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Inside Home Depot and Behr’s multi-generational content strategy

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By proclaiming its own “color of the year,” Behr Paint Company and Home Depot hope to interest content creators focused on home improvement.

The two paired up to announce “cracked pepper” as its 2024 color of the year on August 15. The financial agreement between the two brands on this was not disclosed, but they have worked together since 1983.

They are also sharing data (with one another) on how the campaign performs and how messaging resonates with both of their audiences, though the terms of that arrangement were not shared either.

Behr relied on its collaboration with the Home Depot trend and design team, Behr’s color marketing team gathered insights based on exploring changes in lifestyle trends, including travel, fashion, food, pop culture, décor, and more. The result of this collaboration led to the selection of cracked pepper as the color of the year.

In addition, a survey was conducted to understand perceptions and attitudes as well as consumer behavior around dark tones in the home. Of the 1,000 people who voted in May 2023, most (72%) were millennials followed by Gen Z (at 22%). It became a matter of the brands maintaining a relationship with an older demographic already aware of the brand with the younger generation.

Behr released a video with the shade on TikTok and it gained over 600,000 viewers overnight. In less than a week, it had over 1.6 million views.

“A lot of boomers have a lot of painting experience growing up and it’s because of the colors and quality of our products that they have a lot of confidence [in painting.],” said Jodi Allen, global chief marketing officer at Behr. “(With) Gen Z and millennials, part of what we’re really focusing on is to make sure we are where they are when it comes to learning how to paint.”

Both Behr and Home Depot wanted to broaden their core audience in a new way. “The way that we might speak to these younger generations is different,” said Molly Battin, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Home Depot.

It is unclear how much Home Depot and Behr spent on this campaign as both brands declined to share exact figures. According to Vivvix, including paid social data from Pathmatics, Behr spent more than $45 million so far this year on advertising — it spent $74 million in 2022 and Home Depot spent more than $565 million so far this year, down from $1.1 billion in 2022.

As part of its DIY strategy, BEHR works with a variety of home improvement influencers, from emerging to top-tier creators, such as Amanda Walker (52.2K followers on TikTok), Ashley Basnight (461.5K followers on TikTok), Dani Klarić (2.2M followers on TikTok), and more.

“A creative team at Home Depot will help brainstorm what videos might do well — from workshops to quick tutorial videos,” Battin said. “We really ensure that the content that we’re putting out there you can trust is right and we’ll help you get that project done in the right way,” she added.

Despite publishing content organically on X, formerly known as Twitter, Allen and Battin both said they do not advertise on the platform because Instagram and TikTok are better platforms for visual content. The brands wanted to focus on these apps, specifically TikTok, to reach consumers that are discovering new ways to paint, set up their new homes and purchase products. This is coming at a time when X is trying to lure content creators away from other platforms with its fishing line to capture them back to X with lucrative payment scheme.

“As I understand it, X is supposed to be the everything app. But in order to achieve this vision, it needs engaging content, which means it needs to attract content creators to the platform,” Mike Lee, director of strategy at VSA Partners, previously told Digiday.

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