Reach Vs Frequency, a case study.

Life is all about making sacrifices and the same is true in modern ad buying. In life, you might be juggling money versus leisure. In modern ad buying, it is almost always choosing between reach or frequency.

For those not in the know, reach is the number of people (or impressions) that your campaign will reach and frequency is the number of times somebody will see your campaign.

Although the two campaigns that I chose are not traditionally considered paid ads. In fact, they are very much PR campaigns. But modern PR does encompass paid methods and that is why they were selected.

The two campaigns that I chose to highlight were the 2015 IKEA Bookbook launch, which focused on reach, and The Hornbach Herzblut campaign, which focused on frequency. I chose these campaigns because they were both using PR tactics and strategies in order to try to solve the same problem; shoring up market share while facing increased competition.

According to Warc, Hornbach’s campaign focused on frequency by creating a TV ad, then “inviting customers via an online platform, direct mailing and out-of-home to contribute to the HORNBACH SPRING COLLECTION by showing their own filthy work clothes,” and finally, by displaying customer submissions on billboards. I believe that the campaign adopted the frequency-based approach because it wasn’t specifically displaying a product but displaying how the brand understands its customers. Another key part of the campaign was for the company to differentiate itself from its’ competition, which often launched short-term campaigns that were focused on giving discounts.

Whereas IKEA cast a wide net for their campaign by “seeding the campaign within the home and decor category of influencers, we identified tech influencers to engage with instead. By packaging the IKEA catalogue like a tech product, complete with a product instructional booklet, each influencer was sent a personalised copy of a ‘collector’s edition’ of the book.” In my opinion, the marketer chose this method because of the nature of the product, the book, which was set to launch on a specific day.  

During this time, both companies heavily relied on in-store purchases and chose ways to connect with their audience where they were with the aim of enticing them in store. Both brands also used tongue-in-cheek humour to capture the attention of their customers.


Anon, 2015 IKEA Bookbook launch. WARC. Available at: [Accessed July 22, 2018].

Anon, The Hornbach Spring Collection. WARC. Available at: [Accessed July 22, 2018].

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