How this DIY brand nailed an emotional connection with home renovators

—He’s certainly no Mr. Fixit, but Craig Redmond loves these ads for U.K. home renovation brand B&Q.—

Once upon a time, my wife flew home to her native Hong Kong with our toddler son to introduce him to his grandparents and relatives, leaving me to take care of our daughter in Toronto and attend to a few home renovations while mum was away.

So, each day I would drop off my girl at school, head to the big box renovation store for supplies, come home and start to toil at the task. Then I’d royally screw something up, pick up my girl after school, and head back to the big box for more supplies to fix the catastrophe I’d caused, taking her to the East Side Mario’s next to the big box for dinner to atone for the sin of dragging her around that store.

This was the groundhog daily routine for two solid weeks.

Poor kid. She begged me to never take her back to that store ever again. And to this day, probably breaks out in hives just driving past one of the big orange blights on humanity.

Suffice to say, I’m not a Mr. Fixit kind of guy. And I’ve never really enjoyed the pride of a great drywalling, or the satisfaction of a successful shower head upgrade. But I’ve always envied those who have, and truly admire their deft gift for the “renovative” gab.

Yet rarely have we seen a DIY brand capture that deep emotional connection these self-taught craftspeople have with their home, or the immense sense of accomplishment they feel when they tart it up.

That’s what gave my eyeballs whiplash when seeing this work for a British big box heritage hardware brand called B&Q. The campaign was created by London agency Uncommon and emerged from the darkness of the pandemic in late 2020.

The first thing you notice after viewing each chapter of the story (see them below in reverse chronological order), is the uniqueness of each spot—ranging from found user content, to live action married with trippy psychedelic animation, and this newest stop-motion execution. Each is very different, but are all held seamlessly together with the same spiritual theme of renewal.

The next thing is the gravelly brogue of Scotsman actor Rory McCann. You can literally smell the sawdust he’s inhaling while delivering his sermon on the 2×4 lumber mount.

And the last thing you’ll absorb through your cerebral pores is the poetic authenticity of the words, caressed by mesmerizing scores.

“Later means never.”

“Dear Winter, we didn’t lose hope… We planted it.”

“You don’t buy a life… You build one.”

I’m not sure if it will compel this hapless home-reno hack to pick up a hammer anytime soon, but for those soldiers of the saws, soil, and soldering irons, it will no doubt heave them from the couch and launch them to their local B&Q in waves of droves.

Craig Redmond is a Creative Leader with Palmer Stamnes and Co, an independent family of marketing communication companies.