Success Stories for Home Depot

By Steve Krajewski

DALLAS–The Richards Group here has launched a national print campaign for The Home Depot that puts the retailer’s customers front and center.

The first in a series of ads featuring Home Depot customers and their home improvement success stories has begun running in national publications including Time, with additional work expected to break throughout the summer.

Billings for the effort were undisclosed. The Atlanta-based company spent $115 million in measured media in 1996, up from $96.7 million in 1995, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

The agency would not disclose how long the campaign will run or how many ads will eventually make up the series. One insider indicated that ‘several ads’ are being developed under the ‘real people theme’ and that Home Depot executives are committed to the series, with additional advertising likely to run at least through year’s end.

Television work featuring customers is not believed to be in the mix at this time.

The first ad in the print series features Gary Gibson, an employee of The Richards Group, and his wife. A collage made up of a photo, a thank-you letter and a rough building diagram shows how the couple was able to build a deck for their wedding with help from a Home Depot employee.

The ad carries the headline, ‘Thanks to The Home Depot, this marriage started out on a firm foundation.’ Agency principal Scott Crockett said the Gibson ad was initially developed to present the concept and was later selected for use.

The campaign dovetails with the client’s ongoing strategy of featuring employees in its television ads. Crockett said the agency has hundreds of letters it can draw from to expand the customer success story theme. The Home Depot currently operates more than 500 stores in 34 states and 23 sites in three Canadian provinces.

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