Hornbach Takes a Sledgehammer to Female Stereotypes in a Serious Spot About Renovation

German Home Improvement Retailer Tackles a Feminist Theme

Published On
Oct 25, 2017

Editor's Pick

German home improvement chain Hornbach is known for its humorous and often epic depictions of people going about their renovation work. But the retailer's latest work from agency Heimat Berlin takes a somewhat more serious stance while maintaining the epic imagery.

For once, it features a woman as the renovator (unusual for a home improvement ad, to say the least) and what she's smashing isn't just walls: it's female sterotypes and misogynist cliches. Or rather, a series of massive sculptures representing them: a man with a briefcase standing on the face of giant, sleeping woman, a pole dancer with creepy hands reaching up towards her, a woman carrying a huge turkey on her back like a boulder, a multi-armed female holding out shoes and handbags and finally a massive, ugly, pink princess. Dusty and sweaty, the woman smashes them all with her sledgehammer, and the ad ends with the slogan "We Never said it was easy."

Brazilian duo Jones + Tino were the directors, via Stink, in their first work for the German market. The ad is running in eight countries--Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia--`on TV and in cinemas, as well as online and on social media.

According to the agency, the statues were manufactured in three different countries and then demolished at the final filming location. They represent themes including male dominance, female reduction to a sex object, the "material girl," the role as family caregiver, and the cliché of the princess in pink.

"Hornbach is about treating women as fullblooded DIY enthusiasts, too; for us that was incredibly important, raw and genuine," says Guido Heffels, creative director at Heimat, in a statement.