Lowe's Canada Uses an Exhibit of Epic DIY Fails to Recruit Workers

A museum-quality response to a labor shortage

In a world that tracks gains, why not highlight your museum-quality failures instead? That's the path Lowe's Canada is taking to recruit workers amid the country's labor shortage.

Intent on hiring 5,000 employees this year, Lowe's Canada and Sid Lee launched "Make Yourself Fail-proof," a recruitment campaign targeting Gen Z.

The campaign crux is "The Hall of Fail" exhibit, where disastrous DIY projects take center stage in a museum-like setting... inside a mall. The summary of each piece always has the artist wondering what could have been, had they actually learned DIY skills by working at a Lowe's, RONA or Réno-Dépôt.

"Lowe's wanted to offer more than just the typical job perks," says Joëlle Laferrière, creative copywriter, and Joanna Chrysocheris, senior art director at Sid Lee. "They wanted to give Gen Z an opportunity to acquire useful skills that would help them get further in life. With that in mind, we decided to create a series of fails that would prove that learning as you go has its limits. Training has always been part of Lowe's onboarding process. Not only do all new employees get training when they begin, but they also get paid for it."

The exhibition was held from Feb. 25 to March 2 at Galeries de la Capitale in Quebec City.

Renovation failures included painting your closet shutters while your clothes are inside, installing a toilet seat upside down, placing three single light switches next to one another, and resurrecting invisible bookshelves with a little duct tape.

Click the images to enlarge and scroll through:

Copy describing artist renderings includes a QR code that takes job seekers to open positions and the option to schedule an in-person or online interview.

The shelf disaster, dubbed "Barely Holding On" (aren't we all?), is done in the duct tape on wood motif. It's an "ode to universal solutions and those who stand firmly behind their decisions. Since becoming fail-proof takes time, the artist invites us to imagine what could have been if she had been working at Lowe's, RONA or Réno-Dépôt."

"Online, we connected with Gen Z through TikTok ads that would blend seamlessly into the platform by using the same codes, tone and type of music," the creatives tell Muse. "We knew it was a gamble not to use the more traditional pipeline [of advertising], but we decided that the way to go with this initiative was to focus mainly on location and foot traffic. We knew that Gen Z gathers in malls to hang out, so we decided to make sure we were at the right place, at the right time."

The campaign will run through April 4, with local and regional recruitment events held through early April.


Client – Lowe’s Canada
Vice President, Marketing: Catherine Laporte
Director, Brand Engagement: Jacynthe Prince
Head of Marketing, Corporate and Affiliate Dealer Initiatives: Audrey Quenneville
Marketing Coordinator: Éric Simard
Marketing Project Manager: Christiane Rochon
National Director of Talent Acquisition: Nadine Chiasson
Manager - Talent Acquisition: Marc Larouche

Creative Agency: Sid Lee
Executive Creative Director: Alex Bernier
Creative Director: Brian Gill
Creative team: Joëlle Laferrière and Joanna Chrysocheris
English adaptation: Julia St-Jean Maron
Content creation: Andréane Voyer
Account Services directors: Thalie Poulin, Audrey Ouellette
Account Services team: Catherine Lemoyne, Camille Moreau
Strategy Director: John Pankert
Strategy team: Laurianne Normandin, Sophie Gibeault
Production team: Marie-Soleil Patry, Catherine Ducharme, Laurence-Étienne Hillman, Vanessa Gauthier
Videographers/Producers: Thomas Fortier, Daniel Daigle
Editors: Myriam St-Aubin, Daniel Daigle
Assistant Editor: Sonya Nadon

TikTok videos
Actors: Marianne Salvan, Andawa Laveau, Jeremyah Mogni
Artistic Stage Director: Manuel Charbonneau
Set Technician: Jonathan Bannier
Mix: Cult Nation
Music: “Drill City” by Sam Avant, Cult Nation
Media agency: Starcom
Media Planning Director: Valérie Jolivet
Media planning: Pierre Nallet
Stunt design: Atelier Escouade

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