The Grand Prix is awarded to the category winner that, in the judges' opinion, has stood out above the other entries. This year’s winner, a campaign from Goodstuff and ITV for home retailer Dunelm, featured dating, home decor and the first ad-funded programme (AFP) commissioned by ITV in ten years.
Dunelm wanted to encourage people to shop for its stylish, more desirable products, rather than viewing it as a retailer of more functional items such as pillows and cushions. To change brand perception and attract affluent, pre-family couples - the lowest share of the retailer’s customer base, but those who have the most to spend, Dunelm needed to forge emotional connections.
The success of Take Me Out, Love Island and First Dates showed there is demand for dating content on television. Following insight from ITV which outlined how it takes just seven seconds to judge a person on first appearance, but even less when judging them based on their home, Dunelm created reality dating show Back to Mine. Six episodes, presented by Rochelle Hume, invited singletons to pick a partner based on visiting their homes.
Product placement was integrated into the format through branded Dunelm gift boxes while each episode directed viewers to online spin-off, Stay For Longer – the first branded content series to ever appear on the ITV Hub. The integrated partnership included Dunelm sponsorship idents, ‘first in break’ ads and integration across Dunelm social media, website and staff communication.
The AFP and integrated campaign exceeded expectations, changing attitudes towards Dunelm, and overall brand awareness increased too. Sales grew while the TV programmes reached millions of viewers.