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Marketing Awards Case Studies B2B Case Studies

KPMG on how it went against the grain with consumer advisory service launch


By The Drum | Editorial

November 29, 2023 | 7 min read

KPMG and True have won the Advertising category at The Drum Awards for B2B. Here is the award-winning case study.

Check the award-winning campaign here.

In a stressed market, where retailers were feeling the effects of an economic slowdown, KPMG ran a campaign to relaunch its Consumer Advisory Services – its range of consultancy services that support consumer-facing businesses with everything from consumer insights to cost restructuring and supply chain optimization.

Known for more traditional accounting and audit services, KPMG had restructured its consultancy offering for consumer businesses and relied on this campaign to build trust and affinity with organizations that would not typically consider KPMG as a strategic advisor. And it did.


  • We went against the grain in professional services by focusing on memorable advertising rather than thought leadership.
  • We used the conceit of a KPMG product range, echoing the design style and language of consumer advertising to showcase KPMG’s consumer advisory services.
  • We demonstrated that we understood consumer businesses rather than saying it, with the aim of raising a wry smile and a sense of recognition/kinship.

In doing so, we:

  • Drove unprecedented reach (9 million impressions) and engagement.
  • Achieved CTRs 480% higher than industry benchmarks.
  • Achieved website traffic targets three weeks into a five-month campaign.
  • Increased opportunity volume by 11%.
  • Increased the value of new project opportunities by 68%.

Longer-term, and even more importantly, we established an effective strategic campaign platform for KPMG Consumer Advisory Services that can be leveraged and built upon for years to come.

Business Challenges & Campaign Objectives: The foundation of any great creative work is insight into, and respect for the audience. KPMG Consumer Consulting focuses on consumer-led businesses, mainly retailers and manufacturers that create or sell consumer goods. The target audience was the classic consulting audience – the CEO/CFO/COO, the money and strategy people.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of telling them about their consumers to show that we understand them too, but we realized early on that any consumer business has consumer insight baked into its DNA. You don’t need to tell the CEO of Sainsbury’s or Unilever that consumer insight is important; you don’t even need to tell the CFO.

You don’t then want to imply that you know their consumers better than they do – that you have some magic insight they haven’t spotted. They live on the whims of consumers; they think about them every day.

The brief was to drive awareness and interest in KPMG’s consumer consulting business. In a landscape where competitors have long-standing, proprietary insight reports or panels, KPMG was playing catch up. We needed something different to stand out.

The Strategy: The usual approach to demonstrate expertise in B2B is to lead with thought leadership. We decided to go against the grain. Instead of telling the audience how clever we were, we’d demonstrate that we understood them and what they were trying to do. We would show that we understood consumer businesses, rather than telling them.

This led to our proposition – “fluent in consumer”. The strategic idea was to demonstrate that we spoke their language and could work alongside them to achieve their goals. From the proposition, and the desire to demonstrate that we understood what consumer businesses needed to do, a wonderfully playful creative idea emerged. If KPMG was a consumer business, what would it look like?

Execution: We designed a range of products, based on a supermarket ‘own brand’ range, covering the most common consumer products, with a creative spin. We had to use the KPMG brand world – blue and white, simple illustrations to create spoof products, each demonstrating a particular aspect of KPMG’s consumer consulting division.

It was clear that the products needed to be as authentic as possible to succeed, so we worked with a 3D packaging designer to create 3D renders of each product. This enabled us to use various angles and shadowing that replicated a product photography studio and helped us to use our design assets across a variety of media. Great care and attention went into the detailing of each product, with many neat touches from the world of consumer branding included (recycling logos, nutritional information, ingredient lists, etc.)

The result was a genuine KPMG ‘consumer products’ own brand; launched across a full 360 campaign, with the assets deployed everywhere; from external advertising to the website, and internal communications – and will be extended into a suite of assets in phase two. For example, we will soon be producing our products in real-life for giveaways at events and for direct marketing purposes.

For the first three months of launch, we prioritized driving reach and awareness through print, display advertising, paid social and digital OOH. We then built on this early interest and reach by switching tactics and using our learnings to reach and retarget lookalike audiences, adding key account targeting to the mix to drive opportunities with high-value priority accounts.

Results: In summary, we started not from our audience’s job title or role, but from an understanding of what they knew and what they cared about. We set out to drive empathy and understanding, not to explain or to preach. We created a wry and witty response to the proposition and invested time and money in crafting a product range and set of advertising that felt authentic. By using the visual language of product advertising (looking like the market, not the competition) we demonstrated empathy, relatability and expertise through visual design cues, not only messaging.

And it worked – the results were spectacular with all media significantly outperforming industry benchmarks and the Consumer Consulting division experiencing growth during a time of economic uncertainty.

The creative effectiveness of the campaign directly resulted in extremely low CPC’s, making the campaign cost-efficient while maintaining a healthy CPM that is driving engagement across channels and phases.

The campaign produced click-through-rates that exceed industry benchmarks by an astonishing 480% and surpassed KPIs across all channels. This led to website traffic targets being reached within 3 weeks of a 5-month campaign. We also achieved over 9 million impressions – a 32% increase in reach vs the campaign target of 6.9m, all with one month of planned activity still remaining.

Most importantly, it has led to a significant increase in business for the Consumer Consulting division with an 11% increase in opportunity volume and a staggering 68% increase in opportunity value after campaign launch.

Longer-term, and even more importantly, we established an effective strategic campaign platform for KPMG Consumer Advisory Services that can be leveraged and built upon for years to come.

Marketing Awards Case Studies B2B Case Studies

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