HF&A Crafts First Ads For Carter Lumber

The Carter Lumber chain has operated in the Midwest for more than 66 years, using minimal advertising in growing from a modest base in Kent, Ohio, into a network of nearly 200 stores in 10 states.
But the marketplace has changed in recent years as home center superstores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s have gobbled up market share at the expense of independent and smaller operators.
Carter this week logs its first concerted response to those changes with a multimedia branding campaign from Hitchcock Fleming & Associates in Akron, Ohio.
Carter, which had never worked with an outside agency, brought in HF&A last fall. The shop conducted research that showed that “the pros thought of Carter as a do-it-yourselfer store; the DIYs think it’s a store for the trades,” said David McCafferty, HF&A director of account management.
As a result, Carter’s first 30-second TV spot, breaking today in selected Midwest markets, primarily in Ohio, purposely plays to both audiences. “From the first professional contractors at the crack of dawn to the do-it-yourselfers who drop in all day long, what makes it so easy to shop at Carter Lumber?” asks a voiceover, set against fast-motion visuals of customers loading pickup trucks and minivans with merchandise. The spot is tagged, “The easy way to home improvement.”
The buy includes Fox baseball broadcasts and local cable, as well as outdoor, in-store merchandising and print. Direct marketing materials to contractors use “We’ll come to you” as a tagline.