Designers star in Habitat campaign

Challenge: Terence Conran created a concept that challenged the conventions of English furniture by radiating modernity, believing that furnishings should be influenced as much by the love of home as by colour, art, food and travel. This gave the brand an edge and attracted a network of designers.

Client: Habitat
Agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD
Lead planners: Chloe Howard, Beckie Lambert and Zehra Chatoo

In recent years, Habitat's quality and craftsmanship has been overshadowed by low-cost, flat-pack rivals. We needed to inspire old and new consumers to choose Habitat by showing why it was worth the investment.

We discovered Habitat's designers spend months developing ideas and sourcing materials, yet their passion, and journey had not been publicised. We believed communicating this passion was key to justifying Habitat's premium positioning. We decided to bring to life iconic products, under the banner "every product tells a story", making the design journey as important as the product.

Fuse (OMD's sponsorship and branded content arm) created a series of short films, interviewing the designers and telling the story behind the products.

Via sponsorship of 4Homes (on, we streamed the films using pre-rolls, mid-page units and full-length downloadable vodcasts. We also created specially edited versions to run in Habitat stores and to be used in staff training.

To cut through the clutter of home-interest and design magazines, we created a bound-in insert featuring the product design story. We overlaid original sketches on tracing paper on top of ads that showed the finished product in full colour. This was a media first.

In addition, advertorials in home and design sections of newspaper supplements targeted different audiences. The media strategy acted as "glue" for all Habitat's communication, with store windows, catalogue design and mini-catalogue inserts in key titles blending with the multimedia campaign.

Outstanding. Sales increased by 105%, footfall by 108%, and we received more than 1.3 million downloads of our designer interviews. The campaign also won a silver at the Media Week Awards.

Chloe Howard, account manager, Manning Gottlieb OMD.

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