Habitat use TV for the first time


Key Points                                                                 

  • Habitat needed to build brand awareness and drive sales
  • They used TV for the first time with a cleverly constructed campaign
  • As a result, there was a 100% increase in brand consideration

The Challenge

Despite Habitat’s heritage of 51 years, they unfortunately went through administration in 2011, which removed all but three of their stores from the high street. In 2015, the challenge was to educate their target audience that Habitat offers high quality, well priced, fashionable furniture.

Habitat’s furniture is available nationally via their website and in-store. However, as the three remaining stores are all in London, this skewed the target audience to London and the south east.  Whilst there had been growth for the brand over recent years, they needed to accelerate the growth.

They had three core objectives:

  • Build brand awareness within  the core target audience
  • Increase search for the brand
  • Drive sales of the advertised products

The TV Solution

Habitat worked with their agencies Portas and the7stars to create an insight and framework for the campaign, which was centred on the fact that consumers choose their home furnishings based on seeing furniture in other people’s homes or ‘through the keyhole’ type of programmes where they peek into other people’s lives for inspiration. The idea is that everyone is a voyeur but a Habitat voyeur is instinctively drawn to the design, no matter what else is happening in the room. The strapline they came up with was “We all look, but only some of us see”.

They chose to use TV for the campaign because TV delivers the greatest profit per pound, higher than any other media. In addition, they considered research from the IPA that showed that the most successful campaigns are those that build fame through emotional campaigns.

They created two stylish TV ads – “The Kiss” and “Dancing”. Both had a strong voyeuristic feel, as the viewer peeked in through the window to a living room and saw either a couple kissing or a semi-naked man dancing. However, the Habitat audience would see beyond this to the stylish furniture. Each ad championed a different product – the Oricco table or the Hendricks sofa.

The Plan

They opted for a Channel 4 only campaign, primarily because it offered a good conversion to ABC1 women, their target audience and also an extensive library of property and voyeuristic programming eg. Grand Designs, Restoration Man, Grayson Perry’s Dream House and Gogglebox.

The first ad, ‘Dancing’ launched in April/May 2015 and the second ad, ‘The Kiss’ featured in a second campaign across September and October. The creative execution was so strong, they did not need a frequency any higher than 4 so they planned the airtime to target this frequency level. They also upweighted the network campaign by using Channel 4 macro regions London and South.

The TV campaign was supported by social media. Using the hashtag #HabitatVoyeur, they retargeted the TV viewers with risqué cut downs of the TV ad and also ran a competition.


  • The launch campaign reached over 6 million ABC1 women
  • 66% of those who saw the advert thought Habitat had good design – an 18% increase
  • Other key metrics were also improved eg. Habitat is forward thinking – up 10%, Habitat offers a wide range – up 30%, Habitat is affordable – up 50%
  • The activity got people talking. 40% of those who saw the ad, talked about Habitat
  • 226% increase in sales of the Oricco table featured in the ad
  • Brand consideration – 100% increase

[Source: Lightbox Brand Tracker]

A sharp insight formed the basis of the7stars media plan, which allowed for Habitat’s Voyeurism concept to shine. The TV campaign elevated the Habitat brand, delivered on the brand’s sophisticated and bold character, and above all ticked off the sales box!

Jocelyn Dowden Head of Marketing, Habitat


Sector: Retail

Brand: Habitat

Campaign objectives: To build brand awareness and drive sales

Target Audience: ABC1 women

Budget: Between £300,000 and £350,000

Campaign Dates: The first campaign ran from 19th April to 17th May and the second campaign ran from 16th September to 10th October 2015

TV Usage: 30 second and 20 second spots

Creative Agency: Portas

Media Agency:  the7stars


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