NEWS13 March 2018

How research and creative are working together for BT and Halfords

FMCG Impact 2018 Media News Telecoms Trends UK

UK – Insights are becoming increasingly key to the creative process and shaping how brands communicate with their audiences, according to marketers from BT and Halfords.


Speaking at a session at Impact 2018, Matthew Warren-Bostrom, BT Group brand strategy and insight, outlined how research that the brand undertook has informed its ‘Be There’ creative campaign.

“We seemed to be losing ground when it came to emotional connection with people. The brand has a strong history of understanding people’s lives so we wanted to reclaim that territory,” said Warren-Bostrom.

The brand worked with insight agency BAMM on an ethnographic study to understand what people around the UK were connecting with. Rather than recruiting people, the researchers recruited around key moments, with a list of moments including first date, the day before your wedding, etc.

As well as producing a storybook to inform creatives working on the campaign at AMV BBDO, the study also impacted the way the creative agency approached its casting for the campaign, to be more representative of British society.

During the same session, Halfords’ head of customer Zoe Nicolay outlined how the company used research to understand more about customers’ attitudes to journeys for the brand’s ‘For Life’s Journeys’ campaign.

Alison Bainbridge, founder at partner agency ABA Research, said: “Halfords was addicted to the drug of discounts and offers, and had been for years, so we had to convince people that moving towards an emotional campaign was the right step.”

The agency first undertook qualitative research with 18 individuals who represented the brand’s target audience, and then launched a survey of 2,500 people, identifying four need states around journeys – control, immersion, freedom and belonging. The subsequent creative platform, ‘Ready for Anything’, developed by Karmarama, built on the idea of readiness linked to the concept of control.