The Store with Nothing for Sale


giffgaff is a UK mobile network and MVNO. Founded in 2009, giffgaff originated as a challenger in the industry, created to empower its community by handing over the power to its members. Offering incredibly competitive rates and continuing to grow through forums and community hubs, within 10 years the company has flourished. Today it is well established in the industry, winning multiple awards and becoming one of the biggest virtual network operators in the UK while most importantly, still putting its community first.


• Strategy

• Creative

• PR

• Experiential

The Goal

In true giffgaff fashion, it wanted to challenge the status quo by turning a day known for consumerism on its head. Here Be Dragons was asked to utilise one of the biggest commercial moments in the calendar…Black Friday, to break away from the focus on ‘new’ and highlight the alternative choice of refurbished, showcasing giffgaff as a business and industry leader in the process.

The Challenge

We recognised that we needed to encourage behaviour change towards refurbished items, but still push giffgaff’s all important choice message. We needed to highlight refurbished for what it truly offered… a smart, savvy and sustainable choice.

The Solution

We hijacked Black Friday by creating a pop-up shop in Seven Dials, Covent Garden, with a big difference. Nothing was for sale.

The premise of the shop was highlighted by our commissioned research. Findings from this uncovered that consumer behaviour had shifted and people were open to considering refurbished items. Using this as an initial hook for media, we utilised this to sell-in the pop-up prior to opening, generating online buzz and listings coverage that ultimately drove people to want to visit the store on the day.

To enter, visitors paid with a pledge to commit to choosing refurbished wherever possible however, it didn’t stop there.

A fully integrated campaign, we collaborated and aligned the activation with multiple areas within the giffgaff business to maximise its reach from advertising to SEO. We utilised giffgaffs own channels to offer a sneak peak announcement of the arrival of the pop-up to its members, empowering our giffgaff community to choose refurbished. We also created a digital pledge open to all to make the activation more accessible

Generating hype, we engaged with well known influencers and bloggers to generate content and also invited media to come visit, also running competitions via social media.

Backed up by third party endorsement from sustainability expert, Melanie Fisher of Zero Waste Goods, all items in the shop were pre-loved or refurbished with visitors taking home everything from bicycles and phones to handsets, all paid for with a pledge.

The Results

  • Over 450 people visited to store – with an average dwell time of 30 minutes
  • 48 pieces of coverage specifically about the Pop Up
  • Bolstered by additional 44 pieces of coverage about Black Friday refurbished deals
  • Total online readership of 914 million
  • 11 influencers posted, resulting in a total reach of 5.7million, with 500k engagements through 28 different posts
  • Supported in pushing giffgaffs Black Friday deals page onto page one of Google


To date, giffgaff is the only and first mobile network to do an activation focused solely on refurbished and was awarded The Drum Marketing award 2020 for Best B2C Integrated Campaign.