Rona and Réno Dépôt understand how good it feels to get outside this year

Who: Lowe’s Rona and Réno Dépôt brands, with Sid Lee and Starcom for media.

What: New advertising for both brands that focuses on helping people with home projects for spring while also communicating the options available in response to the COVID crisis—including online ordering, curb-side pickup and free delivery.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now until July 8, running on TV, online, radio and social media.

Why: Spring is always an important time for homeowners, but uniquely so in 2020 after so many people have been stuck inside and are still discouraged from travelling far from home. Lowe’s and Sid Lee wanted to capture that feeling for Rona and Réno Dépôt. “Both ads say you can stay safe at home, while you’re outside,” said Sid Lee creative director Brian Gill.

How: The Réno Dépôt ad uses recurring characters, including former NHLer and well-known media personality Dave Morrisette, who has been a Réno Dépôt spokesperson since 2018. The ad playfully shows how the four characters can garden together—though not really. “We usually see these people together, but this way you are seeing them together in a way that is kind of meta and laughs at the fact we can’t actually get together,” said Gill.

The Ontario ad meanwhile is a simpler concept, focusing on one man who is very, very happy to be outside and able to work on his home. “The Rona ad is just literal joy,” said Gill. “We didn’t want to take out the heartstrings and play the violin and go in that direction, we wanted it to feel as joyful a possible.”

Production during COVID: These were actual on-set shoots. “More than ever, production needs to be involved from the briefing stage up to creation in order evaluate the feasibility of the ideas,” said Marie-Christine Toupin, senior producer at Sid Lee. “On set, everything has to be planned. We even sorted out who was allowed to touch the coffee machine. We’re a long way from the old approaches to filming.”

And we quote: “With a limited number of people who can access the set, these constraints push us to explore new ways of collaborating with our agency and to show more creativity. We want to continue to support the social distancing message and show that we can enjoy the nice weather from our balconies, gardens and/or patios.”—Catherine Laporte, vice-president, marketing and e-commerce, Lowe’s Canada.

David Brown