Network Rail - "There is Always Hope" - Network Rail - Ardmore Advertising

Network Rail
Advertising Agency
Denver, USA
Agency / Creative

The purpose of this campaign is to prevent people from taking their own lives on the railway – sadly, an ongoing challenge that the rail industry faces.

In 2019, 283 people died by suicide on the railway, up from 271 the year before. Despite the limited number of passengers and rail services throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, people are still making their way to the railway to end their lives, with this number steadily increasing as the restrictions around lockdown begin to ease. 

Modern research into the psychology of railway suicide showed there could be value in exploring the principles of dissuasion. In other words, tackling the appeal of the railway as a place to end your life by dissuading people from going there in that frame of mind. 

This approach acts as an early intervention and eventual signposting towards support services rather than when they are at crisis point on the railway. 

We wanted to build strong associations of hope, connection and care with the railway – the aim being to subliminally connect with those at risk and dissuade them from the idea of railway suicide in the first place.

Target audience

The campaign primarily targeted men aged 18-55, as the group most likely to die from suicide. However, the messaging, creative and media strategy acknowledged that mental health and suicide is an issue that affects everyone. 

Where it ran

To reach the right people at the right time, our media strategy combined broad reach and interest-based targeting against key profile criteria such as music, sport, gambling and technology. Through a campaign partnership with charity partner, Chasing the Stigma, we signposted people to their mobile app, Hub of Hope, which provides people with access to local mental health support in their area. The main collateral is a film, which ran through broadcast television and online.


The campaign was launched in March 2021. Initial audience tracking after the first month found: 43% of respondents now see the railway in a more positive light; 35% now think differently about the railway; and more than 29% have taken initial action, such as visiting the Hub of Hope website. In addition, 73% of respondents believe Network Rail is supporting Mental Health, strengthening the brand’s reputation.

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