Ace Hardware to DIYers: Think Outside the Big Box


Just in case your weekend to-do list includes putting on a deck, adding a patio and building a playroom, the folks at Ace Hardware have a message for you: Get a life.

A campaign breaking this week from GSD&M Idea City, Austin, Texas, positions Ace as the place for quick home maintenance solutions, rather than the major, time-sucking ones which are better left to patrons of big box stores.

“This is part of our re-education of the consumer that we’re not a home improvement store,” said Ace vp, marketing John Surane. “Our core is about helpfulness and convenience.”

GSD&M has created an entire slate of marketing materials that range from a new Facebook page to TV and radio spots. All center around the theme that fixing up your house should be a quick and painless process and that Ace is the down-the-block hardware store for small jobs. Sample tweet: “If you crack open your window & see a hole or tear in the screen, we can help you fix it.”

The TV spots feature schlumpy-looking homeowners who each take a kind of oath (accompanied by a patriotic-sounding trumpet, natch) not to let their household projects get out of hand.

“This spring, I will not plan a yard project where I have to rent a bulldozer,” says one heavyset man. “I will not add an entire wing to my house,” pledges another middle-aged guy. Intones a third homeowner: “I will go to Ace and turn my to-do list into a to-done list.” At the end of the spots, the weekend warriors prepare to march off to more enjoyable pursuits. Golf, for example.

The light and slightly snarky message here, underscored by the tagline “Get in. Get help. Get on with your life,” is pretty obvious: If you don’t happen to be the second incarnation of Bob Vila, then Ace is your store.

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