AdWeek - With New ‘Do-It-For-Yourself’ Ad, Lowe’s Highlights the Joy of Redesigning Spaces

/ AdWeek By Kathryn Lundstrom

In an upbeat new ad, Lowe’s offers a playful, behind-the-scenes perspective on the satisfaction and joy that home improvement projects can create.

The scene opens with a woman standing in her dark bathroom, looking around thoughtfully. A metaphorical lightbulb flicks on, and she jumps into action—painting over the deep orange with a greenish hue that’s so light it’s almost white, replacing the corner shelving unit with some lighter hung shelves and swapping out the silver sink and tub hardware for gold.

After the project is finished, she glances around the room with a satisfied smile—and then starts dancing. She appears to make a TikTok (or some other short-form video) to show off the redesign, does some yoga and video chats from the tub, clearly in love with the new space. Then, as someone knocks on the door and shouts from outside the bathroom (“Honey? What are you doing in there?”), the spot ends with a message: “Don’t just do-it-yourself; do it for yourself.”

It comes at a time when so many of us are spending more time than ever before cooped up in our homes, and requiring different things from the space we live in. Our houses and apartments are no longer just places to relax at the end of the day or host friends; they’re also our offices, classrooms and gyms.

That—or the fact that we’re all just bored and stuck inside—can create the need for a little redecorating.

But rather than framing that process as a chore reserved for seasoned do-it-yourselfers, Lowe’s chief brand and marketing officer Marisa Thalberg said she wanted to inspire people who maybe hadn’t taken on any serious home improvement projects before. And starting with a small space like a bathroom felt like something accessible to a wide range of people, both in terms of the time and money it takes to redecorate.

“This idea of creating a little sanctuary that’s your happy place felt just incredibly resonant,” Thalberg said. “It’s not just the pride of project accomplished, but then the enjoyment of it afterwards that I think we’re uniquely capturing in this idea.”

While Lowe’s declined to give any sales numbers leading up to its second quarter earnings call next week, some surveys have shown that do-it-yourselfers are taking on more projects during quarantine—a good sign for the retailer. One Bank of America survey, for example, found that more than 70% of Americans have decided to tackle home improvement projects this year.

“Our business continues to be strong, and that is, for sure, a reflection of the fact that societally we are absolutely continuing to be focused on our homes,” said Thalberg.

Lowe’s serves two important purposes for consumers right now, she explained. First, it’s ensuring that consumers have “the functional parts of what you need to keep a home healthy and working well for you.” But it’s also about improving when circumstances require it, she said, to make spaces “better and adaptable.”

Adaptability is crucial right now in the midst of a back-to-school season that’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Parents are working to reorganize their homes to prepare for another stint of what’s likely going to include at least some at-home learning. And for many, that’s all while working from home themselves.

“That’s all propelling what’s happening in the home improvement industry right now, but for me, it goes beyond that to just give people both a sense of relatability and inspiration,” said Thalberg. “When we’re all looking for things to feel good about, the nice thing about this kind of idea is it’s a constructive way to do something yourself and to feel good about that, but to also do something for yourself and have the emotional benefits that we all need right now.”

The new spot will run on linear TV in a mix of family-friendly and highly viewed programming starting Monday. The campaign will take over the brand’s social feeds today, and it’s partnered with several home improvement influencers for promotion as well.