The Carphone Warehouse isn’t just the UK’s largest independent
communications retailer, it’s also the second largest radio advertiser.
There will be few commercial radio listeners who are unfamiliar with its
ads, or the voice behind them - that of radio and TV presenter, Mike
However, after six years on radio, Carphone Warehouse has decided it is
time for a change. Instead of Smith, we will hear the voices of real
people talking about real situations, without scripts.
Standing out from the crowd
The change was sparked by a need to distance the company from the
increasingly similar competition. It claims that its style has been
copied so much, it is difficult for consumers to differentiate one
retailer from another.
’It would appear that, where Carphone Warehouse goes, the rest follow,’
says managing director Charles Dunstone.
’It is up to us to put clear blue water between ourselves and the rest
of the sector.’
The campaign also aims to create a greater synergy between the company’s
radio and its TV ads, the former being product specific, the latter more
A fly-on-the-wall documentary series, ’Carphone Warehouse - The True
Story’, breaks on October 6 across all of its current commercial
stations and runs until December. It tracks the progress of three
Carphone Warehouse recruits from their interviews, through their
training to their first day as qualified sales consultants.
The recruits reveal the ins and outs of the training as well as their
thoughts and feelings on the company and their individual roles.
It is claimed to be the first time a documentary format has been used on
’Research shows that a major point of difference for customers are the
staff. The new commercials present an honest picture of what happens
behind the scenes and underlines our ’human’ approach to what is a
highly technical subject,’ says Dunstone.
The concept was researched by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and
created through radio specialist Commercial Breaks.
’Radio advertising has become very formulaic over recent years. The new
campaign is a break away from this approach,’ says Commercial Breaks
managing director, Adrian Reith.
Carphone Warehouse marketing director Ruth Greenwood agrees:
’Advertising in this sector has been mainly tactical and product led.
The new campaign moves away from traditional advertising messages to
deliver information about our service on a more subliminal level.’
Trailers have been created to introduce the concept and the characters
to listeners. These will run in the week prior to launch.
The new ads form part of an overall marketing plan worth pounds 15m,
which includes TV work.