Virgin Trains Goes Full Millennial With

Virgin Trains is fully embracing the stereotype of avocado-loving, cash-poor millennials by offering up a discount to those aged 26-30 who arrive at ticket offices armed with the fatty green fruit.

The marketing stunt is a response to the run on the so-called ‘millennial railcard’, which provides those in their mid- to late-20s with a third off British rail travel. Many were unable to claim their cards when they went on sale due to the website crashing under high traffic levels yesterday (13 March), prompting Virgin Trains to launch the #Avocard alternative.

The brand, which developed the stunt in-house, took to social media last night to promote the offer.

Consumers unlucky in their quest for a 26-30 railcard have been encouraged to claim their rightful discount by bringing an avocado to ticket offices along with proof of ID. They’ll have until 20 March to complete their journey on West Coast routes only.

The promotion’s T&Cs state that users ‘must always carry and be able to show your #Avocard while on your journey and when asked by rail staff’ and ‘must show a valid ticket and valid #Avocard’. They also warn that ‘the #Avocard will not be valid as a picture on your mobile device’.

The quirky campaign has been praised by some for its originality on social media.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a simple but decent marketing quirk. I’m a fan

— Alice (@alicemylne) March 14, 2018

The @VirginTrains#Avocard campaign is absolutely fantastic and I genuinely couldn’t stop laughing. Genius. I love. — Regan Okey (@reganokey) March 14, 2018

@VirginTrains continues track record and totally nails marketing opportunity. Not a week to be making guacamole. #avocard#virgintrains

— James Doughty (@James_L_Doughty) March 14, 2018

However, some millennial commentators have questioned the ethics behind the stunt, accusing Virgin Trains of condescension.

Ugh. So, in order to be able to afford travel, adults have to embarrass themselves, begging for the cheaper rate by carrying particular items demanded by a corporation. Not nice. #virgintrains#Avocard — Dr Caoimhe Ní Dhónaill (@Coifsh) March 14, 2018

Did April Fools come early? Is this some kind of weird making fun of millennials week? #railcard#failcard#avocard#wtf

— Charlie Marchant (@charliejeanm) March 14, 2018

Millennials: Hey can we have an affordable, nationalised train serv- Virgin: Look an avocado! Millennials: No really, cheaper rail travel will really hel- Virgin: #YASQUEEN! #YOLO#3DHACKATHON — François Badenhorst (@FranBerBad) March 14, 2018

And, bizarrely, Peperami has also jumped on the tailcoats of the trending hashtag.

Didn't bag a @VirginTrains Millennial #Railcard? Have no fear! Send me your best avocado photo and I’ll send a proper meaty snack to 10 of you!

— Peperami Animal (@Peperami) March 14, 2018

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