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Ronseal & The Men's Shed Association: The Shed
August 9, 2021
Partnerships are an important way for brands to expand their reach in culture and engage with issues that extend beyond their immediate products and services. Whether it’s a tie-up on a new range, or a partnership with a charity or cause, brands must find partners that feel authentic and meaningful to their target audience – rather than just a PR exercise. For woodcare brand Ronseal, dentsuMB has supported the development of its partnership with the UK Men’s Sheds Association (UKMSA) – a charitable network that supports around 600 men’s sheds across the country. These community spaces enable men to meet up, connect and get involved in carpentry or DIY, thereby helping to reduce isolation and improve mental health.
Given its purpose as a supportive brand that makes DIY jobs easier, Ronseal’s values are closely aligned with UKMSA. And thanks to grassroots engagement and carefully planned activations, the tie-up has become a template for how effective brand partnerships can be done. The partnership began in 2019 when Ronseal sponsored a series of DIY skills sessions at The Manchester Men’s Shed in Moss Side, and the brand has since continued to build a close relationship with the men’s shed community, such as by donating products and co-hosting further events. In summer 2021, we helped to raise the profile of the partnership – and the amazing work of men’s sheds – by creating a short film for Channel 4 called The Shed, which is co-sponsored by Ronseal and UKMSA. Launched during Men’s Health Week, the film tells the story of Joe, a young man who visited his local shed after experiencing the loss of his first child.
The film shows how joining a shed can help men to open up about their feelings and deal with mental health problems in a safe and welcoming environment. DentsuMB partnered with fellow dentsu agency The Story Lab on the commissioning and production of the film. The response to The Shed was instant and hugely impressive, with the film outperforming Channel 4’s benchmark for social media content across a number of metrics. Average view time on YouTube was 4 minutes 7 seconds, while Channel 4’s Facebook video of the film generated 1.45 million total views and 8.2x more reactions than average within seven days of publication.
The film also meant that Ronseal became part of a conversation that affects millions of people in a highly authentic and sensitive way, with the brand responding on social media to help other people find their local shed. At the same time, the UKMSA saw a 73% rise in visits to the ‘find a shed’ page of its website during the launch week of the film, as well as new offers of support from other companies and organisations. In other words, Ronseal and UKMSA is a brand partnership built on authentic values and close collaboration which is achieving fantastic results for both sides. Just the way it should be.