Lowe’s presents a gallery of home reno fails

Who: Lowe’s Canada, with Sid Lee for strategy and creative, Starcom for media.

What: “Make Yourself Failproof,” an employee recruitment campaign that shows how by working for Lowe’s people can gain home renovation/project expertise that will last them forever.

When & Where: It’s in market now, running through April 4 across out-of-home, digital and social (TikTok and Instagram). A temporary exhibit called “The Hall of Fail” also appeared at Quebec City’s Galeries de la Capitale shopping mall from Feb. 25 to March 2.

Why: The worker shortage caused by the “great resignation” has left companies scrambling to fill job vacancies. At one point last year, there were one million open positions across the country, a number that slipped to 874,000 in January. The retailer is trying to recruit 5,000 new employees this year, and the campaign is intended to set it apart from other employers by emphasizing how it provides opportunities for growth and learning.

How: The campaign presents funny “fails” from everyday household projects as works of art, bearing names like “The Impossible Toilet” (in which the seat and lid have been reversed), “Leaving a Mark” (a set of painted closet doors in which the paint has seeped through the slats to leave marks on the clothes behind) and “Barely Holding On,” a crooked shelf that has been affixed to the wall using duct tape.

Each renovation failure features a brief description of the project, the “artist” and the materials used, accompanied by the message “We’re hiring. And we train.” There is also a QR code that takes them to the Lowe’s hiring page. A short video running on Instagram and TikTok entitled “How not to paint your closet” shows how the “Leaving a Mark” exhibit came to be.

Sid Lee said research indicates that young people in particular want to work with employers who offer them training and growth opportunities. “We have also observed a growing interest among young people in home renovation, hence the  rationale for this training-focused campaign with a self-deprecating tone, which is commonly used by this segment on TikTok and Instagram,” said Joëlle Laferrière, copywriter at Sid Lee.

And we quote: “Training is a priority for us, so we make sure to offer comprehensive training to everyone who joins our teams. Working in one of our stores is a great opportunity for people to gain knowledge that will benefit them all their lives. Sid Lee has captured this notion well through these creative and impactful activations.” —Nadine Chiasson, director, talent acquisition, Lowe’s Canada.

Chris Powell