Homebase has a 12.3% share of the home improvements market, a sector
which is dominated by B&Q with its 17.5% slice. Homebase wanted a way of
capitalising on the booming DIY industry - growing at a year-on-year
rate of 10% - in order to grab share from B&Q.
Peak-time television programmes such as Changing Rooms, Home Front and
Ground Force play their part in stimulating this growth. Every newspaper
has a homes section and new home or garden interest titles frequently
appear on newsagents’ shelves. Homebase decided it wanted to harness the
appeal of these titles.
Endorsement by homestyle magazines is a very important part of any DIY
store’s public relations. The message Homebase wanted to get across was
not only that its products are good value, but that they are of better
quality than consumers think. Having an editor from a magazine such as
Homes & Gardens or Living Etc choose their favourite product from the
Homebase range would mean the store gaining awareness from those
Homebase wanted a fully integrated campaign with involvement from
several magazines. It also wanted this theme to somehow be woven into
its Christmas television campaign which kicked off at the end of
After briefing the agency, a list of magazines was drawn up comprising
Country Homes and Interiors, Homes & Gardens, Homes & Ideas, Ideal Home,
Living Etc and Your Garden.
The editors were invited to select an item they felt was most
appropriate for their readers and explain why they had chosen it. The
editor of Living Etc chose something youthful and funky, while Homes &
Gardens endorsed a more traditional product.
The campaign kicked off as a marketing initiative in-store in the autumn
and was supported by a national press campaign and a direct mail push
targeting Homebase loyalty card holders.
It was then decided to use the editors’ recommendations in a TV
campaign. The ad opens on a bowl of Christmas decorations and the camera
zooms in on the magazines that recommended the products. The commercial
was supported by national press and in-store promotions. It is scheduled
to run until Christmas Eve.
Industry analysts predict that next year’s home improvement market is
not going to be as lucrative as it was in 1998.
Client: Sainsbury’s Homebase
Campaign: Christmas Choice
Agency: AMV BBDO/New PHD
Timescale: From October 1998 (The Christmas campaign incorporates an
This article was first published on Marketing