Lowe’s hit series "The Weekender" is a story of transformation - and not just about each of the weekend DIY projects featured in the ongoing series. “How-To” videos had once been the mainstay of Lowe’s video department: the small video team produced huge volumes of solid “How-To” content, available mostly on YouTube, where the customer rarely returned to the Lowe’s site. As content evolved, the team identified a gap in their video strategy, and moved beyond "How-Tos” to storytelling content. First came a blog, Lowe's Creative Ideas. Then Lowe’s teamed with DIY designer Monica Mangin to complete a home office makeover for Season 9 Bachelorette, Desiree Hartsock. Eventually, the team started focusing on showing the content as part of a story and telling the story episodically. However, the rise of the millennial consumer posed a new challenge for Lowe’s: ad blocking.
Ad blocking is an issue amongst millennials in particular: 2 out of 3 millennials use an ad blocker on a desktop or mobile device and 14% use an ad blocker on both their desktop and mobile device, according to Anatomy Media. How, then, do you reach your audience if they are not seeing ads? For Lowe’s, the content became the answer, and The Weekender was born. Storytelling and episodic content authentic to the Lowe’s brand helped differentiate them in the marketplace. The concept of a brand producing a TV show was certainly radical in and of itself, but by distributing the show to streaming devices, Lowe’s was able to extend their reach to new audiences, especially millennials.
The Weekender is a show DIYers and millennials want to watch on YouTube or on streaming apps; because there is no advertising, Lowe’s knows that every download is a Lowe’s targeted person watching the show. Using Brightcove’s template for streaming apps, Lowe’s was able to get to market quickly. Reaching the “emerging consumer” via targeting, interesting creative, and storytelling content, Lowe’s is using Brightcove to segment its content and target it to different channels. They can curate what they want and where they want it, publishing some content on YouTube and other content on streaming apps. With The Weekender, Lowe’s has reached a new customer type and audience, and has given the company increased street credibility in terms of style to the average DIY homeowner.
How does the Lowe’s team rate the success of The Weekender? The results speak for themselves. Lowe’s launched its streaming app Lowe’s TV in 2016 and just completed the first season of The Weekender, pulling in more than 3 million views for the inaugural season.