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Unleashing Humour to Engage New Audiences

Year Founded
11bn euros
Parent company revenue was the UK’s first retail mobile phone website (launched in 1995) and is now the largest web-only mobile phone store in the UK, processing thousands of orders every month. The e-commerce shop is powered by Dixons Carphone, a multinational telecommunications company, operating with 42,000 employees and £10.5bn in revenue. combines the buying power and reliability of Europe’s largest mobile phone retailer with their own experience in the online market to provide customers with the best value mobile phones.

‘No Drama’ Campaign

With the goal of recharging their brand perception and communicating how simple it is to purchase a mobile device and contract through their e-commerce storefront, turned to Dept. Our multidisciplinary teams collaborated to conceptualise a video-led digital marketing campaign that harnesses the perfect blend of creativity and strategy. The campaign was delivered in a loud, yet less promotional way, aiming to organically heighten brand awareness and increase customer engagement.

A mockumentary-style video series entitled ‘No Drama’ was created with three distinctive video assets giving a nod to iconic TV and movie moments – without the drama. The videos debunk serious moments in a highly impactful way, tactically providing comic relief to resonate with viewers. Dept developed the creative concept, led the art direction and oversaw the project from idea to delivery.


Producing a Buzzworthy Video Campaign

Adaptive Branding

As part of the ‘No Drama’ campaign creation, Dept expanded the brand guidelines to incorporate bold elements, designed to get noticed. A fresh colour pallet was introduced with Electric Yellow and Wild Strawberry presented over shades of Jet Black and Crisp White to highlight the bright hues for a more dramatic effect. Additionally, Compton Light and Compton Bold fonts were used, creating a clean modern text that emphasises the simplicity of line and legibility. The new branding uplifts the classic public persona during the course of the campaign to grab the attention of smartphone users. The pops of colour were used subtly across the videos and supporting marketing collateral to tie the campaigns together, creating visual unity for the audience.

Film Production

Dept was responsible for delivering a faultless combination of creativity and innovation, ensuring all videos demonstrated flair, style and cinematic vision, without feeling staged. The pre-production aspect of the project was a huge undertaking, which involved: defining target audiences; crafting video messages and plots; script-writing; storyboarding themes tied to seminal TV & film genres; making shot lists; creating a production schedule; managing production budgets; sourcing locations, and hiring support teams and equipment.

An empty London warehouse provided the perfect blank canvas to bring our creativity to life. With an emphasis on lighting, props and styling, the space was transformed into three unique environments, bringing each video to life and signifying the cinematic nature of the campaign. A rigorous casting process was conducted to ensure actors aligned perfectly to each character, while costume and makeup stylists were selected with equal tenacity; their skills and expertise complemented each genre to ensure authenticity was achieved.


It’s a Wrap

With a clear vision intact, our plan of action was executed seamlessly over several productive filming sessions. RED cameras, known for their stunning RAW footage, were used to shoot all three trailer-inspired videos, giving us greater scope when moving into post-production. The final pieces convey a sense of humour, through unconventional story twists:

  • The Heist video was inspired by classic 1970’s heist films, with a group of presumed criminals breaking open a wooden skid to reveal thousands of rubber chickens. The psychedelic costumes and strong orange lighting simultaneously draws attention to the campaign’s parodical nature.
  • The concept for ‘Nope!’ was derived from the female-led Kill Bill series, accentuating the concept of kill-or-be-killed, with the protagonist walking away from the peak action scene. This video is the most synonymous with the ‘No Drama’ strapline, and heavily played on the strengths of the actors to express the extremities of the characters.
  • Lemons was inspired by the plot of the popular box set Breaking Bad, with recognisable lab paraphernalia and hazardous chemical jumpsuits. The bright yellow branding married with the lemons and costumes in the video effortlessly to enhance the narrative.


The ‘No Drama’ campaign was tactically constructed to emphasise the core brand message of; selling market-leading phones at the lowest prices. The humour, tone and media choice for the campaign created a perfect fit for social media, with easy-to-share and easy-to-consume content. All videos were kept under a minute in length, which was deemed the ideal amount of time to create suspense and intrigue without losing interest.

The trailer-inspired series acted as a vantage point to produce further ad assets, utilising on-set photography and video footage to create GIFS, memes and catchphrases to ultimately establish a dialogue around how surprisingly simple it is to purchase a smartphone and monthly plan through

The concept of ‘No Drama’ was a powerful tool for brand awareness and customer engagement, achieving our client’s core objectives for the campaign. With a captivated audience, now has the platform to draw attention to their award-winning customer service, next-day delivery, the and top lines of smartphones available. Dept continues to collaborate with and Carphone Warehouse on various creative campaigns throughout the year.

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