RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Home Depot vs. Lowe’s

Discussion
From "Holidays at The Home Depot"
Dec 13, 2017
George Anderson

A strong housing market has buoyed the performance of both Home Depot and Lowe’s this year. Even hurricanes benefitted the home improvement giants, which posted incremental gains during the third quarter.

Home Depot’s same-store sales increased 7.9 percent in the third quarter, well above the 5.9 percent expected by analysts, as hurricane-related sales added $282 million in revenues to its top line. Lowe’s same-store sales increased 5.7 percent as hurricane-related purchases were estimated to be in the $200 million neighborhood.

While Christmas may not be as critical to the annual performance of the two chains as the spring cleanup and planting season, that doesn’t mean Home Depot and Lowe’s are complacent when it comes to trying to attract customers for the holidays.

Home Depot’s “Holidays” spot talks to the “doers of Christmas.” The commercial looks at all the ways the chain can help customers celebrate the holidays — with lights and ornaments, appliances for making feasts, do-it-yourself classes and more. “Together,” the voice-over claims, “we make the magic happen.”

Lowe’s “Snowman” reaches out to its customers with humor. The spot follows a family’s reaction at the moment they realize their “snowman is melting and he’s not made of snow.” Lowe’s, of course, can help address the crisis.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How would you compare the appeal of Home Depot’s “Holidays” to Lowe’s “Snowman”? Which do you think does a better job of connecting with each company’s core customers while reaching out to new shoppers?

Braintrust
"Home Depot does a good job of tying in their basic theme/message with a holiday twist. One of the best this season."
"The Lowe’s commercial does a better job talking to core consumers. It’s specific as to its function and provides solutions for relatable situations."
"I’m working deep in this category right now and I am neck deep in research and shopper insights. They are both struggling to attract the younger set."

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21 Comments on "RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Home Depot vs. Lowe’s"


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Tom Dougherty
BrainTrust

Lowe’s is the more compelling ad, but I don’t think either creates much in the way of preference. Home Depot’s focus on “doers” is right, but “we make the magic happen” should be “YOU make the magic happen.”

Max Goldberg
BrainTrust

My vote goes to Home Depot, with the wish that their spot had been more inclusive of other religions. The spot captures the spirit of Christmas, while the offering from Lowe’s falls flat, failing to be funny or touching.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Lowe’s ad is reasonable, but there’s nothing special about it. It just feels like any other Lowe’s spot throughout the year, albeit with a focus on festive products.

Home Depot’s effort is much better. It has emotion and smartly links lots of different products — not just decorations — to the holiday season.

For me, Home Depot nailed it and is my winner!

Kevin Graff
BrainTrust

Lowe’s: we’ll give you a short laugh … then sell you something! Not bad, but not very unique or compelling.

Home Depot: touches on the experience of the holidays and builds emotion. That’s the big hammer brick-and-mortar retailers need to swing to survive.

Winner by a landslide …. Home Depot!

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

My vote goes to Home Depot. The Lowe’s ad focused just on decorations and really didn’t feature the warmth we have come to expect in holiday ads. The Home Depot ad showed numerous ways they could be part of a family’s Christmas. Admittedly the ad’s longer length allowed it to include more scenes.

Molly Nichols
Guest

Agreed! Showing all the different ways Home Depot can be incorporated into family traditions and the holiday did much better than Lowe’s.

W. Frank Dell II
BrainTrust

Home Depot does a good job of tying in their basic theme/message with a holiday twist. It provides a message that helps get Christmas decorations up and offers gift ideas. One of the best this season.

Art Suriano
BrainTrust

To me, Lowe’s is the winner. Its ad is cute and happy; it quickly tells me who the brand is along with why I should visit Lowe’s for Christmas decorations and projects. With all the ads running this holiday season “less is more,” and they stand a better chance of the viewer identifying with the company and seeing the advantages of shopping at Lowe’s along with the 15 percent off Disney products offer.

Home Depot used the ad style you see more of today with their ad agency reaching for something that only the ad agency understands. It took too much ad time for the brand to appear. The music was almost annoying and not engaging. So my vote goes to the Lowe’s commercial.

Molly Nichols
Guest

I watched the ads with subtitles rather than sound … maybe not hearing the Home Depot jungle has made me sway more towards them.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

Home Depot for the win! It wasn’t the most magical advertisement, but between the two, Home Depot does connect and resonate with the audience about the magic of the season.

Lowe’s ad is quite functional and plays out like their typical advertisements, but with some holiday decorations and themes.

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

I agree with the consensus that the Home Depot ad is more effective. There’s nothing especially wrong with Lowe’s focus on holiday decor, but nothing compelling about it either, when it comes to building an emotional connection.

The Home Depot ad, in contrast, promotes a “hands-on” holiday season with some welcome warmth and focus on the family, It also includes frequent appearances by categories like major appliances, in case shoppers need reminding that the store sells a lot more than tools and hardware.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
BrainTrust

While Home Depot’s 110 second ad has some emotional connection, I vote for the Lowe’s 30 second spot. It is direct and solves a real holiday decoration problem. Plus, it offers savings on Disney holiday decorations.

Laura Davis-Taylor
BrainTrust

I’m working deep in this category right now and I am neck deep in research and shopper insights. They are both struggling to attract the younger set. Lowe’s still struggles to deliver against that female buyer — often the gift purchasers. Omnichannel is an imperative. Emotions and CX are secret weapons. Where are these core planks represented? I worked at the agency that did the Lowe’s commercial and they are top notch — but they also have to serve their client, so there’s no way to judge the work as just “on them.”

Both spots suffice … but I agree with Tom. Neither drives preference — and I wonder if either will drive trips. And in the end, that’s what they are supposed to do.

Joy Chen
BrainTrust

The Lowe’s ad does a better job in conveying a problem’s solution, and the Lowe’s brand comes up early in the ad which creates brand recognition. Additionally, it has a call to action at the end with the percentage off.

The Home Depot ad could have been an ad for any company that sells furniture/appliances, and it is not until the end when the Home Depot name comes up so you know what it is for.

Yoav Vilner
BrainTrust
1 month 5 days ago

Neither of the two ads stands out. I think both ads could have been much better. Home Depot’s could have been more original since it is too similar to the many Christmas ads we see on screen every day, while Lowe’s could have been funnier. If I have to vote for one, my vote goes to Home Depot. Their ad is more touching and it better represents the Christmas spirit.

Molly Nichols
Guest

Home Depot went for the heart while Lowe’s went for humor. Both capture an undeniable core part of Christmas. I think Home Depot did a better job of staying loyal to their customers and reaching new ones — they captured so much more of the holiday! Lowe’s added discount on the end which also seemed unnecessary.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust
Finally, two ads that tell us who they’re from right up front. That’s an excellent start for both. But only a start. The Home Depot ad gets entirely lost mid-way through baking cookies and an entire range of activities unrelated to any reason to go to Home Depot or even retain their name in your mind. In fact, Home Depot disappears for the bulk of the ad before re-appearing at the end. Cut to appropriate TV time (this is WAAAY too long), the ad will achieve some things. But it’s also lost. Did the creative forget how Home Depot makes its money? The Lowe’s ad stays on target all the way through and is :30 in length. But it remains mundane and uninspiring after a good start. It will help drive some near term activity with clear messages that you can get lights, trees and decorations at Lowe’s. Yet it leaves out anything inspiring. Which wins? Lowe’s — because it stays on task while Depot fails in the way most of these holiday ads have… Read more »
Carlos Arambula
BrainTrust

The Home Depot ad is a generic season message, it could be MasterCard, Sears, any financial organizations, in short, any category celebrating the holidays. For that reason alone it’s not a good connection to Home Depot’s core customers. As far as reaching out to new customers, I think the seasonal message will get lost in a clutter of similar ads.

The Lowe’s commercial does a better job talking to core consumers. It’s specific as to its function and provides solutions for relatable situations for any consumer. Additionally, the commercial is part of the Lowe’s campaign. The same platform (“the moment you realize…”) has been used by the brand throughout the year, so core consumers will now immediately it’s a Lowe’s message.

Rich Kizer
Guest

Hmmm. I had to watch each twice. My take away? In the first fifteen seconds of the Home Depot spot I thought I was watching a Canadian Tire commercial — which are long-time favorites of mine. Then realizing it was Home Depot, I had a sense of them merely and quickly throwing gift ideas at me. The Lowe’s commercial I thought was kind of silly in the first fifteen seconds (I’m sure that is just me), but at least they addressed real urgent problems this close to the holiday, and targeted the fact they had items to fix things. My score book? This one goes to Target! That’s my ten cents, and yes, I know, they have never built a statue to a critic!

Mohamed Amer
BrainTrust

The Home Depot’s spot is chock full of so many instances of doer’s that it felt like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant. Not very effective and leaves you overwhelmed.

Lowe’s video opens by poking fun at the customer and suggesting that the right results will happen if you make Lowe’s your first stop for the holidays. I don’t believe it was sufficiently convincing leaving one underwhelmed.

Nothing here to attract new customers or even differentiate each store chain. I think I’ll take a pass on these two videos (but not the brands).

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

Hands down, Home Depot! Lowes was just a commercial. No magic of Christmas there. For my 2 cents

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Home Depot does a good job of tying in their basic theme/message with a holiday twist. One of the best this season."
"The Lowe’s commercial does a better job talking to core consumers. It’s specific as to its function and provides solutions for relatable situations."
"I’m working deep in this category right now and I am neck deep in research and shopper insights. They are both struggling to attract the younger set."

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