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Awards case study: How Bosch created the next generation of tradespeople

Find out how Bosch Professional got everyone talking about its products on a shoestring budget, and encouraged the next generation of Bosch users


Bosch needed to generate active interest in the highly technical area of ‘connected tools’ among an audience of tradespeople who tend to be technology-sceptic and time-poor. By partnering with agency Clear B2B, it aimed to warm them to the Bosch brand.

Raising the message above product features and benefits, the creative solution positioned Bosch connected tools as pioneers in a new era of tool evolution. It promised to give users future-proof advantages over the competition.

Clear B2B’s assets provided an effective platform across social media and PR (the agency’s primary remit) as well as dealer comms and events.

Relying heavily on humour and straightforward execution, rather than ‘marketing speak’, engaged the target audience, triggered online reactions, and were widely shared. The power of peer recommendation was harnessed through #builtwithBosch, in which volunteer ‘testers’ uploaded reviews. Messages were spread further via bloggers, trade press and other influencers.



Bosch Professional is a provider of power tools, power tool accessories and measuring tools. It aims for its brand to stand for engineering excellence and an innovative approach.

As part of this, Bosch regularly applies new technologies to its products, as is the case for this ‘connected tools’ launch campaign.

Clear is the PR and social agency for Bosch Professional UK, working closely with the central marketing function Germany.


Bosch needed to launch its new range of connected tools and associated ‘Toolbox App’ to the UK market. Competitors had started to introduce similar technologies, so the race was on to claim Bosch’s place as the innovative leader.

The key challenges were to succinctly communicate the benefits of this technology to what can be a cynical and technology-phobic audience. To add to this, a percentage of the benefits would only be fully realised in the future — as the technology advances and new versions of the app are launched.

In addition, wider brand research also showed that Bosch needed to be more of a loved brand — currently it was seen as a little cold.

A top-level message of ‘upgrade yourself’ had already been set by Bosch Central but Clear B2B needed to expand on this to fit the UK market and ensure engagement.

The strategy was to raise the message above features and benefits by creating a campaign that introduced and positioned connected tools as the most advanced in the market.

The campaign played on the evolution of man and created the tongue-in-cheek ‘Neandertool to Millennitool’ — ultimately asking people to upgrade themselves and choose connected tools. The use of humour was a specific strategy to engage and stand out from competitors.


  • Two test reviews in the trade press.
  • AVE to be at least three times spend.
  • To be featured in at least 50% of stated top titles.
  • Contribute towards the overall press circulation target of 8,500,000.
  • Contribute towards the overall Facebook targets, increase: page likes by 40%, total reach by 25%, monthly engagements by 20%, reactions by 20%, post-clicks by 20%, and video views by 20%.

The target audience

Tradespeople in the UK (plumbers, electricians, HVAC engineers, carpenters, joiners, general builders etc.)

Typical traits and issues include:

  • Being time poor (physically demanding job, paperwork at night).
  • Being influenced by peer recommendations ‘lad culture’ attitude (e.g. a lot of ‘ribbing’ between the professionals/apprentices).
  • Can be skeptical — especially of new technology in the workplace.

Media, channels or techniques used

The subline ‘Work faster. Work smarter. Future proof your business’ succinctly summed up the key benefits of connected tools and supporting copy explained that even more exciting applications would be released via the app, so by choosing connected tools today you would be well set for the future. Techniques and media included:

Public relations

A press pack for top titles, containing two connected ‘hero’ products, the concertina sales collateral piece and the press release. The release and key visual were also sent out to the wider media mix.

Social media

Animated posts introducing the Neandertool to Millennitool characters. ‘Top trump’ style character posts. More detailed feature and benefits posts. A ‘personality test’ Facebook quiz with product win. Product test review posts builtwithBosch campaign. Spoof collaboration with ‘On the Tools’. Funny videos capturing ‘onsite banter’.


Boosted posts and ads to recruit applicants for testers. Sharing tester’s content via the Bosch Facebook page.

Timescales of the campaign 

January-February 2017:

research, refining brief and campaign proposal.

March 2017:

  Development of connectivity campaign creative.

April 2017:

Sell into the press, development of social assets.

April 2017-August 2018:

Campaign live with monthly reporting and analysis.


Creative, design and artwork, account management, social media management, and PR implementation: £20,889

External purchases, print production, and concertinas: £4,938

Facebook boosting activity: £2,099

Campaign total: £27,926


Public relations

  • AVE of £170k.
  • 8 test reviews published.
  • Circulation of 1.4 million.
  • Coverage in 100 of top titles.
  • Positive response from the journalists – proactively contacting Clear B2B about the story.

Facebook engagement 

The Facebook activity helped Bosch Professional and Clear B2B to excel all targets for social media. The campaign achieved:

  • Reach: 780,101
  • Engagement: 28,331
  • Reactions: 2,048
  • Post clicks: 25,061
  • Video views: 137,257
  • eDM: double open and click rates target.

The Neandertool to Millennitool campaign was a brilliant creative solution to launch connected tools to the UK market. The tongue-in-cheek approach resonated well with our audience and gave our sales team an easy conversation starter. As a campaign it worked brilliantly across the different channels. For us it ticked all the boxes — positioning the technology in the minds of the buyer, communicating that it future-proofs your business and warming the brand through humour.

Liz Baldwin, regional brand management Blue at UK

This submission won the award for 

‘Best use of social media’


‘Best limited-budget campaign’

 at the International B2B Marketing Awards 2018 . ‘Neandertool to Millenitool’ for Bosch Professional by Clear B2B.

B2B Marketing Awards 2019

Submissions are now open. 

We want you, B2B’s most wanted.

It’s time to stake your claim to stand among the most wanted in our industry. The mavericks, the pioneers, the titans of B2B Marketing. We want you.

Submissions close 12 June 11:59 BST

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