At the height of the first wave of the pandemic, consumers in the UK were genuinely concerned about their personal wellbeing when going to the shops. This was unchartered territory for retail brands. Especially those whose stores remained open like Homebase. How could they show customers it was safe to come in-store, whilst standing out from the wave of overly sentimental and contrived messaging from other retailers?
The gnomes significantly improved overall brand sentiment with a 30% uptick in positive sentiment in the weeks following the campaign
The campaign pushed an increase in online shares on Facebook and Instagram and drove £263,624 in online revenue from social alone
Our friendly little helpers
M&C Saatchi Talk did what anyone would. They turned to gnomes. Homebase’s friendliest in-store characters the ‘Phone Gnome’ and ‘Selfie Gnome’ were enlisted in new key worker roles, fronting a social campaign educating customers on their role in responsible shopping. A series of short films including “Gnome Less Than Two Metres” and “Gnome More Gatherings” successfully delivered a set of serious health and safety messages whilst maintaining Homebase’s reassuring and welcoming tone. Gnome mean feat.
The Power of Creativity
Not only did the Gnomes deliver an important message, they drove engagement through the roof. Text-heavy statements on Health and Safety in early lockdown fell on deaf ears, yet average shares for organic content on social media saw a huge increase following the introduction of the Gnomes to messaging.
Small mascots deliver big win
What started in social then spread across all customer comms channels including Homebase.co.uk and direct mailers. Not only did the gnomes help shape customer behaviour in-store, protecting the teams working so hard to keep things open, but they also significantly improved overall brand sentiment with a 30% uptick in positive sentiment in the weeks following, as well as pushing online shares on Facebook and Instagram and driving £263,624 in online revenue alone.
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