Business case studies No 180 - 02.06.2017

Absolute and Wickes put power tools on the air

This week’s egtabite is all about the power of … power tools! Actually, it’s about combining the power of radio with the power of power tools to create something … really very powerful.

The morning show of UK station Absolute Radio has been sponsored by Wickes, a major DIY retailer serving homeowners and the building trade, since 2011. By working in close collaboration, the station, its on-air personalities and the advertiser have found new and engaging ways to weave the brand into the morning show, keeping the long-running campaign fresh with a series of ear-catching ideas.

A match made in the Nails, Screws & Fixings aisle

While a radio morning show might not seem the most likely environment to promote a trade, DIY and home improvement store, Absolute and Wickes have managed to find a winning formula. The demographic profile of its listeners makes The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show a great platform to reach Wickes’ two core audiences: tradesmen on their way to a job in the morning and more casual DIY-ers.

Absolute Radio has long had a commitment to delivering innovative and effective integrated branded content campaigns that bring station, brand and audience together to interact in interesting ways. The campaign for Wickes has made use of a unique blend of promotions, features, conversations and cleverly constructed stunts over the years. A few examples from the campaign follow:

Tool Do You Do employed a simple mechanic to generate entertaining, laugh-out-loud on-air content. Listeners called into the morning show and impersonated individual power tools – from circular saws to pneumatic drills – for the chance to win … you guessed it, an ultimate power tool kit.

In an exuberant and somewhat chaotic stunt, O’Connell, and his co-host Richie Firth, re-opened a new Wickes store (it had been opened officially by a local politician a couple of weeks earlier) with a trolley dash, in which the presenters raced around the shop picking up goods to be given away as prizes on the morning show.

The Wickes Shelf-Help Group centred around a promotion on self-assemble work benches, playing on every seasoned DIY-er’s experience of mucking up the odd job. Listeners were asked to submit photos of their DIY disasters, which were assembled in a rogue’s gallery, with a Wickes voucher up for grabs for the worst offenders each Friday. Richie and a Wickes employee also made an on-air demonstration of just how … easy … it is to assemble a bench, weaving the promotion neatly into the programme.

A deep partnership develops

Key to the success of the Wickes campaign is the relationship between the advertiser and the station’s hosts. This involves O’Connell and Firth attending client meetings and writing trails, injecting their energy and creativity into the process.

Overwhelmingly positive results

Writing in a piece for the IPA, Kevin Webb, Group Head, Bauer Radio, noted some strong results from the Wickes campaign: 80% of those aware of the sponsorship ‘liked’ the campaign with 75% agreeing it was an appropriate fit for the programme. As a result of the sponsorship, 35% feel a more positive association to Wickes. (source: Carat ICE study) Econometrics demonstrates that over £10m worth of sales can be attributed to this activity in 12 months. Wickes confirmed that they will be the breakfast show's sponsor for a year six as well.

Why this matters for egta members

Radio is truly unique in its ability to deliver engaging branded content solutions at scale. While “brand conversations” around advertisers’ social media accounts usually amount to little more than empty echo chambers, integrated branded content campaigns on radio bring real people together to make interesting, appealing – and, from the advertiser’s perspective, highly effective – content.

As The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show and Wickes demonstrate, it just takes a great idea and a willingness for station personalities and brands to sit down and find winning solutions to lead to great results. And the money will always follow the great results.



» Bauer Media page (click here)
»Tool Do You Do audio (click here)
» Trolley dash video (click here
» Mr. Wickes catwalk (click here)


» Download in PDF (click here)


» 2017 CEO's & Top Execs' Summit (TV & Radio)
08-09.06.2017, Stockholm
Programme | Register now

» 2017 Online Audio Monetization Training (Radio)
29-30.06.2017, Brussels
Programme | Register now

» Marketing & Sales Meeting (TV & Radio)
05.10.2017, Dublin
Register now


» Over 150 case studies are available on egta website (click here)



egta - 22, Rue des Comédiens, boîte 4 - 1000 Brussels - T: + 32 2 290 31 31 -