Modern Marketing Awards Case Studies Home Improvement

Building brand awareness with B&Q's classic billboards


By Awards Analyst | writer

November 24, 2021 | 5 min read

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Kinetic, Uncommon and Wavemaker won the ‘Classic Posters and Banners’ category at The Drum Awards for Out of Home, with their B&Q. Celebrating the power of home improvement, these colorful billboards reminded Britons that a happy life is built – not bought. Here, the team behind the winning entry explains the strategy and execution.


As more people took on home improvement projects through lockdown, B&Q's message was a timely one.


B&Q is the UKs leading home improvement retailer, however the brand’s vitals (consideration and preference) were in decline, allowing both direct and indirect competitors, like Amazon and low-cost retailers to steal share.

We needed to find a way to embed B&Q back into the heart of the nation and in doing so drive brand preference and sales.


Home improvement has traditionally been seen as a category of chores. B&Q’s competitors talk about home improvement as an exercise in fixing the broken or beautifying the inadequate.  In stark contrast to this, B&Q recognised a powerful truth. That home-improvement isn’t simply about ‘fixing’ - it’s actually about ‘creating’. Improving things at home also improves our lives.

B&Q’s purpose is a belief that anyone can improve their home to make life better.

The campaign idea channels this belief, we focus on the celebration of B&Q’s ability to help every Briton to improve their lives, by igniting every Briton’s potential to improve their homes, across the country, nationwide.

We had the unique proposition to stand out vs our competitors, we needed to say it with pride to the nation in our execution

OOH is part of the fabric of the built world around us. It adds natural context and authenticity to creative and inclusivity through its broadcast reach. As TV and Digital brought a private emotional connection, OOH made it public and fame driving.

Both the media channels and design look and feel followed a disruptive approach, echoing ‘Build a Life’ with its sentiments reflected across the formats.

TV and digital showed snippets of real home videos that told a story of the memories a home can hold, showing interspersed footage of all the hard work that goes into it building one.  

The art direction of the OOH married together the imagery of everyday home improvement products with powerful statements inspired by life at home. Creative executions ran across banners, 96, 48 and 6 sheets on roadside and rail.

In all 17 executions were carefully planned to ensure the context in which the ads were seen added to the story. Banners and billboards that sat on buildings under construction had a natural connection with many of the creatives, but more polished Street Furniture sites chimed really well with creatives such as ‘Art’ and ‘Photos look better on a wall than a phone’. Those visiting Waterloo were able to see all executions at once through a 24-site domination of the area.

Across all OOH we reached more than three-quarters of the nation and built the frequency required for people to see the full scope of the campaign.


Commissioned research saw uplifts in B&Qs overall brand Ad Awareness, Consideration and Preference scores post campaign. Creative distinctiveness beat industry norms.

The key message that B&Q believes everyone can improve their home had 22% recall and grew 10% on pre campaign scores.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Out of Home. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.

Modern Marketing Awards Case Studies Home Improvement

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