Hornbach takes a sledgehammer to stereotypical female roles and clichés

The new advert from German Agency Heimat, Berlin, for Hornbach, the leading European home improvement superstore chain, does away with common female stereotypes and clichés in a decisive and passionate manner.

At the core of the concept is a woman, who is not only removing a wall in her home with all her might: in the same way, she is smashing to pieces female stereotypes and traditional role models, represented by a series of sculptures that in some cases are larger than life. Neither task is particularly simple, which is reflected in the campaign slogan: ‘We never said it was easy.’

‘Hornbach customers are “doers” and include males and females in equal measure; there is no difference between them when it comes to their project, including when the going gets tough,’ says Thomas Schnaitmann, Head of German Marketing and International Marketing Communication at Hornbach.

The advert is radically different to typical ads aimed at women and, in the process, makes a statement in what is supposedly a male domain – the hardest physical work in DIY, including the accompanying sweat, dust and exhaustion. ‘Hornbach is about treating women as full- blooded DIY enthusiasts, too; for us that was incredibly important, raw and genuine,’ says Guido Heffels, Creative Director at Heimat.

In the artistic depiction, the sledgehammer unites the parallel levels. With every blow, the female protagonist cuts traditional thinking down to size. The thematic references include ‘male dominance’, the reduction to a sex object, the ‘material girl’, the role as family caregiver, and the cliché of the princess in pink. The corresponding statues were manufactured in three different countries and then demolished at the final filming location.

The film is the first work for the German market by the Brazilian directing duo Jones+Tino, who have already been awarded a Cannes Grand Prix. Stink took charge of production management. Thomas Berlin (48K) provided the music.





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