PRWeek Awards 2011: Research

AkzoNobel's garden woodcare brand Cuprinol holds most of the market, but its products are bought infrequently because they last for several years. The brand needed a creative strategy to help it hold its market position in the face of competition from companies such as Ronseal and Sadolin.

Research Award winner: AkzoNobel (Cuprinol) ‘National Shed of the Year’ with Grayling
Research Award winner: AkzoNobel (Cuprinol) ‘National Shed of the Year’ with Grayling

Focusing on male homeowners in their thirties and over, Grayling pinpointed the National Shed of the Year competition as the perfect hook for the campaign. The competition, in which dedicated 'sheddies' competed for a £1,000 prize and a selection of Cuprinol products, coincided with the company's peak sales period between Easter and the early summer months. It was created by online shed fan Andrew 'Uncle Wilco' Wilcox and hosted online at, where 80 per cent of visitors are male. The PR team used the website – alongside Wilcox's shed blog and Twitter profile – for the promotion. Cuprinol's own site provided expert advice on repairing and revamping sheds.


A smart example of uncovering an emotional insight then connecting with a grassroots programme

Candace Kuss Executive, creative director, H&K interactive lab, Hill & Knowlton

Meanwhile, a survey that revealed the top 20 things men get up to in their sheds was the focus of a competition promotion to national and regional media. This developed into a series of radio interviews with Uncle Wilco and the brand's woodcare expert Dr Wood. The sell-in was boosted by a national promotion on Absolute Radio involving a 'guess which footballer is in the shed' competition, with cash and Cuprinol products as prizes. Online entry drove traffic to both and

The competition generated more than 70 pieces of coverage. Articles appeared in The Sun, The Times, The Independent and the Daily Mirror. It reached online news and trade platforms, and there were broadcasts on 16 regional radio stations and a shed debate on the This Morning sofa. Celebrity tweeters Tim Lovejoy and Christian O'Connell gave the competition added exposure.

More than 21,000 people visited between 11 June and 11 July, 80 per cent of whom were new to the site. About 7,400 entered the Cuprinol competition on Absolute Radio, with 80 per cent opting to be added to the brand's database.

The Awards 2011 book will be available in this week's issue of PRWeek

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