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B&Q, Gardener of the Year: A PR Planning Case Study

I wanted to talk about creating B&Q’s Gardener of the Year competition for three reasons:

  1. It’s a solid demonstration of PR adding real value to an integrated marketing team

  2. Creating the campaign followed a strong cascade of strategic choice

  3. Thinking about the role of PR in the mix and making the right, fundamental choices are strategy skills anyone in PR can use to improve their work

My personal philosophy is that PR is where brand collides with the real world.


B&Q’s ad agency had released an incredible and inspiring campaign, communicating the incredible range of plants on offer throughout the critical Easter trading period.

Basic shopper research showed us that we would have to challenge the brief in three fundamental ways to create something that would both grab attention, and increase consideration and sales at this critical trading period.


We counseled:

  • The right objective was not range, because “2,000 products you will hate” is not a good story to tell. We knew we had to tackle quality perceptions, not range.

  • The right audience was older homeowners, not younger audiences impacted by trends for plants. We just didn’t see enough evidence of that out of the media and actually in the mainstream.

  • The right media was The Telegraph, Daily Mail, local media, and Facebook because that’s where the audience is – not trend hunting on instagram and TikTok.

This delivered:

  • 200 pieces of coverage

  • 1,000 entries

  • 5X web traffic during campaign period

  • Increased sale of plants and supporting products

  • Most engaging content in brand history, with a 66% view through rate

Gardener of the Year has now run for its third consecutive year.


Strategy Lead at Mischief

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