As Digital Advertising Manager at electrical retailer Currys, Matthew Davies looks after some of the company’s key advertising campaigns. Here, he explains the strategy behind its “No Questions Unanswered” back-to-school creative campaign — from brief to delivery.
Shopping for technology products can lead to decision paralysis. And the more options available, the more questions people tend to have.
What sets Currys apart from online-only competitors is our ability to answer these queries across a range of touchpoints. From our ‘Shop Live’ video call feature on our website to our tech experts at over 300 U.K. stores, our mission is to ensure no customer question goes unanswered.
Platforms like YouTube play a significant role in the decision-making process. It’s often the first port of call for tech reviews and recommendations.
That’s why we worked with our creative agency AMV BBDO and media agency Spark Foundry to identify the questions Currys’ customers were most frequently asking — and used YouTube to deliver impactful ways to answer them.
New term, new opportunities
The biggest product category at Currys is laptops. But this is also a highly competitive market, especially during the all-important back-to-school period.
We wanted to use this key shopping moment to boost consideration — and, ultimately, sales. The aim was to have Currys front of mind when a customer was ready to buy a laptop.
“Platforms like YouTube play a significant role in the decision-making process for tech buyers,” says Elizabeth Swadling, account director at Spark Foundry. “It’s often the first port of call for anyone seeking trusted reviews and recommendations.”
For that reason, it was crucial that we dug into YouTube search trends for this campaign. We wanted a clearer understanding of what laptop shoppers are asking and looking for online. For example, we discovered many students were searching for laptops suited to specific fields, such as engineering or art. These insights directly guided the creative direction of the campaign.
Taking creativity the extra mile
We made the decision early on to anchor our campaign to the expertise of our in-store tech experts and their wealth of expertise across all product categories. Buying tech comes with questions — some complex, some simple — and our trained experts can handle them all. This led us to the “No Questions Unanswered” concept, designed to function as a creative wrapper in all our advertising campaigns.
“We liked the idea of a Currys tech expert going above and beyond to solve shoppers’ queries,” says Jonny White, senior business director at AMV BBDO. “We first brought this concept to life in the “New Term” back-to-school campaign, showing real Currys colleagues (not actors) literally going the extra mile, be it climbing a mountain to test a laptop’s durability or going to a Paris studio to solve a design question.”
The campaign incorporated different laptop brands, but the overarching focus on the team helped to reinforce Currys’ identity and highlight one of our unique selling points: the in-store experience.
Impactful storytelling on YouTube
We collaborated with Google Creative Works to ensure the ads were primed for maximum impact across YouTube’s marketing funnel. This provided an opportunity to delve into YouTube’s ABCD framework for creative best practice and apply it to our campaign:
- Attention — The ads go straight into action, using large titles, fast-paced cuts, and tight framing with close ups.
- Brand — The Currys logo and "No Questions Unanswered" lockup are prominent from the outset, while the in-store setting and uniformed colours communicate our brand identity explicitly.
- Connection — We focus on the bond between the consumer and the in-store colleague, using direct eye contact to engage viewers. To build that connection through our audio as well, we used one of our main voice-over artists to narrate the conversation.
- Direct — The ads conclude with a call to action (CTA), such as showcasing our flexible payment options.
“We also explored and employed ad sequencing and a range of AI-powered formats to engage viewers at various stages of the customer journey,” says Swadling, account director at Spark Foundry. “We used TrueView and bumper ads for broad reach and awareness, non-skippable ads for consideration, and video action campaigns (featuring CTA links) to direct people to the Currys site.”
We fine-tuned our audience selection by integrating themes and keywords from the ads, such as “laptops for multitasking” or “lightweight laptops”. This, coupled with Currys’ first-party data, allowed us to reach audiences across the full customer funnel, whose interests and online shopping behaviour matched the ad content.
A template for success
The “No Questions Unanswered” concept marked a major shift in Currys’ creative advertising strategy. We are now moving from a single asset approach to AI-driven sequenced campaigns — with YouTube a must have on the media plan.
“YouTube exceeded every established benchmark when it comes to media impact,” says Swadling. “The “New Term” campaign garnered over 40 million views across the various TrueView video formats and saw over 200,000 people visit the Currys website via video action campaigns."
With “No Questions Unanswered” we now have an incredibly effective and adaptable creative wrapper for our ad campaigns at Currys, which we used again to address people’s TV-related queries during the 2022 World Cup. And we rolled it out across all other advertising channels, including display and audio.
The impact of the campaign has shown us just how important it is to understand what your audience is searching for. As well as a way of indicating demand, it’s a powerful tool for smart and engaging advertising.