowan and Danny O’Keeffe, Associate Creative Directors, said: “We wanted to bring even more creativity and joy into train travel, showing how we can all make the most of getting together across the region. It’s a campaign that’s packed full of little laughs and smiles along the way.”

Spanning across TV, online video, outdoor, radio, press, social and digital, this is the second outing for the characters. They first hit screens back in 2019 to mark the launch of TransPennine Express' new Nova fleet.

McGowan and O’Keeffe continued: “We brought a new dimension to these characters, making them miniature and using stop-motion – which is a real labour of love. The attention to detail and level of craft involved is unbelievable, Catherine and her team at Blinkink did such a great job of bringing it all to life.”

Bill Withers’ classic ‘Lovely Day’ provides an aptly bright and rhythmic soundtrack to an adventure peppered with subtle visual gags like the spade throwing some popcorn in the cinema, and the paint pot pondering over a sculpture akin to Rodin’s ‘Thinker’ that all feels a bit too familiar.

The film comes to an end where it started, back at the station as the protagonists bid farewell and bucket boards the train. The stage is then suitably set for the only piece of voiceover in the commercial, Make the most of getting together, followed by the brand name and endline.

Darren Higgins, Commercial Director at TransPennine Express, added: "We're proud to unveil our new campaign centred around how we help bring people together - providing lovely days out to beautiful beaches, big cities, and country escapes.

"We wanted to demonstrate that every meeting can have a little extra meaning when you take a train with TransPennine Express."

Having transferred to DOHL ownership in May last year, TransPennine Express recently released its blueprint to make journeys better which includes its aim to inspire and encourage days out across the TPE network.



Creative Director: Andy Bunday

Associate Creative Director: Danny O’Keeffe

Associate Creative Director: Adam McGowan

Senior Account Director: Lauren Sanders

Senior Account Manager: Ben Court

Account Manager: Virginia Saul

Agency Producer: Nicki Casey


Production Company: Blinkink

Director: Catherine Prowse

Executive Producer: Bart Yates

Executive Producer: Josef Byrne

Head of Production: Alex Halley

Producer: Sami Goddard

Production Manager: Sandy Liddle

Runner: Anna Argiros

Background Design: Xavier Ren

Storyboard Artist: Victoria Budgett

Production Designer: Brin Frost

Puppet Build: Andy Spradbery

Set & Prop Build: Anita Bruvere, Areeya Bass, Beattie Hartley, Ben Cote, Connor Chung, Emma Niemis, Kat Simpson, Rosie Tonkin

DOP: George Warren

1st AC: Toby Goodyear

Gaffer & Moco Op: Max Halstead

Spark: Pearce Crowley

Animators: Anthony Farquuhar-Smith, Tobias Fouracre & Steve Warne

Rigger: Andy Spradbery

Puppet Maintenance: Cat Johnston

Studio Manager: Daisy Garside

CG: Furry Tail Dragon Ltd

CG Team: Andy Antoniou, Raffaele Grande, Laimis Petrauskas, Stanislav Shcherbakov

Comp Lead: Andrew Khosravani

Comp: Lina Larsen, Tom Fisher, John Malcolm Moore

Grade: George K

Sound: Paul Harrison @ Picture House

Shot @ Clapham Road Studios


Head of Marketing: Caroline Anchor

Marketing Manager: Lilli Baranski


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