Powering Checkatrade's Manchester expansion with a viral cross channel campaign







Using our c360 approach we created a cross channel campaign that leveraged tradespeople’s love for humour and sports. Using Europe’s second largest digital billboard, we tapped into Manchester United’s publicity around their recent poor performance on the pitch and their stadium’s leaky roof, a problem Checkatrade is poised to fix.

The brief

Checkatrade identified an opportunity to increase market share in Manchester due to the high consumer demand in the region. They briefed us to increase their brand awareness, and to drive consideration of their platform amongst both audiences, homeowners and tradespeople in the Manchester area.

Phase 1 – The physical campaign

Strategic location: Leveraging the sports angle, and with Manchester being famous for being the home of one of the biggest football clubs in the country – this was something we had to capitalise on. Given its proximity to the stadium and its significance to the target audience, we strategically selected Europe’s second largest digital billboard (17.4m x 17.6m) in Trafford Park – which is located just a stone’s throw from Manchester United’s stadium, Old Trafford.

Reactive creative messaging: The campaign focused on the current challenges of Manchester United, leveraging their poor form at the time, and ongoing stadium issues, a topic of high interest in sports. This approach aimed to generate buzz and start conversations, raising awareness of a problem which fans resonate with, instead of alienating them. The messaging tied back to Checkatrade’s services by humorously addressing Old Trafford’s infamous leaky roof—a known issue that Checkatrade could ‘fix’. Manchester United’s roof problems had over 39,000 mentions across media outlets over 2023, making it a hot topic in both the press and on socials.

Phase 2: Taking offline, online

In the campaign’s second phase, we bridged the gap between offline and online media. Capturing and sharing photographs of the billboard, with Old Trafford prominently in the background, was key to our strategy for online traction and driving further consideration.

We engaged in a targeted digital PR campaign, focusing on sports and national news outlets that had recently reported on Old Trafford’s persistent roofing problems – with these being the publications that tradespeople are most likely to read.

Our aim was to have these images circulated on social media, betting on the cheeky nature of the content to achieve viral status. This approach was designed to maximise Checkatrade’s brand exposure, sparking conversations online not just in Manchester, but throughout the UK.

The results

Following the campaign, Checkatrade’s sales from Manchester saw an increase of 21% as a portion of their total sales, so the campaign was a resounding success.

The billboard was seen an estimated 880,000 times, but took on a life of its own when featured in key publications with huge engaged readerships. Such as The Daily Mail, The Sun, Talksport, and GOAL. Additionally, the campaign gained significant attention on social media, with platforms like Ladbible, Sportbible, and The United Stand highlighting our billboard, among others.

Checkatrade’s brand was mentioned 2,196 times online, with the posts reaching millions of viewers.

This campaign was widely praised as a “Marketing masterclass” by numerous individuals on X.com.






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