Homebase signs DIY stars for ads

Homebase, the J Sainsbury do-it-yourself chain, is to sign up TV celebrity DIY experts to exploit the growing media interest in home improvement.

The explosion of TV programmes and specialist magazines dealing with home decorating and design has created a number of “DIY celebs”.

Kevin McCloud, who will launch a spin-off of the BBC’s Home Front in March focusing on gardens, and designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who appears on the BBC’s Changing Rooms and Change That shows, are in talks with Homebase.

The chain is launching its first major marketing initiative since rebranding 230 Texas stores, which it bought from Ladbroke in 1995. The marketing department will be expanded with the appointment of a national advertising manager, market research manager and national promotions manager.

Kate Swann, marketing director for the 300-strong chain, has developed a marketing programme focusing on colours for different seasons.

She says: “Colour is very often the starting point for anyone considering home improvement.”

Abbott Mead Vickers.BDDO will launch a major television campaign, using the spring-time colours theme, which will go on air in the run-up to Easter – a crucial time in the DIY market.

Colour themes will also be marketed through in-store “branding counters”, where staff will be trained to give advice, and through its in-store magazine, Homebase Living.

Swann has called in 20/20 Design Consultants and Crabtree Hall to work on design for shop formats and corporate identity.

She says Homebase will increase its marketing and ad spend – it spent about 17m in 1997 (ACNielsen).

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here