True Value “Duel”

Do-it-yourselfers get some advice from the “masters of all things hardwarian” in a new campaign from Marc for True Value. The ads attempt to cast employees as hero problem-solvers for the renovation set, but the invention of a new word to represent the magnitude of their expertise doesn’t do much to advance its new “Start right. Start here” message. Instead, it intensifies the forced feel of the overplayed theme. A customer verbally spars with a True Value clerk as they challenge each other with their “hardwarian” know-how.  The customer makes a commendable effort as he rattles off the steps to complete one project, but the True Value guy wins in the end and reminds him of one missing step. The tone is friendly in a student-meets-master way. But in the end, the customer seems more heroic than the employee. More believable and enjoyable is a second spot that shows a female employee discretely sharing tips with a confused shower grouter. –Eleftheria Parpis