Toast PR lands craft retailer brief with Keith Lemon – as UK craft market explodes through lockdown

Manchester-based Toast PR today announces it has been hired by multi-channel retailer Create and Craft to work on a celebrity ambassador project with Keith Lemon.

Owned by leading UK home shopping retailer Ideal Shopping Direct (ISD), Create and Craft has recently seen a craft explosion, led in part by the recent UK lockdown. They have appointed Toast as they focus on shifting the channel’s product offering and marketing strategy to help target a new younger demographic of consumers, almost a third of which are now under 35 years old*.

Toast’s work includes helping to promote the brand’s new ambassador, Keith Lemon – who has been hired by Create and Craft to tap into younger audiences. Lemon will be delivering exclusive digital content across the brand’s socials and YouTube channel – starting with Keith Lemon’s Crafty Doings; a 2 x 6-part crafting how-to series created by Lemon and released weekly. Other client projects over the coming months will include research-led launch campaigns, business announcements, brand partnerships and influencer engagement.

The activity begins as the UK’s obsession with crafting has seen exponential growth in the past year. The UK craft industry has seen a four-fold increase in total craft sales between 2006 and 2020 and craft now contributes over £3.4bn to the UK economy.

Claire Astbury, Head of Acquisition for Create and Craft said: “Craft is booming and lockdown has only helped drive the trend further. With younger people now crafting for the first time, we’re working with Toast to help us reach this vast and highly engaged audience. Toast has a brilliant track record delivering impact for Ideal Shopping Direct and Create and Craft’s sister brand Ideal World, so we can think of no better partner to help drive this strategy forward.”

Julia Mitchell, Managing Director, Toast PR said: “Craft’s resurgence combined with the brand’s strategy shift to attract younger audiences makes this an extremely exciting brief. We have strong experience in celebrity ambassador projects and we can’t wait to start landing impactful campaigns that will help increase and broaden Create and Craft’s customer base at a time when the craft market in the UK is clearly booming!”

While Create and Craft was founded as a TV channel, the brand has more recently been experiencing growth online with almost half its sales now coming from its website. ISD’s recent focus on reinvigorating and investing in Create and Craft has helped contribute to a significant turnaround of ISD in the past 12 months. The business generated a £6.5m profit, 30% ahead of the £5m it predicted earlier in the year and in contrast to the £32m it lost the previous year.

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