Online retailers beef up activity as e-commerce thrives

digital twoOnline retailers are rolling out the big guns in anticipation of a coronavirus lockdown with the likes of Amazon and eBay ramping up their TV advertising and gardening and DIY chains launching major email marketing initiatives.

With more and more high street retailers – including John Lewis, Primark, H&M, New Look, Harrods, Zara and Lakeland – shutting up shop temporarily, most are banking on their online operations.

Primark, however, has never had an e-commerce website, so it is facing a far greater hit.

Gardening companies are offering to help customers deal with the current stay at home edict, with the likes of Amateur Gardening, Gardening Express, Thompson & Morgan, YouGarden, and BBC Gardeners’ World increasing their email marketing activity. Homebase is also attempting to tap into the DIY and garden frenzy with the launch of a new spring campaign, created by Atomic London.

“Grow a whole new room” begins as a family unwinds in their garden. Suddenly, an animated tortoise slowly emerges from the house, soaking up the British sunshine before galloping across the garden to the theme tune of Black Beauty. A voiceover states: “At Homebase, we have everything you need to grow a whole new room.”

The spot (pictured) launches today to coincide with the brand’s sponsorship of Love Your Garden on ITV, alongside online and instore activity. Media is being handled by Havas Media, which was appointed to handle Homebase’s data-driven media planning and buying business in March last year, as well to boosting its e-commerce presence.

homebaseHomebase head of marketing Lisa Tickle said: “We can’t think of a better way to kick off our Easter activity than with the launch of our Gary the tortoise campaign.

“He’s already proven a big hit with our team members and represents how we all start to feel when the sun is finally shining and we can get back outdoors.”

Atomic executive creative director Dave Henderson said: “It’s the time of year when everyone emerges blinking into their gardens and we figured a tortoise would be a great way to illustrate this. We’ve had enormous fun working out how to make a very slow reptile into a dashing, loveable hero.”

The DIY retailer is in the midst of a major revamp of its online store, ordered by Homebase chief executive Damian McGloughlin, which cannot come soon enough.

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