Mitre 10 gives DIYers the keys to its castle, brings in George Clarke for latest branded content campaign

Taking advantage of the ever increasing consumer presence in the online world, and following on from its previous successes in the content marketing space, Mitre 10 is continuing to take DIY digital, this time by locking up a few punters in one of its stores with UK TV presenter and celebrity architect George Clarke and filming the results for a new web series called the “Mitre 10 Lock In”.

Mitre 10 general manager marketing Dave Elliott said in a release, “it’s going to be tough, but we have great faith that our DIY experts will come through, completing the project before the sun comes up.” And, Clarke who is known for his series George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, will be there to assist (and hopefully attract bigger audiences).

This web series is not the first for the hardware store (and it’s not the first time a retailer has let customers run wild instore, with The Warehouse putting the Christmas decision-making in the hands of the kids in 2014). Mitre 10’s Easy As instructional videos, which were made in conjunction with FCB and TVNZ, have already seen success for Mitre 10. Elliot reported 11,000 people were watching the instructional videos each day in June last year, with Mitre 10’s competitors even recommending the videos to curious customers.

The videos add to the 135 million “how-to” videos on YouTube—the second largest online search engine—and tap into the 70 percent growth in ‘how-to’ searches on YouTube recorded in the middle of last year.

With a buoyant property market driving DIY sales, Mitre 10 recorded its highest ever sales last year (Bunnings also reported record revenue last year). But there’s always room for improvement. And Elliott shared with StopPress the need to move campaigns online.

“Advertising is very important for us in terms of driving traffic to our stores, so therefore our advertising activities need to be effective in achieving that. And retailing is a response to culture. So, if you couple those two things together, you kind of see that we need to adapt and speak to customers where they are in an effective way. And, without a doubt, more and more people are moving online through their digital devices.”

In a response to this change Elliot reported a 20 to 30 percent shift in ad spend from traditional media to search engine marketing, SEO, YouTube, pre-rolls and display.

“It’s a matter of a brand being there right through that journey, and the online videos play an important part in giving them that information. More and more people are [relying on online videos]. You might’ve heard that the internet will have to double in size by 2017 just to accommodate the growth in YouTube, and you kind of see that that’s where people are heading,” Elliot said.

The Lock In series, set to be released later this year, will continue Mitre 10’s communication with its customers online to “inspire them, inform them, equip them and then celebrate a job well done,” Elliott says.

However, the move online has not seen Mitre 10 neglect the classic TVC, with those also changing to align with consumers’ lives. The hardware store airs a TVC on Sunday nights featuring images of completed projects by customers. Elliott says the images are sourced from the Mitre 10 Facebook page and are used to celebrate the projects and inspire others.

“We live weekend to weekend and on a Sunday you are already thinking about what to do the next weekend ” – a problem Mitre 10 hopes to solve. 

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