Lowe’s gets funny about its product assortment

The retailer adopts a humorous tone for both its Lowe's and Rona banners ahead of a busy spring reno season.

rona-campaign(“So many choices at a good price, it will make people jealous.”)

Lowe’s is adopting a jovial tone ahead of what it expects to be a very busy home reno season, with two product assortment-heavy spots.

For its Rona banner, it is taking a clever tack again with the theme of jealously – and the literal embodiment of the grass being greener on the other side of the fence. A spot uses CCTV-like footage to show interlopers making themselves at home on someone else’s property, with supplementary OOH showingnosy people coveting their neighbour’s riding mowers, grills and patio furnishings over a fence.

“People are very proud of their grills and their lawn mowers,” Jacynthe Prince, director, brand engagement at Lowe’s Canada. And that, she says, is an insight that the retailer leaned into as a concept that’s both fun and highly relatable.

Rona has typically been positioned as more of a “funny” brand, Prince explains – an approach that typically works well with audiences in Quebec. Lowe’s, which purchased Rona in 2016, has usually adopted more of a happy-but-serious tone, with an optimistic approach to projects that are important to people and their homes.

However, with this year’s omnichannel campaign, created in partnership with Sid Lee, the retailer is looking to entertain in a difficult time – albeit to similar, yet, distinct audiences.

This means, Prince says, continuing to capture the Rona more clever brand essence: for example, in previous campaigns, having fun with Rona’s DIY target audience and getting them out of the house as that brand tilts a bit more toward the contactor with its lumber yard offerings, for example. Rona’s dealer model means there’s more variety in its network, such as small-format stores and building materials offerings, which has given it a legacy with the DIY and professional contracting set.

The Lowe’s banner, by contrast, has a more mainstream approach, reflecting a more uniform Lowe’s experience compared with Rona is more diversified, dealer network stores.

This year, Lowe’s went with the theme “Don’t let spring catch you off guard” to encourage consumers to do their spring and summer shopping early. The spots are meme/Fail Army-style videos that include a toddler accidentally spraying himself with a garden hose, and sheepish dog muddying up a shower. And like the Rona spot, it concludes with product assortment.

“Spring is our busiest season, and it’s important to show assortment and great value,” Prince says.

There are also a number of media integrations for Lowe’s, such as on HGTV and on Breakfast Television with personality Frank Ferragine (aka Frankie Flowers) and TVA’s Salut Bonjour. An additional activation includes remote radio on location to support the ad campaigns this weekend and also the May 24 weekend offering consumer discounts.

The investment is “at the height our our ambitions,” Prince says, and that spring reno season is like Christmas for the brand.

Lowe’s recently took a humorous consumer marketing approach to its spring hiring drive, aimed at younger, more casual DIYers, showing home reno projects gone wrong, like toilet seats installed backwards. The recruitment program, Prince says, is going pretty well but it doesn’t have exact numbers yet.