The Brief

The Brief

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

magazines’ readers.

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


The Campaign

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

existing campaign)

Budget: Undisclosed


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