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How Screwfix is Making Big Strides with Social-Savvy Tradespeople


Dancing DIY-ers and toe-tapping tradies abound as Screwfix embraces influencers in its new campaign for Screwfix Sprint. Screwfix’s Sammy Ough and Five by Five’s David Prideaux, Emmeline Kite and Steph O’Neil talk to Laura Swinton about the latest move in the brand’s marketing journey

How Screwfix is Making Big Strides with Social-Savvy Tradespeople
UK retailer Screwfix prides itself on being there for its customers. Reliability is key - hence the introduction of their new Screwfix Sprint service, which will support busy tradespeople and DIY-ers by getting supplies to them within 60 minutes. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun.

The new campaign features dancing builders, plumbers, and decorators, busting moves to ‘80s earworm ‘Break My Stride’ by Matthew Wilder - highlighting the fact they don’t need to stop and downtools when they need new supplies. It’s an omnichannel affair, and as well as a slickly-choreographed TV hero film, it’s the first time the brand has tapped into the world of influencer marketing. 

For readers outside of the UK, Screwfix is a retailer that offers products from workwear and tools to pipe fittings and cables to busy tradespeople, with over 870 stores, online and phone commerce platforms and over 11 million active customers. “Screwfix’s customer-focused vision has helped the company to lead in innovation & ultimate convenience and transform from a catalogue business to now a leading digital-first retailer,” says Sammy.

According to Sammy Ough, head of marketing communications at Screwfix, customer-centricity has always been the heart and soul of the business. And so, that was at the core of the new Screwfix Sprint offering, which Sammy describes as ‘game changing’, as well as the brief to agency Five By Five. “At Screwfix, customers sit at the heart of everything we do, and we know how convenience is paramount for busy tradespeople. For them, time is literally money. When tradespeople are not on the tools, they are not earning, so Screwfix is committed to supporting them to get their job done quickly, affordably and right the first time,” says Sammy. “Through this campaign, we wanted to show trade customers that with Screwfix Sprint they don’t have to leave the site as we will come to them in 60 minutes or less.”

That’s turned into an idea that taps into TikTok’s ‘dancing builders’ rabbit hole - reflecting the changing interests and demographics of the audience as Gen Z enters the cohort.

According to Five by Five’s ECD David Prideaux, head of strategy Emmeline Kite and Steph O’Neil this idea was developed after testing of the new service, which meant that the creative could really be tailored to the audience.

“Screwfix initially ran Sprint in a number of select locations and gathered feedback from this. Hearing from the audience themselves what they thought about Sprint meant we could focus on the aspects of the proposition that they thought were strongest - namely how Sprint means they didn’t have to stop what they were doing and leave the site,” the say. “We also knew that, because Sprint is a new service, we would need to grab attention and present the proposition in a way that was entertaining and credible to engage an audience that can typically be sceptical of brands making big claims. “

But the key that unlocked the whole idea was the line “Don’t stop. Sprint”. The music followed soon after. “We had the Matthew Wilder track right from the off, but we also had a couple of back-ups just in case,” says the Five By Five team.

Bringing the spot to life was director Tiny Bullet, a.k.a. Tina Bull. The Five By Five team are full of praise for the depth and life she brought to the script. “Tina made the script come alive in all sorts of ways. She developed the characters of the construction crew and ran a brilliant casting process to find dancers who had authentic tradie backgrounds but didn’t look stereotypical. She worked out the progression of the dance through the site and, crucially, built the energy by shooting on steadicam, keeping the camera always moving.”

Perhaps the most exciting part of the campaign for the Screwfix team was the influencer-led element, which allowed them to connect to TikTok-loving tradies like never before.

“Who doesn’t spend far too much time on TikTok, right?” laughs Sammy. “We started our journey with the platform in 2022, and since then have grown our channel organically from within the business with some real successes! We've always wanted to tap into influencer marketing, so why wouldn’t we try it with this brilliant campaign? We know that tradies love social media and with TikTok there is something special – the downtime it can give and the entertainment it provides is fantastic. Second to that, there is already a market out there for ‘dancing builders’ and this campaign with the iconic track fit perfectly into this!”
From the point of view of the team at Five By Five, the idea itself was ideally suited to social media and influencers beautifully. “This was such an exciting part of the Sprint campaign for us, and the creative concept really lent itself to this social-first angle. There is a step by step process from establishing a criteria of influencer (the perfect influencer for the campaign) all the way to the content going live. Specifically finding the right people? For this campaign we wanted to utilise the tradie influencers to target the right audience for Screwfix. Our team utilises their knowledge and expertise to research and identify the most suitable influencers (who fit the criteria we build). The most important aspect was that the content created was authentic to the influencer we worked with so we worked with each personally to devise a brief and content idea that worked and felt natural to them!”

This playful campaign is just the latest step in a marketing evolution for Screwfix. While they remain wedded to the core principles and ideal of reliability and affordability, key to making sure that customers remain at the heart of everything they do is to make sure that they’re moving with them.

“Screwfix has definitely been on a journey!” reflects Sammy. “The foundations and company mission of the brand remain the same but the way the industry has evolved and the growth we have had has allowed the company to evolve also. Screwfix’s success has been built on putting customers at the forefront of our business, providing the reliability and certainty they need as trade professionals and serious DIYers, and we keep doing it. We want to ensure that we speak to the tradies in a way that talks to them, respects them and doesn’t stereotype them. The trade are business people and we see ourselves as a partner to them – within our Marcomms we ensure we tailor the communications to suit the comms channel and also the mindset of the customer at the time.”

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Genres: Choreography

Categories: DIY Stores, Retail and Restaurants

Five by Five UK, Thu, 25 May 2023 14:47:09 GMT