Why Lowe’s took a consumer marketing approach to recruitment

The retailer is trying to be less stuffy and more friendly to reach Gen Z where they are.

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Lowe’s Canada is turning home reno projects gone horribly awry into public art to get Gen Z thinking about becoming summer employees.

Created in collaboration with creative agency Sid Lee, “Make Yourself Failproof,” features reno misfires like accidentally painting over clothes in a closet, or installing a toilet seat backwards. They are being presented as art exhibitions in three major cities, where they are presented with a QR code for applying directly for the various positions to be filled, but also shared on youth-friendly platforms like TikTok.

The “Make Yourself Failproof” campaign is informed by Sid Lee research that 88% of Gen Z students want to work for employers who give them access to training and growth opportunities. This campaign tap into this desire to learn by providing examples of the kind of home renovation fails that young people could avoid if they worked at Lowe’s, Rona or Réno-Dépôt.

“We’ve always done recruitment campaigns and spring is a huge season for us,” says Jacynthe Prince, director of brand engagement at Lowe’s Canada, adding that the company expects that to remain true this year as interest in renovations remains strong.

Lowe’s Canada intends to recruit about 5,000 new employees this year, and the campaign comes on the heels of its virtual national hiring event held in February.

“We are really targeting Gen Zs, whereas before we had a one-sized-fits-all approach,” Prince explains.

In fact, according to Prince, it’s treating this recruitment outreach as if it were any other Lowe’s consumer marketing campaign it’s done; however, it’s the first time it’s been this creative, while past approaches have been more “corporate” in nature.

Brian Gill, creative director at Sid Lee, concurs, adding that the target audience will appreciate being spoken to in a language they understand – one that’s not too stuffy and one that’s more friendly and accessible.

According to Gill, it’s also the first time Lowe’s has really tailored the message to work on the platforms where its target is. Specific pieces were made for TikTok, not online video in general.

The campaign will run until April 4. Starcom handled the media buy.