Home Hardware tries to out-do Santa

The retailer positions itself as a holiday shopping destination for things other than tools.
Out Santa Santa Campaign

By Jack Hopkins

Keeping customers’ focus is twice as hard during the holidays, so Home Hardware is poking a bit of fun at one of the season’s biggest personalities to stand out and showcase its versatility during a hectic time of year for consumers.

In the retailer’s new “Come Home for Christmas” campaign and ad called “Out-Santa Santa,” opens to a classic Christmas scene: Santa Claus putting gifts under a glittering tree. It takes a turn when he suddenly seems crestfallen, as neatly-wrapped presents are already under the tree and a portrait of the house’s residents includes a youthful Santa lookalike – they have Christmas all set, thanks to a visit to Home Hardware.

“[This campaign] acknowledges that Christmas is a busy time,” says Home Hardware’s VP of marketing, Rob Wallace. “We want to provide that ad that taps into this consumer behaviour, that says ‘you might be time-starved, so in one easy place, let our dealers help you scratch everything off your Christmas list.’” This campaign’s marketing strategy includes an emphasis on its product variety beyond the home improvement category it is best known for, or the product assortment in the “Christmas” section that sprouts up on its website at this time of year. Examples of this include kids’ toys, home decor, beauty products and appliances.

Wallace stresses that the independent retailer has always differentiated its brand by focusing on “helping” customers, and this campaign was a playful way to bring that to life. Over the past 18 months, the retailer has been focusing its marketing strategy on reaching younger, millennial families that are newer to the world of home ownership, while still maintaining a connection with longtime customers.

The multimedia campaign includes print, digital, social, TV and radio. “Our media plan that supports the campaign is designed to reach Canadians in a more targeted way, extending beyond our core customer,” says Wallace. This holiday spot ad will feature prominently, as Wallace hopes that its humour is “a fun and creative reminder” of how the brand is maintaining the tradition of its holiday pitch – its “Come Home for Christmas” tagline was reintroduced from two decades ago – amidst the evolution of the brand.

Wallace says sharing the local executions spearheaded by its network of local store owners is also part of its digital strategy. “Dealers across the country build fabulous in-store displays. When they highlight those on their local social media, we amplify them.” The campaign also includes influencer posts, who show how they used the retailer for their holiday preparations.

The campaign was led by John St. on creative, with PHD handling media.