Hornbach Hammer Case Study

The 8th edition of The Cup unveiled its winners, with the jury led by Michael Conrad, President of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, awarding The Grand CUP to Heimat Berlin for The Hornbach Hammer. Other 36 CUPs were also granted to the best and most creative Ads of 2014 that were present in the competition.

The winners were revealed durin a Gala held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The Grand CUP went to The Hornbach Hammer, campaign created by German agency Heimat for DIY superstores Hornbach. This chain of superstores doesn’t just sell products, but supplies passion for their customer’s DIY projects. To manifest this, Hornbach forged that passion for DIY into a product, a tool that’s mandatory for every DIYer, a hammer. The campaign represents the journey of the hammer, how it became a symbol, as well as the hype that followed.

Besides winning the Grand CUP, Heimat’s campaign also won Best of Retail, Best of Strategy and Best of Campaign. Creative pieces that were also multiple winners (going home with 3 or more accolades) were

  • Taproot India’s campaign for The Times of India – “Farmer suicide” – that won in Best of Social Engagements, Best of Press, Best of Craft and Best of Local Culture


  • Dentsu’s pregnancy diary that grows with the mother’s belly – “Mother Book” – awarded in Best of Health and Personal care, Best of Publication and Best of Design.

Overall the nine-member jury awarded 36 CUPs and 1 Grand CUP (in Best of Product and Services, Best of Media and Best of Admaking)

Big cheers to all winners and a big bravo to the winner of the Grand Cup, underlining the merits of “Genius Loci” for brand building, from an engaging, compact, global jury.

Michael Conrad

Jury President

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Entrant HEIMAT Berlin, GERMANY
Type of Entry Branded Content & Entertainment
Entrant Company HEIMAT Berlin, GERMANY
Contributing Company HEIMAT Berlin, GERMANY
Production Company BIG FISH Berlin, GERMANY
Guido Heffels Heimat/Berlin Chief Creative Officer
Matthias Von Bechtolsheim Heimat/Berlin Chief Executive Officer
Maik Richter Heimat/Berlin Account Supervisor
Guido Heffels, Kai Heuser Heimat/Berlin Creative Director
Mirjam Kundt/Gun Aydemir Heimat/Berlin Copywriter
Sabina Hesse/Matei Curtasu/Katja Gottfried Heimat/Berlin Copywriter
Susanna Fill/Teresa Jung/Henrik Schweder Heimat/Berlin Art Director
Andreas Fernhede Dagman/Kenzi Benabdallah/Christopher Brinkmann Heimat/Berlin Art Director Digital
Christina Walke/Fabian Stein Heimat/Berlin Account Manager
Kerstin Heffels,Florian Hoffmann, Jan Paul Schwarz, Carola Storto, Dajana Thieß Heimat/Berlin Agency Producer
Jared Leistner/Maria Botsch/Christoph Bruns/Benedikt Gansczyk Heimat/Berlin Design
Martijn Koster Heimat/Berlin Illustration
Thomas Berlin Music
Bigfish Filmproduktion Gmbh Production Company
Andrea Roman-Perse/Jakob Rühle Bigfish Filmproduktion Gmbh Producer
Tobias Perse Director
Kai Kniepkamp Editor
Casey Campbell Camera
Recom/Sublime Postproduction
Webguerillas Online
CROSSMEDIA Düsseldorf Media Agency
Describe The Campaign/Entry:

In Germany and Austria, the regions where the campaign appeared, Branded Entertainment is still in an early stage. As the public broadcaster still may not offer branded entertainment because of their public funding, the trend towards sponsored television programs takes place much more slowly than in the U.S. But the market has great potential. According to industry estimates and market research institutes, sales of branded entertainment were around € 3 billion. However, these were € 2.7 billion in the event area, especially on music concerts earned. Sales in the film and television sector amounted to approximately € 63 million. Before 2010 Branded Entertainment could only be practiced under certain legal conditions and Product Placement was completely forbidden on TV and radio. Only since 2010 the legal situation changed. Nevertheless it’s still not completely free of restrictions. For example the public broadcaster may not offer branded entertainment because of their public funding-system. Also private TV-stations must mark their programme where Product Placement is executed at the beginning and the end of the show. Furthermore the shown products must not be put in scene in an advertising way. And during certain genres (e.g. newscasts) it’s completely prohibited.

The challenge was to stay afloat in an over-saturated DIY market landscape, differentiating from the other competitors, as well as engaging consumers to align to interact with the brand campaign. To leverage the brand's perception, the Hornbach Hammer had to display an idiosyncratic appeal, and tell the unique story of a hammer that only the quintessence of the brand Hornbach could create. A unique product was conceived, infused with the Hornbach DNA, and a campaign surrounding the product has confronted consumers. Fans were kept in constant awareness, with new content being released daily by the brand, as well as small challenges to prove they are worth one of the last 700 available hammers. Content was uploaded, sand castles were built, and poems were recited. All from real consumers, in order to catch the brand's attention and a chance to get their hands on the last 700. The impact was imminent, and the "Hornbach Hammer" received a symbolic value, earning the trust of their fans. A very strong consumer response was experienced online, which induced earned press and TV space. Out-of-home media, considered controversial by some, escalated discussions in the German and Austrian press. Going forward was the next step. The social media strategy was leveraging on the interactions between brand and consumer, giving the opportunity to experience the limited-edition product and become one of the lucky 7000 owners. More than 15,000,000 impressions on Facebook later, the hammer was sold out entirely. Consumers went as far as auctioning the remaining hammers on eBay, the highest going for 673,-euros, compared to the original price of 25,-euros.
Storytelling was the primary implementation tool for the digital age, for leveraging the brand's campaign. Branded content was released both in online and offline mediums on a daily basis. The campaign arc was initiated by a teaser phase, with a spotlight on initial effect. Social media buzz was triggered and a popularity growth gave indication of the product's impact. The product became such a novelty, that people invested time and effort in participating in tasks for the last 700 hammers and produce content in order to prove themselves worthy of it.
Social media was used as a hub for the whole campaign, which led to a very strong response on the Hornbach Facebook page. . Over 15,000,000 impressions and people shared content from the campaign more than 300.000 times. And during the campaign Hornbach had a 15 % increase in fans. The social media strategy was leveraging on the interactions between brand and consumer, giving the opportunity to experience the limited-edition product and become one of the lucky 7000 owners. But they had to be quick. The hammer sold out surprisingly fast. Online it took only 5 minutes before they were all gone and in the stores they were all sold out in only 2 hours. Some people even went as far as auctioning the remaining hammers on eBay, the highest going for 656,-euros, compared to the original price of 25,-euros. The campaign also had a massive impact in traditional media. Over 100 different magazines, news stations and online newspapers reported about it, resulting in a media value adding up to 832.214€.

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