Lowe’s earlier this 12 months renewed a partnership with the NFL that originated in 2019. In addition to continuing because the league’s official home improvement partner, the marketer’s multi-year deal makes it an official community improvement partner, as well. Both titles play into the house improvement retailer’s latest campaign, which debuts today (Sept. 7), hours before the NFL season kicks off with a game between the Detroit Lions and the defending Super Bowl champion, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The campaign includes 15- and 30-second TV commercials, in-store signage, digital and radio promoting, in-store audio and social media support. Plus, consumers in select markets can pick up a limited-edition DIY Wrist Coach accessory that substitutes home improvement ideas where a quarterback keeps a conveyable list of plays.
Central to the campaign is a new spot created by Deutsch LA that features three NFL players — Christian McCaffrey, Travis Kelce and Dak Prescott — which are a part of the recently revamped roster for Lowe’s Home Team, a community-focused effort that launched in 2020. In the ad, Lowe’s employees help the players as McCaffrey works to change into the “MVP of sinks,” Prescott prepares to paint a room in “Dallas Cowboy navy” and Kelce runs some drills — with an actual drill.
The humorous campaign sees Lowe’s working to maximize its partnership with the league and its star players, and caps off a 12 months of change for the corporate. Lowe’s in January in-housed operations and sales for its retail media network, just months after a broader September 2022 reorganization that saw chief brand and marketing officer Marisa Thalberg exit the corporate, with Lowe’s veteran Jen Wilson taking up as senior vice chairman of enterprise brand and marketing.
In an interview with Marketing Dive, Wilson shared the pondering behind the NFL partnership and campaign, opened up in regards to the company’s retail media plans and explained how the marketing reorganization is paying off for the corporate.
The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
MARKETING DIVE: What are the forces driving Lowe’s renewed partnership with the NFL?
JEN WILSON: There are just a few necessary things that we thought of. First was how necessary the NFL and the live audience and reach was to our business and to our stakeholders, each our DIYers and our pros. The undeniable fact that we’re able to reach such a large and live audience so directly has been imperative for us. We see those numbers not only growing and accelerating, specifically for the DIY market, but in addition for pros as well.
We really leverage this relationship to reach that wide audience, but in addition the undeniable fact that now we have community in common in a giant way between the NFL and Lowe’s. We’re proud to be the official community improvement partner with the NFL, which is new this 12 months. That is a shared commonality around wanting to rebuild communities across the country. It just made sense by way of who we are attempting to reach.
How did that partnership influence this new campaign?
WILSON: When it comes to how we’re going to maximize this partnership. One of the things we’re most enthusiastic about, as a component of how we stand this partnership up, is through what we call the Lowe’s Home Team. We’re excited not only to refresh the roster, but then to really endemically bring these players to life.
When we expect in regards to the role of the Home Team, it’s two parts. First, we see the “home team” of Lowe’s as being a team of experts and partners who’ve your back — we’re here. That’s the inspiration of our “Lowe’s Knows” campaign that is live today: You’ve got someone, an ally in your corner, who’s here to give you the expertise.
In our research was this unique insight, as we goal millennial homeowners specifically, that they view players as one in every of them, and despite the fact that they’re pros on the sphere, the truth is they’re homeowners at home. They are sometimes picking up the drill for the primary time or taking up a paint project for the primary time, and there was something really relatable, especially for millennial homeowners who look up to these skilled athletes and say, “They don’t know the way to do it either. Well, even in the event that they don’t know the way to do it, that provides me confidence. We’re on the identical playing field, and Lowe’s may be here to support me through that, just as they’re supporting the professionals through that.”
That’s really the image that we wanted to paint as we thought of bringing this Home Team to life. The cherry on top for us was introducing this DIY wrist coach. We thought it was a clever way to bring product plays to life. You’ll see that in select markets that we’ll offer through stores, after which online.
How does Lowe’s approach finding the proper members of the Home Team roster?
WILSON: First and foremost is, they by-and-large align to our price systems. That’s a giant a part of why we’re renewing with the NFL to begin with, is that have they got a passion for helping to support the communities wherein they live. That’s a extremely necessary piece to us, because our brand is dedicated to being here for the communities that we serve.
The second one is just this general idea of relatability. It doesn’t have to necessarily be likability — it’s the power to relate to them, whether or not they’re on the sphere or off the sphere. The fact you could see them as human was really necessary to us. We got a whole lot of great feedback on these players, particularly from a research group that we entertained.
The last piece is that there is this kind of “it factor” because it relates to different individuals with what they bring about to the table. With Christian McCaffrey, who, irrespective of whether he’s in Charlotte, or if he’s in San Francisco, he just has a component of respect and profound connection to the military that is really “it” for our brand. The undeniable fact that he cares so deeply in regards to the military aligns to how deeply we care. We searched for what that sort of “it” factor was amongst all of those players. Some of it also is just what team do they play for me? [With Dak Prescott] everybody likes — well, not everybody, but a whole lot of people like — the Dallas Cowboys. [laughs]
How is the in-housing of One Roof Media Network playing out for the brand’s retail media efforts?
WILSON: We talked about in our last earnings call: We’re on the right track to exceed expectations for our retail media network this 12 months. We’ve got great engagement from a few of our absolute top vendors, all the way in which down to small folks who’re participating for the primary time. In part, that is because these advertisers have the power to reach first-party data that they’ve not necessarily had access to across our brand.
As we take into consideration next steps, opening up new channel opportunities for our vendor partners who’re involved is on the radar. In-store audio is an example, opening up that as a revenue driver, but in addition as a chance for these vendors to give you the option to hear their advertisements when folks are shopping their store.
How has putting marketing under merchandising as a part of last 12 months’s reorganization affected marketing priorities?
WILSON: I feel integrating inside merchandising and inside the business has been an enormous opportunity for this organization. To see the ability of what comes out of the work consequently of that, and fully aligning to how we drive the business forward has already begun to repay in dividends.
As you consider the various priorities on this macroenvironment, one in every of the most important focus areas that continues to be for us and can proceed to remain as we go searching the corner is anchoring in on value. The way that we actually define value is value beyond price. We take into consideration things like this incredible campaign that we pulled together that actually depicts our red vest associates on the core of the worth proposition that we provide the buyer. It’s not all the time only a deal, or it is not all the time just selling some new brand. It’s also that now we have expertise and empathetic associates in our stores who can motivate you to tackle the subsequent project.
That’s our job as brand advocates: to bring that out of the work. Hopefully, that is what you are seeing [in this campaign], despite the fact that there’s some humor in it, you are also unlocking this concept of “Lowe’s Knows” and the expertise in partnership.
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