Even though he’s appearing on a prime time, national television commercial, Beyond Hardware True Value owner Matt Shapiro hasn’t gone Hollywood.
“I have to admit, I did very little besides show up and read my lines,” he said.
Shapiro, co-owner of stores in Canandaigua and Penfield, N.Y., and more than 20 other real True Value hardware store owners performed in the commercial by showing off their personalities, their storefronts (through the magic of technology) and their passion for the hardware business.
The TV spots employ quick editing that jump from store to store and feature owners completing each others’ sentences — especially the line: “We’re all different, but we’re all the same.” The 30-second spots ran in prime time in April and May, and are coming back for an encore performance in October.
Director of marketing Blake Fohl said there were several strategies behind the commercial. The co-op sought to showcase the true stars of hardware and to build the perception of the brand as a collection of local business people. “Your brand really lives and comes to life with the store and the people in the store,” he said. “Why not make them the center of the campaign?”
Casting for the commercials took place at the co-op’s Fall Market, as dealers were invited to line up and look into the camera. The casting team, a combination of True Value executives and agency professionals, were looking for retailers with a variety of accents and a consistent passion. With 200 retailers lined up for their turn to read and make eye contact, casting wasn’t easy, Fohl said. “Believe me, there were very few people who did not have passion.”
One of those passionate performers was Karen Duggan of Horn’s True Value.
“The idea was letting customers look at our stores and see that we may all look different, the stores might be different, but we are the same in how we do business and what we are trying to achieve,” she said.
For the participants in the commercial, the results were pretty consistent, too — a steady stream of recognition in the local market.
“It did generate a lot of customer response and excitement. People would say