Case studies

Wickes & Absolute Radio

A 3 year partnership with Absolute Radio’s Christian O’Connell Breakfast show imbedding the Wickes messages into the fabric of the show’s editorial.

The challenge

The partnership began in 2011, using the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show as a platform for Wickes to reach their trade customers every morning. The objective for Wickes was to deepen trade loyalty and provide the serious ‘DIYer’ with the tools they need to do a professional job.

Our Approach

From this we knew it was crucial to create content that would focus on celebrating the trade, whilst providing light hearted entertainment appealing to all listeners.

The Idea

Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show – now in it’s 3rd year sponsored by Wickes.


As Christian O’Connell bursts on-air each morning with features and cleverly constructed stunts, the Wickes promotional ideas and mechanics focused on talking to the trade, whilst ensuring that the humour at the core of each idea appealed to the masses:


  • To celebrate Wickes’ 40th birthday Christian gave away 40 prizes in one show. The mechanic was simple and we called it, ‘Tool Do You Do?’ Listeners simply impersonated power tools to win some, making for a laugh-out loud feature and an innovative way to celebrate their birthday.
  • To celebrate a Wickes deal on self assemble benches, we created ‘The Wickes Shelf Help Group’. We asked listeners to share their DIY nightmares through submitting a photo of their small DIY issues! A rogues gallery of mini DIY disasters was then displayed and every Friday we called two of the best on air to battle it out to win a Wickes voucher. There was a fully integrated online tab to enter and we created a #shelfhelp, allowing listeners to tweet their entries to @absoluteradio using this hashtag. The breakfast team also managed to integrate the bench into the overall feature through Richie and Adrian (a Wickes employee), demonstrating just how ‘easy’ it is to build a bench live on air.
  • To celebrate the start of the World Cup, Wickes and Absolute Radio held the first ever Wickes Cup in the Charlton Wickes store car-park. The tournament was filmed/edited and broadcast socially on the very same day! Christian and Richie were onsite broadcasting their entire show live - from the very first game to the lifting of the trophy!

The sponsorship has truly developed into a two way partnership, with Wickes featuring Christian and Richie in their trade catalogue and promoting a ‘tune in’ message through their other national advertising.



of our listeners would consider using Wickes after hearing the Sponsorship activity

Sponsoring Breakfast on Absolute Radio has allowed us to build a truly dynamic association with the show’s unique flexibility. We have frequently held the sponsorship up as a best-practice example for Wickes’ other sponsorships.

Rachel Gibbs-McNeilCarat, Creative Solutions Director