Spring marks the start of Bradfords Building Supplies major trading period. It’s as important to us as Christmas and Black Friday are to consumer retailers. The buzz of excitement in the air is tangible and to mark the season, we run a campaign that both our customers and our team of 700 staff in our 42 branches can get behind.

In 2019 our commercial aspirations were big:

  1. Deliver a 20% YoY sales increase on promotional products
  2. Show that a fully integrated campaign could deliver positive ROI
  3. Keep within a £78,000 budget for creative, media and production.

We are creating a reputation within our sector for our bold campaigns. In 2019, we wanted to build on the 2018 ‘Spring Deals You Won’t Believe’ campaign with the launch of the biggest marketing campaign in our 250-year history.

We asked ourselves how we could again inject the notion of disbelief into a creative idea that cut through, was ownable for the brand and put an ‘unbelievable’ message out into the market, building on ‘That Must Be B*******s’ slogan from last year’s campaign?

Creative Idea:
NO BULL – Just Spring Deals You Won’t Believe

This message was direct and to the point for our customers whilst allowing us to showcase our great deals. The message also reinforced our ‘Trusted by Trades since 1770’ strapline.

With such a clear campaign identity and belief in this concept, the business really got behind it. The commercial team were able to bring ‘unbelievable’ deals to the table and we made the campaign effective by delivering a with truly integrated approach across every part of our offering.

Campaign Activation:
The campaign was activated across the entire Bradfords estate…

  • Pre-launch: We designed and distributed a detailed campaign guide to all Bradfords colleagues and armed them with NO BULL staff T-shirts and sales pads.
  • Launch week: We used our annual landscaping roadshow we host with key suppliers, branch managers and sales staff to launch the campaign. This set it in the hearts and minds of our colleagues by setting out our plan and showcasing the fantastic products on offer. Having the buy in of our colleagues in branch is vital in delivering any successful marketing campaign as ultimately, they have to sell it to our customers.
  • In-store marketing: banners and truck liveries
  • Customer merchandise: 10,000 NO BULL customer T-shirts were also distributed throughout the Southwest.
  • TV campaign: We took our first venture onto Sky TV with a highly targeted advertising campaign hitting our core customers in the South West. We worked hard to target by location, audience, as well as genre channel (entertainment & sport) and this paid off with a reach of 149,223 which was a fantastic 89% of the total segment and impressions 113.6%, achieved which was a brilliant overperformance with 708,543 individual advert views. The 30 second advert fully played on the campaign concept and was aimed at our trade audience where one tradesman on their break reminisces with his work mates about an exaggerated recollection of a cup final, whilst his other colleagues see through the ‘BULL’. The advert then cuts sharply to one of our unbelievable Spring Deals followed by a prominent ‘NO BULL’ message.
  • Advertising: we utilised tried and tested media channels to engage the trade and drive them to branch; press, radio, outdoor, digital, and social media. The idea played seamlessly across these channels.


  • YOY sales increase on promotional products + £822,000
  • YOY sales % increase on promotional products + 36%
  • YOY reporting profit increase + £390,000
  • 5:1 return on marketing investment
  • We saw unprecedented levels of engagement with trade partners:

“The Bradfords Postcrete offer was featured on both Sky TV and radio and drove 27% YoY sales out uplift, an incredible return on investment! Thanks, Bradfords, we can’t wait for next year!” – (Area Sales Manager, Tarmac Cement)

Our branch engagement activity clearly paid dividends too:

“The campaigns seem to grow each year and really tick all the boxes with customers and staff alike. It was with great pride I was at home watching the Cricket World Cup and one of our unbelievable Spring Deals appears on my TV.” – (Branch Director, Yeovil)

Our Media Partners were also fully engaged:

“TV advertising is an incredibly effective brand awareness tool for small to medium sized brands looking to grow, Bradfords introduction to this medium can be deemed a total success”. – (James Thompson, Mostly Media)

Not only has this campaign delivered huge commercial success for our business in the short-term, we have continued to create a long-term sales platform on which to build. ‘Deals You Won’t Believe’ will return once again in 2020.