Driving awareness and sales by bringing #maplinmoment to life


The challenge for Maplin was that awareness was low, despite the fact that they have 218 stores across the country. This case study tells the story of how they used clever segmentation to target their customers and so were able to generate consideration and sales for the brand. They used Twitter to target viewers watching certain key programmes and brought to life the ‘Maplin Moment.’  

  • Maplin was struggling with limited awareness of its brand  
  • The combination of TV and Twitter proved effective once again
  • Sales increased by 12% like-for-like

Background and objectives

Maplin is an established retailer of all things tech. It has a sizeable retail presence on the high street with 218 stores in the UK and Ireland. Despite this, brand awareness was low, with just 2% of consumers able to name Maplin as a tech and electronic goods retailer. An additional challenge was that they were facing increased competition in a crowded market and needed to stand out.

Maplin’s differentiator is that it solves your tech problems. This is why people go to Maplin and this was the key insight that they wanted to communicate. 

Their objectives were, therefore, to increase brand awareness and consideration as well as to improve the likelihood of customers recommending them. They wanted to reach as many people as possible and ultimately to increase sales – online and in-store.

The Solution

To maximise their knowledge about the marketplace, Maplin’s media agency, adconnection, commissioned a bespoke piece of research that allowed them to segment the market based on peoples’ attitudes to technology and electronics. This informed them that the core segment they needed to target was ‘solution seekers’ – those who knew a little about technology and were interested in finding out how it could benefit their everyday lives. However, at the same time it was also important not to alienate Maplin’s core customer base of knowledgeable ‘Tech Embracers’.

In order to captivate their ‘solution seeker’ audience, a campaign strategy was devised based on the idea of having a ‘Maplin moment’. This means an everyday occasion when your tech knowledge is stretched and you need a helping hand (from Maplin). 

adonnection recommended that TV should be the foundation of the campaign, primarily because it could deliver the emotional sound and vision needed to win the hearts and minds of consumers, but also because it provided the best platform for showcasing the vast range of products that Maplin offers.  

adconnection also knew that adding online to the TV campaign would work well because econometric analysis of previous campaigns had clearly shown that the combination of TV and online gave the best marketing return. They felt that Twitter would be a good companion to the TV because the ‘Maplin Moment’ highlighted on the TV ad could be a very powerful Twitter hashtag.  


To kick off the campaign, they executed a roadblock across 40 stations – all airing at 8pm which is a prime watching time for the target audience of ABC1 Adults 25-54. The TV ad ran for four weeks at approximately 80 ratings a week across a broad range of channels. They upweighted Sundays and Mondays as these days were identified to be key viewing days – also heightened by the two bank holidays in May. 

The campaign was optimised to target selected popular shows such as Gogglebox, The Island and 24. They then used Twitter to target people who were tweeting during the shows. For example, if someone tweeted #Gogglebox of #jackbauer, they were served personalised promoted Twitter ads that combined their hashtag with #maplinmoment, which proved an effective method of amplifying the influence of the TV airtime. 

The TV activity was also mirrored in-store where the ad was running on screens and at checkouts. There was also activity on Facebook, YouTube, PPC, posters in-store and PR.


  • Sales increased by 12% like-for-like during the four weeks of the campaign and were still up 8.3% like-for-like ten weeks after the campaign, indicating the longevity of the campaign’s effectiveness
  • In-store transactions had a 6.4% uplift and online transactions also increased by 17%
  • Independent research showed that brand awareness had increased by 6%, consideration by 5% and ‘likelihood to recommend’ by 28%
  • 31,000 Maplin Moments tweets
  • 72% of adults saw at least one TV ad and 32% saw four or more
  • There were clear spikes in web visits when the TV ad aired in key programmes. For example, after a spot in The Island on Channel 4, there were 912 visitors in the two minutes following
  • The overall campaign performance was so positive that Maplin approved a follow up campaign later in the year

Using the ‘#maplinmoment’ really enabled us to have a strong consistent focus and integration across all parts of our business

Breffni Walsh, Board Marketing Director, Maplin

The TV really brought to life the Maplin Moment that we could enthuse throughout our store team and to customers.

Kat Rawsthorne, Maplin Store Manager, Portsmouth


Sector:  Retail

Brand: Maplin

Campaign objectives: To increase brand awareness and to drive sales  

Target Audience:  ABC1 Adults 25 to 54

Budget: £1.8m (ratecard)

Campaign Shape: The campaign ran from 4th May until 31st May 2014 

TV Usage: 30 second spots 

Media Mix: TV, social media, posters, PPC, PR  

Channels Used: ITV, Channel 4, Sky Media, Turner and Local TV

Creative Agency: Krow

Media Agency: adconnection

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