Robin at Christmas

Love from the Dunelves

Last Christmas, WPR was briefed by Dunelm to deliver an engaging social media campaign that sat under the umbrella marketing theme of ‘Christmas Proof Your Home’ – the brand’s above-the-line (ATL) Christmas campaign. The subsequent campaign went on to deliver a £12:1 return on advertising spend (ROAS) and saw us shortlisted for two industry awards.

Below you can find out exactly what we did, why – and everything the campaign went on to achieve. We hope it provides some festive inspiration because we think it was a Christmas cracker of a campaign!

Brief and Objectives

The brief was, in short, to cut-through the Christmas noise, while also positioning Dunelm as a ‘helping hand’ during the busy build up to the festive period. Above all, it had to reinforce the ATL ‘Christmas Proof Your Home’ message with hints and tips, delivered in an engaging format.

The campaign creative was ‘playful’ and social media had to bring to life this all-important tone of voice.

Rationale, Research and Planning

Safe in the knowledge that elves embody the spirit of Christmas help, long-known as Santa’s little helpers no less, we created the Dunelves.

Developed to have a personality that matched that of the brand, the Dunelves were playful, helpful and clued-up on all things Christmas.

Strategy and Tactics

We created a platform messaging strategy which saw two Dunelves’ posts per week on Facebook, one helpful and one more playful. On Twitter, the Dunelves took-over Dunelm’s account for the whole of December, spreading Christmas joy and sharing tips. The Instagram strategy was entirely different. Shaped by analytics, we focused on inspirational imagery to showcase Dunelm’s festive range.

Implementation of Tactics


  • With Facebook giving greater organic reach to video content, video was key to the campaign
  • We used a combination of Google and Instagram Explore trends to uncover the topics our target consumers were most interested in
  • We created eight, thirty-second time-lapsed, birds-eye view videos, showing viewers how to make wreaths, wrap awkward presents and make Christmas decorations and gifts
  • When the mannequin challenge went viral on social, we were also one of the first brands to respond – placing real-life Dunelves in a flagship store, and creating immersive video content
    • We invested 70% of our media budget into driving Dunelves-related video views
    • Although we bought media on a video view objective, we built the posts in the traffic driving ad format to ensure we balanced views with all important clicks to site
    • Consequently, we delivered an average campaign cost-per-view of £0.005 against an industry average of £0.10 (a 95% reduction)
    • Across Facebook and Instagram, we delivered a total video reach of 1,161,691
    • 358,469 people watched at least three-seconds of our videos and 117,838 watched 50% or more
    • This gave us a total view rate of 30.85%
    • On Instagram, we used micro-influencers to extend our reach. Using a platform connecting brands with Instagram creators at scale, we ran two campaigns – the first in mid-November was themed ‘getting ready to Christmas proof your home’, and the second in December ‘Christmas proof your home’
    • This gave us a combined earned reach of 414,780 and an engagement rate of 2.22%


  • To hit an engagement KPI, we delivered four creative competitions on Facebook:
    • Pinch and zoom (to uncover a song clue)
    • 360◦ interactive image (to find a Dunelf hidden among a sea of baubles)
    • A brainteaser gif (to count the number of elves that appeared among popular products)
    • ‘Elf on the Shelf’ – we tapped into a trend, hiding Dunelves around a new concept store and asking followers to count the total number via an immersive video
      • 38,247 people entered our competitions over a four-week period
      • We also delivered a £0.02 cost-per-engagement (CPE)
  • On Twitter, we used the ‘Brand Hub’ tool to identify the events most talked-about on the platform, by the Dunelm audience
    • On the back of this, we ran five social-listening pieces throughout the key trading periods, engaging with users and spreading random acts of Dunelves to people tweeting their Christmas woes
      • This saw us deliver a 69% increase in engagements and a 23% increase in impressions


  • Throughout the campaign, we used a ‘test and learn’ strategy
  • We first tested one of Facebook’s then newest ad formats – Canvas. To showcase the ‘Christmas Cabin’, range we created an interactive storyboard utilising vertical video to take viewers through the range, a tilt-to-pan to focus on the dining room, and a range of carousels to showcase key products. The carousels and images were fully shoppable
    • This delivered a cost-per-click of £0.09. The ROA was £11.60 in sales for every £1 spent on media
  • We also tested a video version of the Christmas Cabin range. This content included the ‘shop’ feature (this was before Collection Ads were released). Every product was showcased underneath the video, with users able to scroll through the products and click directly through to site
    • This gave a ROAS £13.25:1 (the remaining budget was diverted into shoppable ads)

Measurement and Evaluation

Output Targets

  • Tasked with delivering a 3.2 million reach, we achieved 3.68 million (15% ahead of target)

Outcome Targets

  • Our engagement-driving activity delivered an engagement rate of 9.04% against a target of 2.5%

Impact Targets

  • Against a target 2% conversion rate, we delivered 2.59% (29% ahead of target)

Budget and Cost Effectiveness

  • Briefed to secure £4 in sales for every £1 spent on media (based on a 28-day click attribution window, using data from the Facebook pixel we implemented), we delivered £12 in sales for every £1 spent on media (200% above target)
  • We can’t calculate the impact of the organic reach, but we do know that if we take all the people who saw a Facebook or Instagram advert and made a purchase online the same day (one-day view window attribution model), we generated a campaign ROI of £15.11 in sales for every £1 spent on Dunelves