Strong communications for 'De Strafste Ploeg van het land'.

The client

Infrabel, second largest employer in Belgium.


Infrabel is Belgium's main railway operator, responsible for the maintenance, modernisation, expansion and management of the Belgian rail network. Its primary mission? To provide sustainable mobility for all, with its team of over 10,000 enthusiastic and passionate employees working together each day to deliver a safe, top-quality and modern rail network.

The size of its workforce makes Infrabel the second largest employer in the country!

The challenge

The battle for talented engineers is fierce, with Infrabel eager to find suitable profiles to fit the bill year on year. In Flanders, skilled technical workers are in high demand. This is made even more difficult in big cities like Antwerp and Ghent, where there is stiff competition from other big companies.

The answer

Since 2019, Duke & Grace has been building the Infrabel brand through raising awareness and improving its employer branding. We help out with overall strategy, creative campaigns and smart activations. As a long-time partner, we know Infrabel's distinctive characteristics through and through. More than that, we are starting to figure out how to position the railway network operator as a high-tech, dynamic and friendly employer within the labour market. To that end, we have developed a clear narrative, irrespective of any specific regional angle.

An overarching narrative: ‘Kom werken bij de Strafste Ploeg van het land’.

The first major task was to transform Infrabel's Employee Value Proposition (EVP) into one overarching narrative. Specifically, this meant placing even greater emphasis on what sets the organisation apart from its competitors. This was to act as a common theme throughout all possible media, both online and offline.

That's how we ended up with ‘de Strafste Ploeg van het land’. ‘Straf’ stands for top quality, technical and strong, ‘ploeg’ for teamwork, and ‘land’ for Infrabel being simply everywhere in Belgium.

A media mix that gets straight to the point.

Such a great proposition naturally also calls for a variety of smart, creative messages and impact. To that end, the campaign was launched with a number of high-profile stunts. For instance, Infrabel CEO Benoît Gilson, an accomplished Alpine climber, unfurled a giant banner bearing the campaign’s key visual.


As always, these stunts were accompanied by playful activations, including a panna football cage in Antwerp, where even a few local politicians came down to indulge their more competitive side. We also ran a mobile coffee truck, serving great free coffee to visitors at DIY stores, sports venues, etc. Naturally, this was also accompanied by a digital component, with targeted (regional) messages in the form of a personalised landing page, banners and short videos on social media. What is more, the actors were all Infrabel employees!

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The collaboration

This brand-new campaign fits perfectly into the wider narrative we are currently creating for Infrabel. Starting from the company's branding, we implemented activations to bring Infrabel closer to the people. Consequently, Infrabel now has an overarching employer branding narrative.

While partly relying on co-creation, this was achieved through a multi-faceted communications campaign requiring an integrated approach from various areas of expertise (from creative strategy to concept development and design). In this way, we were able to get their employer brand ecosystem started with a bang with well thought-out initiatives that included internal and external activations, recruitment campaigns, leadership coaching and always-on communications. During this period, Duke & Grace was happy to keep a hand on the (measurable) controls to help achieve maximum results.

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