The Spot: Sitting Pretty

A British ad agency crafts an elegant and touching commercial … for furniture

IDEA: British furniture maker DFS has traditionally used its massive ad budget—some $130 million a year—mostly to annoy people. Its obnoxious, price-led, hard-sell messaging bludgeoned viewers into submission. "They had gained a reputation for being shouty," admitted Nick Hastings, co-founder and creative director of London ad agency Krow, which took over the account last November. Now, Krow and DFS are trying something new: advertising that is actually—gasp!—likeable. A new 90-second brand film, set to an emotional song by a Scottish indie artist, tells the touching tale of a young boy who suffers through a typically tough day—finding respite only at the end of it, on a big, comfy DFS sofa. The approach isn't rocket science. "By aiming to become a brand that is well-liked as well as well-known," said Hastings, "DFS hopes to achieve more sustainable and even greater success among a broader range of people."