How a return to purpose helped reclaim its place amongst the comparison giants

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2020 was stuck in fouth position in a marketing-led category that was increasingly defined by a fixed set of rules. The challenge was to gain much-needed share to generate marketing investment by outmanoeuvring some of the UK’s biggest advertisers. This paper shows that by challenging the status quo, and returning to its founding purpose, was able to reclaim its place amongst the comparison giants. With a new strategy that created fresh relevance as a modern-day consumer champion, not only did it move clear from 4th place, but it significantly closed the gap on 2nd – ultimately growing turnover by 30% and profit twofold.

Click to purchase this case study > was in a difficult place in mid-2018, having been pushed to the bottom of the very category it created. Up against some of the largest brand properties in the country, the task at hand felt daunting and our marketing efforts to date had not brought the expected results. With market share falling to c.14% for our biggest product, the situation was becoming more of a challenge to our core business and it was clear that something needed to change. The appointment of a new CMO brought a different vision and way of working. We made both large-scale and subtle changes to our marketing communications, and measured these through the building of a robust marketing effectiveness and media mix model that allowed us to create a more accountable role for our communications strategy. In addition, we worked with our partners differently, removing traditional silos and using PHD, Karmarama and Ebiquity as extensions of our marketing team and strategic partners within our business. This new way of working has led to greater collaboration and a shared vision. These factors were the foundations on which our success was built. Knowing that we could not beat our competitors at their own game, we behaved differently and found success returning to our original purpose. Since then, others have observed this success, triggering a broader shift in the category towards a different breed of more considered communications – and away from the more ‘shouty’ advertising for which this category had perhaps become infamous. The commercial successes that we have seen since the new campaign launched have exceeded all targets and expectations. In addition, we have seen staff satisfaction increase by 15% to now sit at 97% and morale is increasing every day as staff see the business grow as a result of our new advertising strategy.

Gareth George, Head of Media & Planning

Winners 2020


How a return to purpose helped reclaim its place amongst the comparison giants




PHD Media


Principal Authors

  • Dan Cameron - Karmarama
  • Nick Bateman - PHD
  • Tim Fisher - Ebiquity
  • Gareth George -

Contributing Authors

    Credited Companies

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