It’s Tool Time For Barbara K

About 1.3 million women will have bought homes in the U.S. by year’s end, according to the National Association of Realtors, up 42 percent from 2001—a telling indicator that do-it-herself may be a marketing idea whose time has come. Now, Barbara Kavovit, former construction exec and creator of tools for women, will showcase her products to a national audience via a new campaign for her Barbara K brand by McCaffery Ratner Gottlieb & Lane.

The New York shop breaks the effort today. In a chatty 30-second spot, Kavovit touts her tool kit before an animated house while fixing various parts. “Working in construction taught me that enhancing your home takes the right tools and imagination,” she says, adding that her tools “feel great in a woman’s hand. … The imagination: You provide.” The tools have lighter weights and softer grips than those normally found in hardware stores.

The company has placed $1.5 million in cable spot buys in New York, San Francisco and Chicago. A print ad for the brand, which launched in April and is sold through retailers such as Macy’s and QVC, is similar to the TV spot in style.

“Nothing about the ergonomics of home-repair tools is designed for women,” said Candace Corlett, partner at New York retail consultancy WSL Strategic Retailer. “To develop that connection with women as the source for home repair is huge.”

Tomboy Tools and Rubbermaid both sell female-centric products, but Tomboy is sold exclusively online, and Rubbermaid products fall into the Tupperware category.