The Weather Channel, Ace Hardware kick off online contest

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The Weather Channel and Ace Hardware Corp. partnered to launch an online contest on April 18 to raise consumer awareness of both companies' offerings.

The “Restore Your Outdoors” contest asks consumers to submit a written testimonial and photos or videos of their yards for a chance to win an Ace Hardware-sponsored outdoor makeover. The contest will run until May 15, and the winner will appear in a series of segments documenting their yard makeover that will air on The Weather Channel on May 29.

Consumers must create an iWitness Weather account on The Weather Channel's website or connect to their Facebook account to enter. Consumers who create an iWitness Weather account must submit their email address, ZIP code, year of birth and gender. Entrants who join via Facebook must opt-in to receive emails from The Weather Channel. Those who submit an entry must include their mailing address, phone number and birth date.

“Our goal is to bring Weather Channel consumers full circle and help them achieve their goal of a fabulous outdoor experience in their own backyard,” said Ann Brown, SVP of client solutions at The Weather Channel.

Dana Larsen, brand manager for consumer marketing at Ace Hardware, said this is the company's first cross-promotion with another organization. She added that Ace Hardware wants “to create top-of-mind awareness during a key time frame for us, which is lawn and garden season, and to drive new and existing customers to the microsite and get them familiar with our brand.”

Brown said the information collected through the contest will be used internally by The Weather Channel for market research. Larsen declined to comment on what information Ace Hardware is collecting and how it will use any data collected.

The Weather Channel did not work with an agency on the initiative, but Ace Hardware collaborated with its media firm Horizon Media.

The campaign targets 18-to-49 year-old homeowners who are “not super affluent,” said Brown. Ace Hardware chose to partner with The Weather Channel on the effort because the retailer's “quick-fixer” consumer base “over-indexes with The Weather Channel's [consumer base],” said Larsen.

Last month, The Weather Channel launched a similar campaign with The Home Depot to promote the retailer's lawn and garden products on-air and online.

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