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Amtrak Hiawatha Service

A new multimedia campaign promoting Amtrak Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee informs commuters “the end of the line is just the beginning.” Billboards, print, radio and website banner ads and social media posts created by Laughlin Constable will highlight how taking the train is a fast, worry-free part of any business or leisure trip to both cities.

“The campaign will feature imagery showing the Hiawatha Service is part of the experience – from concert events like Lollapalooza and Summerfest, Major League Baseball, visits to museums and the Shedd Aquarium as well as promoting late evening train service on Saturday nights that allow travelers more time to enjoy both cities,” said Mat Lignel, CEO of Laughlin Constable.

A billboard on eastbound I-94 near National Ave. in Milwaukee contrasts heavy traffic leading toward the Chicago skyline with a clear path on a railroad track with a tagline, “take the bumper-to-bumper bypass at” A similar billboard on the westbound Edens Expressway near Waukegan Road in Chicago will show the Milwaukee skyline. Radio spots with similar messages are airing on local stations in both markets.

Amtrak Hiawatha Service trains are jointly sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Illinois Department of Transportation. The route, with intermediate stops at the Milwaukee Airport; Sturtevant, Wis.; and Glenview, Ill., carried nearly 800,000 passengers last year, ranking it among the top 10 Amtrak routes nationally.
“We’ll be changing up the imagery often to coincide with various events, but the message is consistent: Hiawatha is a dependable, quick, comfortable and economical option for travelers going between the Chicago and Milwaukee areas,” added Lignel.

The campaign is launching with a promotion with Chicago’s WKSC-FM 103.5 next week offering six grand prize getaways for two for the opening of Summerfest in Milwaukee on June 29. The getaways include round-trip Hiawatha Service transportation, hotel accommodations and tickets to Summerfest including admission to Selena Gomez’s show at the Marcus Amphitheater. Similar promotions are planned with Milwaukee radio stations for events in Chicago.

The campaign also will feature commercials on the flagship radio stations for both the Chicago Cubs (WSCR-AM) and Milwaukee Brewers (WTMJ-AM) in July. The Cubs will play a three-game series at Miller Park July 22-24 with the Brewers visiting Wrigley Field for three games August 16-18. The two teams will play two more three-game series in September.

Laughlin Constable also is creating an additional program that will provide discounts and special savings for Hiawatha Service passengers at restaurants, stores and tourist destinations in both cities just by showing their train ticket. The special offers will be updated on the Hiawatha Service Facebook page and plans are to also have them on its website.

From October through December last year, Laughlin Constable launched a brief campaign to create awareness of late evening train service on Saturdays. Posters mimicking train station message boards that promoted the benefits of the late evening trains were hung in Hiawatha Service train cars and in Chicago’s Union Station, Milwaukee’s Intermodal Hub and train stations in between. Some of that imagery will be refreshed and used as part of the ongoing campaign.

Last month, Amtrak announced it was resuming the Saturday evening Hiawatha Service and that an adult can bring two kids ages 2-12 along for free on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays aboard through Labor Day. Amtrak also added trainside checked bicycle service to all Hiawatha Service trains, along with the ability for passengers to travel with their small pets under their seat and at their feet.

There are seven Amtrak Hiawatha Service round-trips Mondays through Saturdays and six round-trips on Sundays. A Quiet Car® and free cellular-based AmtrakConnect® Wi-Fi are included on all Hiawatha Service trains.


Laughlin Constable
207 East Michigan Street

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

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