Lowe’s and BBDO Want to ‘Make Your Home Happy’ With Help From Talking Animals

Home improvement chain rebrands under new CMO

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Talking animals are a reliable comic advertising staple that Lowe's is embracing, with a twist, in its new campaign from BBDO New York, which introduces a new theme, "Make Your Home Happy," and hopes in part to hook millennials who are buying their first homes.

The twist is that the animals are plastic household objects like lawn ornaments and refrigerator magnets. The first three 15-second spots rolled out Tuesday, with more ads, including :30s, expected soon.

Check out those first spots here:

Marci Grebstein, a former Food Lion and Staples exec who joined Lowe's as vp of advertising last summer and was promoted to CMO in November, told Adweek that the home-improvement chain is moving from more practical, how-to style ads to more emotional messaging in the new work.

"We've been very good at helping customers find solutions to a project need," she said. "Now we want to drive a more emotional connection." The humorous work is also designed to appeal to an emerging customer base of younger and more diverse consumers while not alienating older, established customers.

Grebstein said the messaging is grounded in what she called "proof points," which give consumers real reasons to shop at Lowe's. For example, one spot focuses on Lowe's one-year guarantee on plants, easing the fears of homeowners who might be worried that trying to garden without much knowhow is a wasted investment.

BBDO helped the brand work on strategic positioning before even getting around to the creative, Grebstein said. When time came for a creative approach, agency and client tested several concepts before settling on this one.

The voice actors improvised a number of lines during the recording sessions, and so Lowe's made alternate versions of the spots for social that will look different than the TV work.

Fans of Lowe's "Fix in Six" Vine videos and its "Hypermade" Instagram videos will also be pleased to hear that the brand is prepping more innovative social work that will break in April. Grebstein described those kinds of engaging videos as "educating with a bit of entertainment." 

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.