TJ Hughes

TJ Hughes is a discount department store specialising in home; fashion; fragrance and cosmetics. They have 50 stores nationwide but were only fully established in their heartland – the North West of England.

Lady with shopping bags

The resulting campaign highlights both the effectiveness of TV for creating awareness and coverage and the benefits of using multi channel television.

Campaign Objectives

  • Increase nationwide awareness of TJ Hughes
  • Increase footfall and purchase consideration
  • Increase traffic and sales on the TJ Hughes website
  • Establish the business outside of the North West


The campaign

To target the whole country cost-effectively, TJ Hughes decided to run a 3-week, multi-channel campaign, across Sky Media and IDS Channels between the 19th March and 7th April 2007.  This was supplemented wit the use of ITV in their established areas.

The creative executions were extremely memorable, poking fun at celebrity endorsements – ‘TJ Hughes won’t bring you high paid celebrities, just great prices’.  The ads featured the relatives of celebrities rather than celebrities themselves.  Those featured included Robbie Williams’ dad; Jonathan Ross’ mum, and Wayne Rooney’s brother.  They all showcased the low prices and products of TJ Hughes, followed by the strapline ‘TJ Hughes. It’s a bargain’.


Research was carried out by Dipsticks before and after the campaign.  The research was conducted to assess the effect of the campaign on awareness, brand perception and purchase consideration.  550 adults were interviewed online pre-campaign and 625 at the post stage.

Brand Awareness
When asked to recall discount department stores, prior to the campaign 8% spontaneously mentioned TJ Hughes; this grew to 21% amongst those that had been exposed to the campaign.  When prompted, brand awareness of TJ Hughes increased by 13%, the only department store to see a significant shift across the period..

Ad awareness
When considering awareness of the ads themselves, spontaneous advertising awareness for TJ Hughes rose from 6% before to 31% after the campaign.  In areas only carrying multichannel advertising, prompted recall increased by a remarkable 665% (2% →15.3%).

The tongue-in-cheek creative proved extremely memorable with respondent recalling most the star’s relatives, and the main message of ‘cheap prices’ and ‘good value’.

Message Take Out
The ad campaign strengthened brand perception for TJ Hughes; those that saw the ads were more likely to agree with the statement ‘TJ Hughes has consistently low prices’ (81% vs 46% that didn’t see the ad) and ‘Offers branded products at discounted prices’ (79% vs 49%).

Viewers exposed to the ad, 41% agreed that they were likely to visit a store within the next month and 48% agreed that they were likely to visit in the next six moths. The corresponding numbers for non viewers were 25% and 27% respectively.

The main campaign message of ‘TJ Hughes. It’s a bargain’ was successfully communicated with 77% agreeing with the statement, an uplift of 71% from those that didn’t see the ad.

Impact on Sales and Footfall
During the 3 week campaign TJ Hughes saw store footfall perform significantly ahead of the retail market. In a tough time for retail where footfall was in decline, TJ Hughes bucked the trend with their campaign, standing over 10% pts ahead of the retail average for the period. In the final week of the campaign, stores outside of the North West, where footfall, in general was down 10.3% yoy, TJ Hughes’ unestablished stores were seeing a rise of 7.7 %.

Website traffic also saw considerable increases across the advertising period, with unique users to the website increasing by 10,000 each week resulting in a 50% increase in online sales.

Meeting the objectives

TJ Hughes has cleverly used Televsison to not only enhance their existing established business but to help establish the brand nationwide. The combination of engaging creative and a short 3 week campaign burst have helped to propel the brand and achieve their objectives. With the use of multichannel delivery, awareness in un-established areas has significantly increased, as have perception of the brand, online sales and the number of people passing through their doors.

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