Lowe’s helps ‘American Idol’ singers build home stages for season finale

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Lowe’s teamed up with ABC’s “American Idol” to help contestants trick out their home stages in advance of last night’s season finale, the retailer said in a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
  • The home improvement company donated and shipped the products to let contestants build their own stages at home to record their finale performances during quarantine.
  • As part of the episode, the contestants showed off how they designed their DIY projects to fit their style. The retailer handed out more than 500 items to these singers with products including patio furniture, gardening supplies and lighting. Lowe’s trend and style expert Caroline Harmon was featured on the chain’s social channels to show fans how she helped these contestants build out their spaces.

Dive Insight:

Lowe’s TV integration and social media campaign allows the brand to connect with consumers in an organic fashion while expanding its messaging to “American Idol” fans. The show’s audience has grown to almost 7.5 million viewers under lockdown, per The Hollywood Reporter, and Lowe’s capitalized on the opportunity to court these loyal viewers during the finale through an integration that demonstrates how people can easily revamp their home with its products.

By bringing Lowe’s products into the “American Idol” TV show, the company is illustrating fun and creative ways to improve consumers’ homes without giving a hard sell on inventory. Even as restrictions ease in some places, most people are still spending the majority of time at home. Some are using this time to improve their spaces and share photos of their projects on social media, helping to spur sales lifts at home improvement stores.

Lowe’s is humanizing its social media presence by creating ongoing content with Caroline Harmon, starting with illustrating how she helped “American Idol” contestants upgrade their homes into performance centers for the show’s remote filming. The chain has doubled down on efforts to engage consumers on social media during the pandemic. Last month, Lowe’s ran a campaign encouraging people to use supplies laying around the house to create yard signs showing cheerful messages in support of essential workers. Lowe’s committed to spending $100 million to support its community as part of the #BuildThanks effort.

The “American Idol” integration is the second effort under the direction of new marketing leadership. Marisa Thalberg, former CMO of Taco Bell, joined the home improvement company as CMO in February. Thalberg is credited with transforming Taco Bell into a lifestyle brand with popular offerings that go beyond fast food, including merchandise, wedding services and a hotel. Lowe’s branding appears to be moving in a similar direction through these platforms that encourage connection and community involvement over product sales.

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