HEAD TO HEAD: Regus vs. WeWork

Working on your own is blissful. We enjoy nothing more than padding down to the kitchen for a relaxed breakfast. Then it’s time to settle down for an unhurried morning’s work before putting the laptop to one side while we catch up on Loose Women and Neighbours.

But it can also be a bit lonely… Waiting for the phone to ring. Running after the postie to double check there was no mail for us. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to. And that’s why co-creation and co-working spaces are hot topics right now.

The office model has changed. Co-working was essentially a product of the last recession; people were booted out of jobs, went freelance and needed somewhere to work.

So, we asked 100 randoms UK-representative respondents for their thoughts on this new-fangled co-working, and the creative that the sector’s leading companies are using to flog it. We compared attitudes towards a campaign from established player Regus - victim of a recent poor financial performance - with an ad for WeWork, which despite being a relative newbie was recently valued at £27bn!


Here are some of the main findings:

Memorability results for WeWork ad. Graph extracted from The Nod App.

  • Memorability: 40% of our panel say they’d definitely remember this is an ad for WeWork (not Ikea, honest). While 25% state they wouldn’t be sure which brand the work was for, just a third said they wouldn’t recall it as an ad for office space. Pretty good going. The stats for Regus are similarly positive. We’d be interested to know what the relatively high number of “uncertains” thought the ad was for though – hotels? Furniture stores? Both ads need to work a bit harder at linking their brand to their sector.

Actionability results for WeWork ad. Graph extracted from The Nod App.

  • Actionability: WeWork is a clear winner here, even amongst the oldies. 45% of respondents would take positive action after seeing the ad, compared to 33% for Regus (though there are those of you who might count falling asleep as a positive action). Analysed further, a fifth want to find out more about WeWork, while one in 10 would tell their mates about the ad (unimaginably witty pub banter about renting office space). A further 10% would ‘like’ the ad on social media. While one in five would also research Regus, it’s the inert two thirds of respondents that will be of concern to them.

  • Love: If it’s possible to love an ad for an office brand, 36% of our panel expressed adoration for WeWork. Regus got exactly half that figure. In fact, it was more “meh” than anything, with a whopping 73% feeling neutral towards that mysterious strawberry lace insignia. Maybe it’s harder for established brands to appear new and funky (in the positive sense), rather than… old and funky (in the negative sense). Think the antiquated offices of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Love - Hate results for WeWork ad. Graph extracted from The Nod App.

Love - Hate results for Regus ad. Graph extracted from The Nod App.

  • Brand association: The cool bit, in our humble opinion. This is the part where three adjectives are chosen to describe the work and - in an ideal world - respondents pick the same ones from a longer list. Giving, in other words, a positive or negative emotional response. For WeWork, 64% identified the key traits of “easy”, “young” and “professional”. A bit like Ben the account exec after a few too many tequilas. Most enjoyed the vibrant colours, 10% described the work as memorable, though a handful of people were irritated. Regus lagged a bit with 40% brand association – the desired descriptions were “clear”, “professional” and “modern”. A bit like a fancy lawyer. Respondents complained the creative was too simple, messy and didn’t stand out. Bitches.

Brand Association results for Regus ad. Their chosen adjectives to describe their add were: Clear, Professional and Modern. Graph extracted from The Nod App.

Brand Association quote for Regus ad - Why was it boring?. Quote extracted from The Nod App.

So, WeWork works and Regus loses its crown.

An interesting response to the frequently dull world of office space. Maybe our panellists know a thing or two about creative after all.