The GodwinGroup has been awarded advertising and promotional duties for two of Amtrak's most famous trains: the City of New Orleans and the Crescent.
The Jackson, Miss., shop won the business in a review against three undisclosed finalists from Atlanta, Chicago and New Orleans. More than 30 agencies responded to the Southern rail lines' original request for proposal. Billings were not disclosed.
"Amtrak wanted an agency with deep roots in the region," said Godwin president Philip Shirley. "We're part of a new strategy to grow support in different parts of the country ... to get close to, and be part of, the communities we serve."
The City of New Orleans, made famous by folksinger Arlo Guthrie, runs from Chicago to New Orleans; the Crescent travels in a great arc from New York through the Deep South and into Louisiana.
In the last year, Amtrak has seen an uptick in passengers and revenue, a development railroad executives are hoping to build upon.
Godwin's upcoming print, radio and promotional campaign—targeting leisure travelers—will be an attempt to reconnect to the glory days of the railroads.
"The railroad moguls were great showmen back in those days," said Shirley, recalling the sleek passenger lines that once crisscrossed the country. "We don't have that anymore, but we'll do cross-promotions around resorts and other attractions [e.g., the booming casino business] on Mississippi's Gulf Coast."
Other promotions may involve the Sugar Bowl and the Mardi Gras in New Orleans.