DFS – Great Britons

DFS partners with newsbrands to run a print campaign aiming to demonstrate its British heritage, design and manufacturing credentials by aligning with topical national moments.

Brand: DFS

Agency: MediaCom

Media: Print

Date: 2012 – 2013


  • The aim was to break the retailer mould by reacting to breaking news and aligning the brand with 'Great Britons' and topical great British news stories, thus demonstrating DFS' British heritage, design and manufacturing credentials, as well as showing the customer a warmer and more engaging side of the brand
  • In order to continue growth, DFS needed to gain new customers from new audience segments – to do this it wanted to shift its messaging from promotion to brand re-appraisal for groups that aren't simply looking of value
  • The campaign was part of activity aimed at uncovering the 'hidden truths' about DFS, such as the fact that it has 44 years of heritage, sofas are British designed and made and handmade to order
  • As DFS were targeting a new audience with a new message, the trusted environment newsbrands create was considered to be important
  • The summer of 2012 – with Bradley Wiggins winning in the Tour de France and the London Olympics – was chosen as the best time to launch the campaign
  • Activity continued around the birth of Prince George and the resignation of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013
  • During the Olympic period there was a five percentage point rise in tracking for DFS as a brand that is 'Modern and up to date' as well as a six percentage point rise with the statement 'I've heard good things about them'

For our topical ads to be a success, we rely on several key elements being in place – a close working relationship with our media agency; a responsive set of media owners; a quick turnaround creative agency; and finally a sharp eye for the opportunity. Working with MediaCom on this element of our communications has ensured we have all of these. The ads have really hit home not only with the Great British public as we have seen our British heritage and commitment to UK manufacturing brand scores increase.

Nick Ashworth, head of media, DFS

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