New Homebase ad will help transform the brand

Homebase is set to launch a campaign this week that I think is fantastically innovative.

I’m not one to get excited by DIY, but this latest initiative from the DIY retailer is one I think shows a retail brand quite literally thinking outside the box.

Homebase and ad agency Leo Burnett London spent two weeks transforming Carlisle train station from what I imagine was very much the usual drab and dreary train station environment into something fantastic.

Platforms were decked out in patterned wall hangings, sofas, lamps and rugs and a grassy garden area, complete with sunloungers and barbeques, was created to turn the station into a homely environment.

The idea behind the transformation was to do more than just project itself and its range into people’s lives via TV screens, but to get some kind of interaction and emotional connection.

It follows on from the chain’s “transforming the nation” campaign but really brings it to life by way of experiential activity.

Homebase brand controller Becky Brock told me that she wanted the Carlisle transformation to be something “real” and put smiles on people’s faces.

No stranger to waiting on bleak train platforms in the early morning drizzle, I can imagine the colourful and homely transformation did just that, and inspired a raft of people to drop into the store in a bid to make some home improvements of their own.

The chain is also launching a competition to engage with the public and to encourage consumers to nominate and vote for a public location, be it a church, youth centre or transport hub. Winenrs will receive the Homebase transformation treatment.

Homebase is one retailer that has done pretty well during the recession with the trend towards home improvement rather than moving taking off.

Homebase has also positioned the campaign cleverly alongside its value offering that launched earlier this year giving more than 300 home improvement products and tools for under a fiver.

What I believe Homebase will achieve with this campaign is manifold. It gets its products into the lives of customers and potential customers, spreads a little joy with something memorable and inspires people to feel confident that they can transform their own homes and gardens without breaking the bank.

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