Great techspectations delivered: AMV and Currys creative partnership
In the latest of our series celebrating enduring and successful client-agency partnerships, we look at the ten-year relationship between Currys and AMV BBDO
27 November 2023
It's been ten years since Dixons Retail Group (as was) announced that it was severing a 25-year relationship with the Saatchi brothers. The account had been a founding client of M&C Saatchi in 1995, having previously been at Saatchi & Saatchi.
Following a review process the account moved to AMV BBDO, which retains the account to this day. We look at some of the key work the agency has created over the past decade that has contributed to such a mutually beneficial partnership.
In the first piece of brand work for Currys PC World, AMV BBDO launched the brand platform “We Start With You”. The ad showed hundreds of electronics products and white goods moving around in a choreographed sequence until only one laptop remained. Based on the insight that consumers faced an overwhelming choice when it came to tech, it dramatized how Currys PC World’s expertise would help them find exactly the right product for them.
Festive acting coach Jeff Goldblum joined Currys PC World across a series of five TV spots that helped people mask their disappointment at underwhelming gifts, by imagining the tech item they actually wanted from the retailer. The campaign won four Golds and three silvers at British Arrows – the most for any campaign in the history of the awards – and Gold of Golds at Creative Circle. The campaign also let members of the public submit their Christmas gift wishes online and have their personalised hints displayed on outdoor sites across the country.
The hint theme continued in the 2016 Christmas campaign, as people dropped not-so-subtle hints in awkward places to make sure they got exactly the tech they wanted that year. The campaign saw the evolution of the brand platform as Currys PC World’s promise of expertise went further to “Help you get it right this Christmas”.
As Currys PC World doubled-down on their key point of difference – their expert colleagues – AMV BBDO created a new internal training program for the brand called “Tested in Life”. 700 colleagues took part and were given the latest tech to take home and test in their real lives. In comms we saw colleagues taking everything from Apple Watches to Lenovo laptops home as they went above and beyond to make sure they’d help customers get it right
AMV BBDO was handed responsibility for the Carphone Warehouse brand in February 2017. In 2019 Peter Crouch – Serial Switcher – helped customers realise they could get a better phone deal just by switching their contracts at Carphone Warehouse.
Currys PC World colleagues’ expertise put tech through the ultimate test across a series of campaigns starting in 2021. With help from some famous faces including Bill Bailey, Adam Gemili and Ellie Jane Taylor, AMV BBDO and Currys PC World set up a series of tech tests in which the brand’s expert colleagues put the latest tech through its paces in entertaining and unexpected ways.
In 2021, Currys announced the creation of a new ‘superbrand’ as it brought together Currys PC World, Carphone Warehouse, Team Knowhow and Dixons Carphone under a single name. With its new name came a new logo and a bold, new visual identity full of pastel colours, designed to portray a bright and optimistic new world.
AMV BBDO partnered with Currys on the journey and used it as a moment to cement the brand’s unique point of difference. Despite popular opinion that people in the UK had had enough of experts, AMV BBDO and Currys own research found that – in the face of fake reviews, overwhelming choice and hours wasted researching purchases – the majority of consumers actively wanted to talk to a real-life expert when shopping for expensive and unfamiliar tech. The campaign dramatized this in humorous fashion showing there are many times when an expert is needed and buying tech is no different.
To further demonstrate the value of their colleagues’ expertise, Currys and AMV BBDO showed the dramatic lengths those colleagues were willing to go to in search of the right answers to customers tech questions. From the glaring sun of the desert and cliff faces of remote canyons, to Sony HQ in Japan and art classes in Paris, Currys colleagues’ determination to find the right answers knew no bounds.
As the biggest recycler of tech in the UK, Currys are on a mission to help people get rid of their unwanted tech in a sustainable way. To encourage people to bring their old tech into a Currys, the retailer will give a £5 gift card for every piece of tech brought in. To launch this, AMV BBDO created billboards laden with old and broken tech that passers-by could grab and take into their nearest Currys for a gift card. It was the first time anywhere on the planet, that a billboard had been used to recycle old tech.
The latest campaign from the agency and retailer shows the incredible lengths Currys experts will go to in order to make sure customers get exactly the tech they need. Whether that’s popping up in a vat of cafeteria beans or consuming tech manuals in a bid to gain as much tech knowledge as possible, Currys colleagues will always go above and beyond to help customers find the right tech
The relationship between AMV and Currys is in some ways a mirror of the past decade. With a shift from celebrities to the expertise of its staff, and with added environmental awareness added in, it's little wonder the partnership has been an enduring one.