Penn Station in New York City is a prime space for travel marketing. Its 100-year-old architecture is a structural mainstay, and its busy rail lines have hosted a slew of creative innovations, flash mobs and brand promotions in the past. Amtrak train travelers, in September, were greeted with the company’s newest promotional strategy: the Teleporter.
Enter Time and Space
Amtrak’s futuristic Teleporter experience whisked travelers away to alternate digital locations, activating a flurry of traveler interest. The display, held between September 14th and 25th, assisted Amtrak’s Guest Rewards card promotion. Partnered with Bank of America, Amtrak’s attention to the consumer’s love of speed, optimization and travel became a winning strategy.
Regular travel and flexible spending are big benefits of the Guest Rewards cards. Bank of America has created similar innovative approaches in the past, granting its loyal customers the chance to achieve great spending and saving power. With Amtrak as a partner, Bank of America’s limits were extended well beyond the train station’s ceiling.
Into the Cities
Visitors taking part in Amtrak’s Teleporter experience need only place one hand on its slim and savvy touch screen. The screen’s panel then activated a virtual adventure. Fans were met with blasts of air, flashes of light and a premium rundown of America’s greatest cities. A countdown began the charge, and consumers waiting in line were prompted with a “who’s next?” style of affairs.
Two 90-inch screens within the display hosted the Amtrak-selected video. Animations erupted, creating an in-cabin feel for virtual reality riders. Each animation simulated famous American locations, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Boston. The screen’s scenery similarly provoked attention with iconic cityscapes, favorite tourist destinations and bustling nightlife.
Arrival and Rewards Sign-Up
Consumers then “arrived” at their destination, witnessing an additional slew of memorable in-city locations. The Amtrak display then ushered visitors to the event booth’s exterior, where prizes were presented. Prize giveaways were generous, including neck pillows, branded water bottles, luggage tags and even commuter travel kits.
Of course, Bank of America held a strong presence at the event’s end, too. Following the engagement, attendees were welcomed to sign up for Amtrak’s promoted rewards program. Upon doing so, they were gifted free bonus miles and a personal thank you from Amtrak and Bank of America. Both brands carried a healthy supply of ambassadors, which assisted attendees with sign-ups and questions. Fully equipped with iPads, handouts and computer kiosks, brand informants were well-stocked to assist in a variety of ways.
The Amtrak approach to on-location experiential marketing is inspiring. Event-runners were highly excited to launch the new card program, enticing consumers with new possibilities, new destinations and new ways to save. Focused on fueling sign-ups, the Teleporter succeeded in creating a totally out-of-the-ordinary experience. Amtrak and Bank of America both harnessed a potent experience—one worthy of the books. It was engrossing, innovative and fast. Like a train, Amtrak’s Teleporter brought riders to the destination quickly, ensuring they’d enjoy every leg of the trip.