DFS – 2011-2016

Case study - Objective: Address an issue
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In a bid to become the first billion-pound sofa company, DFS put econometrics at the heart of its media planning, helping to transform investment decisions, provide recommendations and ensure the brand is always optimising for efficiency and effectiveness.

To achieve growth, DFS had to move beyond its value for money image and appeal to more upmarket, aspirational customers, without putting off existing customers who are attracted by price and finance options. Crucially, the brand also had to prove that this change would lead to a profitable return on investment.

Since 2011, DFS has used econometric modelling and action planning to track, evaluate and optimise campaigns year on year. The findings have steered the brand to focus on colour print ads, competitor advertising, key sales periods, topicality and brand advertising alongside promotional advertising. The model itself has also innovated and evolved, providing a complete picture of the consumer journey. As a result, DFS has sold over 350,000 sofas thanks to newsbrands alone.

Key findings

Efficiencies made since 2011 has ensured DFS’ newsbrand investment has worked smarter and harder to deliver:

  • An improvement of 75% in ROI
  • 350,000 sofas sold
  • £525 million delivered by newsbrands alone
  • A contribution to the DFS Brand Consideration increase of 16%


The judges’ decision on this entry was unanimous – it was its commitment to long-term brand building which really stood out in a sea of short-term uplifts in ROI.

Mark Finney, founder, Magic Cat Communications