Information published on 10 December 2020 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr eNews.

Award for Infrabel level crossing safety awareness video at the Cannes Corporate & TV Awards 2020

  • Safety
  • Award
  • Awareness
  • Education
  • Level Crossings

November 2020: Award for Infrabel level crossing safety awareness video at the Cannes Corporate & TV Awards 2020

The Cannes festival awards the best corporate online films, documentaries and TV programmes.

For our level crossing safety awareness campaign, we decided to take an unconventional approach. Our film tells the story of a barrier at a level crossing, often overlooked and forgotten, like a real person. This approach seems to be right because we won a Golden Dolphin award in the “Information Films” category and a Silver Dolphin in another category!” said Mrs. Juny Op De Beeck, Project Manager at Infrabel.

Infrabel level crossing safety campaign 2020: “The moving story of an ignored barrier” (in French and Flemish)

There were 45 collisions, seven fatalities and six severe injuries at Belgian level crossings in 2019. “Beyond educating people about the dangers of breaking the rules at level crossings, we now need to convince them, bring them into our world so that they pay attention and stop on time. For that, we have chosen a different, more positive approach. By giving a human face to our barrier, we gain attention. So, in a humorous, emotional tone we get our message across” says Ms Juny Op De Beeck, Project Manager at Infrabel.

Jean-Pierre Barrière, also known as Jeroom Slagboom (a barrière is a level crossing in French and translates as barrier in English and slagboom in Flemish), is the main character in Infrabel’s 2020 LC safety campaign. He says in the video, “A new day, a new start. Now it’s fine, I believe it. But no matter where I am, nobody notices me”. By demonstrating that people do not pay attention to level crossing barriers, Jean-Pierre Barrière increases the visibility of Infrabel’s level crossings.

Jean-Pierre’s story is about emotions, and what better way to convey these than through compelling storytelling? Music is another great medium, and Infrabel chose to use both. It worked with songwriters to write an original, catchy song, conveying its serious message in a fun way that sticks in the mind. The song is probably a world first for railway crossing blues. Infrabel has published a full 65-second edit online, and a 30-second edit has been broadcast on Belgian television, making Jean-Pierre famous.

With Jean-Pierre’s quirky story, Infrabel has demonstrated a fresh approach to awareness campaigns – something worth sharing, talking about and remembering. To bring Jean-Pierre’s story closer to the public, Infrabel has also designed a barrier sweater, creating a fun, wearable reference that not only serves as an additional promotion tool but is also a great conversation starter.

The campaign’s main objective was to raise awareness through a high visibility rate on YouTube with the potential and incentives for the public to interact (like, share, comment) with the video, creating high levels of visibility on social media.

Infrabel knows that it needs time and engagement from its target audience, and is intent on changing behaviour. Storytelling with high-quality production was therefore a good choice for giving meaning to its campaign and inspiring emotion in people.

Link to the Infrabel article:
Link to the Infrabel campaign in French:
Link to the Infrabel campaign in Flemish:
Link to the Golden Dolphin award video in Cannes:
Link to the Silver Dolphin award video in Cannes:
Link to the Infrabel awareness video (long version in French):
Link to the Infrabel awareness video (long version in Flemish):

For further information, please contact Isabelle Fonverne, UIC Senior Advisor, Safety and Interoperability: