Lowe’s asks Canadians to let their homes take care of them

The hardware retailer's new campaign aims to put a more positive spin on staying at home.

SidLee_Lowes_StayHome

When Lowe’s Canada started thinking about a campaign focused on staying home and keeping staff safe, it wanted to emphasize that in a positive way that fits with the brand’s role in the communities it serves.

The 30-second spot shows homeowners having a good time doing renovations with their family, friends and pets. The tagline is “after years of taking care of your home, it’s time to let your home take care of you,” making staying at home less of a government directive and more like an opportunity to enjoy the work people have put into their homes. The spot features branding from all of the banners Lowe’s owns in Canada, which also include Rona and Reno-Depot.

“The thought was we wanted to deliver and amplify the government’s message in a relevant way,” says Brian Gill, creative director at Sid Lee, which created the spot“Being an enabler for helping people take care of their homes, it’s interesting for us to kind of flip that on its side.”

Catherine Laporte, VP of marketing and e-commerce at Lowe’s Canada, says there’s really no playbook for marketing in this time, a sentiment shared across the industry. On the one hand brands need to strike the right tone during what is a stressful and uncertain time, as well avoid perceptions of trying to profiteer during a crisis; on the other, Canadians still need to do things like home repairs during social distancing, especially when inviting contractors into their home is inadvisable, according to most public health directives.

Laporte says some of the questions Lowe’s was asking itself, from a communications standpoint, were: What do we have to say to our customer? What are we trying to achieve?

“We wanted to reinforce the government messaging around staying home and staying safe. But yes, also show we are still able to be there for what you might need,” Laporte says, adding that the motivation within the organization was finding ways to serve its communities while keeping staff and customers safe. “Seeing the level of engagement within the organization around how important this was for us – for our store associates, for the people at head office, for our families and our communities – I felt, from a marketing standpoint, we needed to amplify that message and bring what was inside the organization, to the outside.”

Some additional initiatives Laporte notes that signal Lowe’s is “there” for its customers include free parcel shipping since March 16 and implementing curbside delivery March 26. Laporte adds that Lowe’s toned down and strayed away from doing anything related to promotional activity or product-related in this campaign.

“There were no categories we wanted to feature,” she says. “The goal was really just to connect with the customer and reinforce a message that was larger than our brand or product.”

When many companies have been scaling back or pausing their media spend, Laporte says Lowe’s actually amplified its media investment on various channels to ensure that this campaign was relevant to where the Lowe’s consumer was at this time. “We felt it was a great time to come out…[to] really have that courage of connecting with our customers,” she says.

The spot first aired on conventional and specialty TV on April 8, and will continue to do so until April 20, on top of radio and social media ads that launched this week.