NORFOLK, Va. — A giant pink eyes-wide-open walking brain has been spotted among summer crowds in Indiana, drawing attention to Norfolk Southern’s “Train Your Brain” safety campaign.
Without saying a word, Brainy wows audiences with a hapless, almost human nature that reminds people to be safe around highway-rail grade crossings and to avoid trespassing on railroad property.
In the third year of Norfolk Southern’s unconventional safety campaign, Brainy seems to have reached new heights of popularity in northern Indiana. Brainy has appeared at the Potato Creek Festival in North Liberty, the St. Joseph County 4-H Fair in South Bend, the 54th Annual Summer Festival Parade in Michigan City, and the Elkhart 4-H County Fair in Goshen.
Next up are the Delaware County Fair, the World Pulse Festival in South Bend, and appearances at Notre Dame football games, where the masses will continue clamoring for Brainy T-shirts and for photos with the cerebral, leotard-clad character. Later, they’ll visit the Web site at www.brainysworld.com and Brainy’s Facebook page to see their photos and check out Brainy’s life-saving safety tips.
Indiana was chosen as a target for the Train Your Brain campaign because it is a high-incidence state for train-vehicle crashes and trespass injuries. With many quiet zone areas — where trains do not sound warning horns at highway-rail grade crossings — advertising messages remind people to slow down, look, and always expect a train.
The messages can be found on outdoor billboards, gas pump ads, convenience store outdoor ice chest wraps, radio announcements, movie theater pre-show slides, Facebook ads, Notre Dame and Ball State University campus signage, campus athletic Web sites and in campus newspaper ads.
At Indiana events thus far, the campaign has been seen by more than 45,000 people, who received an array of safety materials, including brain-shaped stress balls, car decals, children’s puzzle sheets, and T-shirts featuring an image of Brainy, the Train Your Brain logo, and tag line, “Be smart at RR crossings.”
Norfolk Southern launched Train Your Brain in 2007 in Memphis, Tenn., and took the campaign to Raleigh, N.C., in 2008. The message is simple: Think smart at highway-rail grade crossings, and stay off railroad property and equipment. For more information, visit www.brainysworld.com.
Norfolk Southern, along with other major railroad companies, also sponsors “Common Sense,” a safety campaign to reduce the number of pedestrians killed and injured when trespassing around tracks and trains. Common Sense was launched in June by Operation Lifesaver, Inc., a national nonprofit safety education group working to eliminate deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railroad rights of way.