In 2015, Johnstone’s secured wider distribution through Argos, B&M and The Range, which presented an opportunity to raise brand awareness and grow consumer sales, taking on market leaders Crown and Dulux. Historically, Johnstone’s media activity was B2B focused, using local press, radio and trade press to increase awareness amongst specifiers and professional painters & decorators and driving sales through the Decorating Centres and independent stockists. 

Alongside consumer targets, a key objective was to ensure continued trade loyalty and protect trade sales through existing channels. Analysis of the ‘White Van Man’ audience showed they are predominantly Male, C1C2 25-64 year olds, who are passionate viewers of sport, cult classic drama and motoring programme genres.

Our Solution

With an ambition to grow brand awareness and market share through driving trade customer and consumer awareness, Johnstone’s embarked on their first national consumer TV and digital campaign, targeting a Family/Homeowner audience, and driving sales prior to bank holiday periods. 

To support the drive for increased brand awareness we secured an initial 6-month sponsorship deal on ITV4, including online and licensing, which enabled PPG to raise the profile of the Leyland brand and Johnstone’s Decorating Centres, communicate the key trade messages and keep the brands top-of-mind. The sponsorship idents run across daytime and early peak, delivering a huge number of ident spots which allow us to showcase the comprehensive range of products and services available from Leyland and at Johnstone’s Decorating Centres throughout the UK, such as colour matching and expert help and advice giving the audience clear, concise messages about what the brands stand for.

The Results

After 6 months, client feedback on both the sponsorship and brand TV support was overwhelmingly positive. 

The ITV4 sponsorship had delivered reach of over 60% and high OTS, so unsurprisingly brand awareness had increased amongst the trade audience and anecdotal feedback was strong. The decision to renew for a further 12 months was an easy one to make. 

Feedback from existing and potential stockists on the brand TV was also very positive. Strong sales results demonstrated the value that TV had delivered for the brand in the short term, and gave PPG the confidence to sign off additional budget for 2016 against an aggressive growth plan for the business.


It’s crucial to our business that we have the right media agency partner in place to help us grow market share and achieve our business ambitions. After 10 years working with Alchemy, our business ambition was starting to change and with it, we gained agreement to increase our brand support to a seven figure budget. This triggered the need to prove we were receiving the best possible value for our advertising spend and kick started a tender process managed by an independent media auditor.

We were delighted to retain Alchemy as our trusted media partner and especially pleased that despite coming up against one of the largest network agencies in the UK, they proved that bigger isn’t always better by coming out on top in terms of the media discounts and the value deals they’re able to negotiate on our behalf. Alchemy continue to impress us with their knowledge of our business and sector, and their strategic approach towards leveraging our marketing spend to influence key trade and consumer audiences. This coupled with delivering added value savings beyond negotiated media discounts on an ongoing basis makes them a natural partner of choice.

Tim Wood, Marketing Manager at PPG