Day Out with Thomas returns to the Watercress Line

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Digital marketing + Press and public relations + PPC

The world’s favourite little blue tank engine returned to the Watercress Line from Saturday 4th to Sunday 12th August, bringing with him The Fat Controller and Rusty, the Thomas-themed entertainer.

A highlight of Hampshire’s summer event calendar, this year’s visit from Thomas and his friends was all the more exciting with the addition of vintage funfair rides and lots of tasty new food options to discover.

Visitors were also able to enjoy unlimited trips behind famous engines throughout the day, including Thomas the Tank Engine and Toad the Brake Van, the opportunity to shake hands with The Fat Controller and a host of Thomas-themed activities at the Imagination Studios. The fun-filled experience continued at Ropley Station, with unlimited rides on the miniature railway and vintage fairground rides such as Dobbies and chair-o-planes. There was magic, storytelling and entertainment from Rusty, and The Fat Controller.


Day out with Thomas is always a big event for us here at the Watercress Line. There was a lot of excitement and a real buzz around the event this year. It was great to see so many families enjoying themselves, especially the children waving and having rides with the driver.

Woodies Mountford, Marketing Manager at the Mid-Hants Railway Watercress Line

As part of the ‘Day Out with Thomas’ campaign, Carswell Gould also created a new and modified digital marketing campaign, with the aim of driving online traffic and sales. The cross-platform campaign took the form of pay-per-click, Facebook and Instagram advertising. Using insights gained from previous campaigns, we were able to establish a tailored strategy for this year’s campaign, with revised targeting and keywords used across all platforms. Overall, the campaign performed significantly better when compared to last year, with almost a third more clicks on PPC advertising alone. In total, our advertising and PR efforts saw ticket sales increase by a further 10% for a second year running.

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