Design House creates ’emotional’ brand for ChoicesUK

Design House has created an identity and store interiors for home entertainment retailer ChoicesUK, which will roll out across the brand’s 228-strong estate from next month.

The work will also be applied to the retailer’s website (, designed by Snowflake), DVD vending machines and a branded TV channel. It is the first time in 20 years that the ChoicesUK marque has been updated.

Design House was appointed to the project following a four-way pitch run by the Advertising Agency Register in April. The process was instigated by ChoicesUK director of marketing David Rich, who joined the company in January.

‘The nature of the rental market means you are very much a local store, and in the past we’d only made small changes to branding. There was a realisation that we’d now become a national brand and needed to look at the brand in its entirety, not just retail,’ he explains.

According to Design House executive creative director Mike Booth, the group’s audit identified that, despite being the second largest retailer of its type behind Blockbuster, the brand ‘was not very visible’ and struggled to differentiate itself from rivals.

‘ChoicesUK wasn’t the biggest, the cheapest or the most fashionable, and it couldn’t compete on product as everyone in the market offers the same thing,’ explains Booth. In response, the group created a positioning that is based on the emotional connection people have with film.

‘Everyone [in the sector] focuses on the top 50 new releases. We saw a real opportunity to go beyond that and tap into the emotional place that film can take you,’ according to Booth.

A strapline – watch, play, escape – has been introduced and films are now categorised by new genres including ‘scary’ and ‘feel good’. In store, close-up photography of staff members’ faces expressing these emotions supports the work, as does a tone of voice based around more emotive language.

The work will roll out across the estate at a rate of one store per week beginning late next month, says Rich. The first outlet, in Swanley, is due to open on 29 September.


• Owned by Home Entertainment Corporation

• Brand extends across retail and rental with ChoicesUK, previously Choices Video, on-line mail order through and a DVD vending offer, ChoicesUK Local

• A television shopping channel ChoicesUK TV launched last week and will retail entertainment products

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