JOHN MADDEN SHOOTS NEW SPOTS FOR ACE

Hardware Chain Hopes to Score With 'Monday Night Football'

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- John Madden's new job as ABC's Monday Night Football commentator apparently is
Photo: AP
Ace is still the place for John Madden, who will star in the hardware retailer's new commercials.
rebuilding his career in advertising.

Mr. Madden, long the face of Ace Hardware, is in the process of shooting new commericals that are planned to run during the games. Mr. Madden's role in Ace's advertising in recent years has been cut back, and most of his spots were run on radio.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, part of the Omnicom Group, won a pitch for the anticipated $30 million account earlier this year without using Mr. Madden, an executive involved in the situation said.

But with Mr. Madden's higher profile -- and a contract with Ace that doesn't expire until 2005 -- the retail cooperative hopes Mr. Madden will give the chain exposure to Monday Night Football's younger audience.

Media consolidation
In related news, the company today also

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consolidated its media business with Horizon Media. The independent media shop, which won the hardware chain's $40 million media buying business in December 2001, now has the account's planning duties.

Luring younger consumers is not the chain's only challenge. Ace, under increasing pressure from home improvement giants Home Depot and Lowe's, wants to move beyond its large customer base looking for last-minute, do-it-yourself supplies and its image as the place to pick a single nail on a Sunday afternoon, an executive involved in the marketing said.

Tagline unresolved
The Ace spokeswoman said it was undetermined at this time the date the new ads would break, and whether the long-running Ace tag line, "Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man," will continue.

Ace, founded in 1924, is a retailer-owned cooperative with 5,000 stores in 72 nations.

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