Real life home videos illustrate how home improvement can help you 'build a life' in this emotive spot

Campaign for B&Q by Uncommon revisits old tagline 'you can do it'

Published On
Sep 10, 2020

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With everybody spending more time in their homes during lockdown, home improvement ads have been coming more emotive; recently, we've seen Benjamin Moore paying tribute to the walls that have contained us, and now U.K. DIY retailer B&Q debuting a nostalgia-seeped spot about our love for our homes.

The brand has traditionally been known for upbeat and sales-focused advertising, with the tagline "You can do it when you B&Q it" but now, a new campaign by Uncommon revisits the slogan in a more emotional way. The spot, featuring archive home video footage from real-life families, tells us that improving a home is a way to "build a life" and reflects on the role B&Q has played in transforming the UK’s homes for the past 50 years. B&Q says the campaign represents a "reinvigorated direction" for the brand, and is the first in a series of campaigns designed to drive emotional connection. 

Directed by Knucklehead's Chris Hewitt, the film includes clips from real home videos from 69 families across the 69 cities that make-up the U.K., set to smooth-voiced narration by "Game of Thrones" actor, Rory McCann ("The Hound"). Moments captured include birthday parties, slammed doors from family rows and making room for that new picture on the wall. It's all set to a music track by The Cinematic Orchestra titled "Manhatta."

B&Q's "You can do it" slogan ran for many years from the mid-'80s but was dropped in 2007 as part of an effort to reposition the chain. A 2018 campaign by WCRS (now, Engine) revived it with a quirky spot in which inanimate objects nagged people to do something about them. 

"The creative approach gathered many amazing stories of real families in their homes," says Marketing Director at B&Q Chris Graham in a statement,  "We learned how they improved them, and how they became places were important life moments were created.  We hope the campaign reminds everyone of the magic and power of home improvement to do so much more than build a home.”