TrueValue, Ace, Lowe's Look To Liberate Inner Artists

As homeowners across the nation rev up their lawnmowers and clean out gutters, the home improvement geniuses at TrueValue, Ace and Lowe’s are taking a more inspirational route this season.  

True Value Hardware is kicking off a campaign with a pretty “Summer Moments” effort, which reminds people that the season’s most classic and relaxing moments, including picture-perfect barbecues and family water balloon fights, start with springtime advance work. The Chicago-based chain, with some 3,500 stores, says the campaign, created by Solve, Minneapolis, is running on TV, cable, digital, and radio, and includes a Pinterest promotion.

“The spring season is such an important time in our customers’ lives,” says an agency spokesperson in its release. “Our DIYers are out getting dirt under their fingernails, putting in the time and effort to cross projects off their to-do lists. We wanted to remind them the satisfying idyllic summer moments are just around the corner, and that True Value can help them get there.” 



Competitor Ace Hardware is taking a decidedly different approach with its new “Helpful is Beautiful” campaign, which it says is the largest in its history. Aimed at women, TV spots spoof high-glitz cosmetic advertising, revealing that the color expertise it’s talking about isn’t lipstick or nail color, but … paint.

The campaign, from FCB in Chicago, is intended to steer shoppers to its 4,800-plus stores, as well as its new The Paint Studio, a website it is loaded with inspiration, painting tips and how-to wisdom. The campaign includes TV, radio, print, social, digital and point-of-sale. 

"For years, women have expressed loyalty to their favorite cosmetics brands and the inspiring shopping experience that comes along with it," says John Surane, marketing EVP, in a release from the hardware co-operative. "Ace and Valspar recognize the emotional response evoked by color and built the 'Helpful is Beautiful' campaign and The Paint Studio at Ace around this connection as a way to offer consumers a differentiating paint shopping experience.”

Valspar also features prominently in the new spring ads from rival Lowe’s, which is rolling out its Valspar Reserve Paint + Primer with HydroChroma Technology, a formulation it says is 40% more durable. Spots promoting the paint’s resistance to staining, scrubbing, and fading do so by targeting everybody’s favorite patsy: A struggling dad when mom’s traveling for business.

The Home Improvement Research Institute predicts that while real-estate sales may be cooling, gains in housing starts, household balance sheets and consumer confidence will power continued growth in home-improvement spending. It forecasts a 6.5% increase this year, with sales expected to reach $309 billion.

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