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Kärcher UK: 2014 IPA Effectiveness Awards Shortlist Interview

TV and other media were used to demonstrate this new cleaning device, leading to a revenue ROI of £20.60 for every £1 spent.


Q1. When and why did you decide to launch a campaign?

PS: “We decided to launch a campaign towards the end of 2011 following some interesting feedback from customers. This followed a soft launch with TV shopping channel, Ideal World, and encouraging results in our European subsidiaries.”

Q2. How did you feel about the original brief?

PS: “Very positive - since I wrote it.”

Q3. How hard was it to get the campaign signed off?

PS: “Naturally, you have engaged colleagues within the business when you are thinking of putting a brand new innovation on TV with a significant spend for Kärcher UK.  Following some great challenges back and forth to the proposed model, we secured the green light. The whole process took about two months.”

Q4. When and how did you first know that you had been successful?

PS: “During the first week of the TV campaign. Sales drastically increased with an exponential curve that took the business by surprise. Following this, the product grew from strength to strength.”

Q5. What was the biggest challenge in demonstrating the effectiveness of your work?

PS: “Without the econometric analysis demonstrating our effectiveness, this would have been more of a challenge but the econometrics, coupled with sales data and response from the consumers, meant the challenge of proving effectiveness was relatively straightforward.”

Q6. How did this campaign compare to previous campaigns by the brand and competitors?

PS: “Previous campaigns for Kärcher UK had been very successful for the business. However, the 'Window Vac' campaign took this to a whole new level. Sales were instant, consumers were engaged with the product and retailers could not secure deliveries of stock quick enough. In short, our strongest category launch at the time.” 

Q7. What lessons did this campaign teach you?

PS: “With a brand new product that needs to be seen to be believed, TV is crucial. For Kärcher UK, timing was crucial as well. We needed to unlock the day in spring when us Brits decide to clean our windows for the first time in the year. We found this to coincide with the weekend the clocks spring forward into British summer time.”

Q8. What were the low points/high points of this campaign?

PS: “High points were the immediate success and being able to build a brand new product category in the UK electrical market. Low points, I suppose, were being out of stock. However, no one had predicted the level of sales we would experience following the launch.”

Q9. What would you do differently if you did this campaign over again?

PS: “To be honest there is nothing we would do differently. The campaign outperformed all expectations and was the catalyst that has propelled the brand forward to where it is now.”

Q10. If you could have worked on one, other IPA award-winning campaign over the years which would it be, and why?

PS: “This may seem an obvious choice, but it would be John Lewis - Making the nation cry (Grand Prix, 2012). The campaign has engaged consumers to a very high degree and taken the business from strength to strength across a very wide range of metrics, through what have been very difficult trading years for retailers in general.”

Last updated 04/09/2014

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