In this series of “Extreme Ads Makeover”, I will be tearing down ads of Home Depot and have them completely remodeled to have better targeting and ROI.

Check out more ad makeover case studies such as Lexus, Chanel, Chase Bank, Amazon, Starbucks, Nike, Target, Home Depot, and Nature Made.


About Home Depot

  • The Home Depot’s annual revenue for 2023 was $157.403 billion, a 4.13% increase from 2022. The company’s annual revenue for 2022 was $151.157 billion, a 14.42% increase from 2021. 
  • The Home Depot’s annual gross profit for 2023 was $52.778 billion, a 3.83% increase from 2022. The company’s annual gross profit for 2022 was $50.832 billion, a 13.33% increase from 2021.
  • In 2022, the Home Depot had nearly 1.7 billion customer transactions worldwide. The company’s revenue per employee ratio is $314,805.

About Home Depot’s marketing agency

Home Depot’s creative agency of record is BBDO. The Atlanta-based home improvement chain will work with BBDO on creative campaigns. 

Home Depot’s media agency of record is OMD. OMD is part of the Omnicom Media Group and will handle both digital and traditional media buying and planning. 
Home Depot has also partnered with UniWorld Group, Inc. (UWG) for over 20 years. UWG was founded in 1969 to bridge the gap between brands and multicultural consumers. 
Home Depot has also worked with Porchlight, an Atlanta-based design studio that specializes in strategic and creative marketing solutions.

About Michael Nguyen – CEO of Produce Results Agency, aka the “Extreme Ads Makeover” Host

Since 1999, Produce Results Agency has helped clients double assets from $5ooM to $1B and generated 4000% ROI for a regional bank turning their $66K marketing budget to $2.8M in revenue.

In this post, I will perform an ad audit on Home Depot’s ads, analyze what’s missing from the ads, come up with new ads, and eventually validate those new ads by running paid traffic on my own dime to see how new ads perform.

I am using Meta Ads in this case study but the same principle applies to other mediums such as Google, Youtube, Programmatic Ads, and short forms.

Table of Content

1. Ads Audit

2. Gaps Analysis

3. Ads Makeover

4. Validate New Ads

5. Insights/Takeaways

6. Next Steps

Ads Audit

Promoted Product: Handheld Blower

Landing page:

Facebook Ads: 

Ad Set #1 (link)

Ad Set #2 (link)


What I like:

  • I like how Home Depot team goes beyond and creates 2 ads to promote the Milwaukee-M18 blower. It’s a good start and having 2 ads allows you to see how each ad performs.

Room for improvements:

  • Specific Value Proposition: The ad doesn’t specify why someone should “do more” or what benefits they’ll receive from sprucing up their home. A strong value proposition can differentiate a product or service from its competitors and can be the deciding factor for consumers.
  • Emotional Appeal: While the ad encourages action, it doesn’t tap into any specific emotions. Emotions play a crucial role in decision-making, and ads that evoke emotions (whether happiness, nostalgia, security, etc.) tend to be more memorable and impactful.
  • Urgency or Scarcity: There’s no sense of urgency or scarcity in the ad. Phrases that suggest limited time offers or limited stock can motivate consumers to act quickly.
  • Target Audience: The ad is quite generic and doesn’t specify any target demographic. Tailoring the message to a specific audience can make it more relevant and resonant.
  • Testimonials or Social Proof: The ad doesn’t provide any testimonials or evidence that others are taking the same action. Social proof can be a powerful motivator as people often look to others when making decisions.

Effect on Ad Performance:

  • Reduced Engagement: Without emotional appeal or a clear value proposition, the ad might not capture attention or resonate with viewers, leading to lower engagement rates.
  • Lower Conversion Rates: Without urgency, viewers might not feel compelled to take immediate action, leading to lower conversion rates.
  • Less Memorability: Without emotional triggers, the ad might be less memorable, meaning consumers might not recall the brand or offer later on.
  • Broad Targeting: Without specifying a target audience, the ad might reach individuals who aren’t interested in the offer, leading to wasted ad spend.

If you had multiple product lines and currently ran paid ads, there’s a 97% chance that you had less than 3 ads based on my experiences of remodeling ads from Lexus, Chanel, Chase Bank, Amazon, Starbucks, Nike, Target, Home Depot, and Nature Made.

Maybe you are perfectly okay with one control ad and burn your ad budget without ROI.

But if you would like to have a second-opinion ads critique so that you can see the gaps and areas where you can extract MORE juice out of your ads, click on the link below to have me critique your ads.

ads critique - second opinion

Gaps Analysis

The Landing Page (see link )

Audience avatar: Based on the landing page, I can draw some conclusions about the target audience:

  1. Homeowners and DIY Enthusiasts: The product is listed on a home improvement retailer’s website, suggesting that homeowners who engage in DIY projects or yard maintenance are a primary target. The emphasis on “DIY Projects & Ideas” and “Installation & Services” further supports this.
  2. Professionals: The presence of sections like “For the Pro” and the detailed specifications of the product suggest that professionals who require reliable outdoor equipment might be a target demographic. This could include landscapers, gardeners, or maintenance workers.
  3. Tech-Savvy and Brand Loyal Customers: The emphasis on the M18 system, which boasts over 250+ tools, suggests that the product is aimed at consumers who value technological advancements and brand consistency. These individuals might already own other Milwaukee tools and are looking to expand their collection.
  4. Value Seekers: The highlighted discounts, credit card offers, and bundled savings indicate that the retailer is targeting consumers who are looking for value deals and are enticed by financial incentives.
  5. Environmentally Conscious: The electric nature of the blower might appeal to those who prefer eco-friendly alternatives to gas-powered tools, as electric tools produce no emissions.
  6. Age and Physical Capability: The product’s reviews mention its lightweight and ease of use. This suggests that it could appeal to a wide age range, including older individuals who might find gas-powered blowers too heavy or cumbersome.

In other words, the target avatar for this product would be:

homeowners, DIY enthusiasts, and professionals, spanning various age groups, who value quality, brand consistency, and eco-friendliness. The retailer’s promotions and discounts also aim to attract value-seeking consumers

Ads Makeover

Here’s the disease that most marketing agencies and businesses running paid ads:

“They think they’ve tested 20 ads but they really just tested 2 ads 10 different times.”

The best analogy for this is if you play the game “Battleship”.

Battleship is a strategy-type guessing game for two players. It is played on ruled grids (paper or board) on which each player’s fleet of warships is marked. The locations of the fleets are concealed from the other players. Players alternate turns calling “shots” at the other player’s ships, and the objective of the game is to destroy the opposing player’s fleet.

Using the context of the Battleship game, the fact that you just tested 2 ads 10 different times is like you are calling “shots” for the same spot 10 different times at the other player’s ships.

The lack of ideas for ad angles is making your ads dull and boring and ultimately leads to ad fatigue.

Using the proprietary Bionic Framework leveraging 17-layer analysis to come up with ad ideas touching different aspects of human relationships, fears, shame, language structures, and pop culture rather than the boring feature/benefit-driven ads that most marketing agencies default to.
Here are possibilities for ad makeovers:
Headline Options
  1. “Unleash the Power of Cordless with Milwaukee!”
  2. “Revolutionize Your Yard Work with M18 FUEL Blower!”
  3. “Experience the #1 Choice for Home Improvement Enthusiasts!”
  4. “Still Using That Old Gas Blower?”
  5. “Jealous of the Neighbors’ Yard? Maybe It’s Your Lousy Tools!”
  6. “Ditch That Dinosaur Blower Before It’s Too Late!”
  7. “Ready for the Future or Stuck in the Past?”
  8. “Why Settle and Feel Blue When Better is Just a Click Away?”
  9. “Ever Been Shocked by a Tool’s Power?

Body Copy Options
  1. “Homeowners and DIY pros, meet your new favorite tool! The Milwaukee M18 FUEL Blower delivers unparalleled power without the hassle of gas. Plus, enjoy exclusive discounts and credit offers. Why wait? Upgrade your toolkit today! ”
    • Blades: Emotions (Anticipation, Ambition), Time (Present), Capability (Can, Does), Numbers (Price, Savings), Language Devices (Exclamation marks), Direct Marketing Offers (Discount, Credit offers)
  2. “From the backyard to the worksite, Milwaukee’s got you covered. Dive into the world of cordless convenience with our M18 FUEL Blower. And with over 250+ tools in the M18 system, the possibilities are endless! ”
    • Blades: Relationships (Your customer, The advertiser), Imagery (Visual), Emotions (Joy, Ambition), Capability (Can, Does), Numbers (Quantities), Language Devices (Exclamation marks)
  3. “Every DIY enthusiast’s dream just came true! Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL Blower offers unmatched power, cordless convenience, and a system of over 250+ tools. Dive into the future of home improvement now! ”
    • Blades: Relationships (Your customer), Imagery (Visual), Emotions (Joy, Anticipation), Capability (Does, Is), Numbers (Quantities), Language Devices (Exclamation marks)
  4. “Still clinging to that ancient gas blower? It’s a tragedy seeing folks like you missing out on the revolution. Don’t be the laughing stock of the block. If you don’t switch to Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL Blower, you’re just asking for defeat. Consider yourself warned!”
    • Blades: Emotions (Anger, Disgust), Types of Statement (Condition), Future (Warning), Language Devices (Slang, Tragedy), Shame (Defeat)
  5. “Green with envy every time you see your neighbor’s pristine yard? Maybe it’s not them, it’s your trashy tools. Step up or stay salty. The future’s clear: Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL Blower or bust. Don’t be left in the dust!”
    • Blades: Emotions (Envy, Defiance), Types of Statement (Condition), Future (Warning), Language Devices (Slang, Tragedy), Shame (Defeat)
  6. “Holding onto that old blower like a safety blanket? Newsflash: It’s dragging you down. Time’s ticking, and if you don’t upgrade to the M18 FUEL Blower, you’re cruising for a bruising. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya!”
    • Blades: Emotions (Anger, Disgust), Types of Statement (Condition), Future (Warning), Language Devices (Slang, Tragedy), Shame (Defeat)
  7. “Ever wonder why you’re always a step behind? Maybe it’s that outdated tool you’re lugging around. Don’t be a fool; the future’s all about Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL Blower. Miss out, and you’ll regret it big time.”
    • Blades: Emotions (Anticipation, Sadness), Types of Statement (Question), Future (Promise/Prediction), Language Devices (Slang, Tragedy), Shame (Stupidity, Vulnerability)
  8. “Feeling down about your yard game? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you’re using the right tools. Don’t be dumb; the M18 FUEL Blower is where it’s at. Stick with the old, and you’re just setting yourself up for heartbreak.”
    • Blades: Emotions (Sadness, Surprise), Types of Statement (Question), Future (Promise/Prediction), Language Devices (Slang, Tragedy), Shame (Stupidity, Vulnerability)
  9. “Ever had a tool that left you speechless? If not, you’re in for a wild ride. Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL Blower ain’t your grandpa’s tool. Stay stuck in the past, and you’re just asking to look foolish.”
    • Blades: Emotions (Anticipation, Surprise), Types of Statement (Question), Future (Promise/Prediction), Language Devices (Slang, Tragedy), Shame (Stupidity, Vulnerability)

Validate New Ads

This is where the rubber meets the road as I am going to validate ad concepts from the previous step by running paid traffic to see which ad concepts would resonate most with the customers.

Here’s how I set the adset on Facebook

  • Budget: $10 Lifetime
  • Product/Service: handheld blower
  • Targeted audience: Target with interest in Home Depot – Male – 30-55 in Texas
  • Placement: News Feed
  • Optimization: Optimized for Traffic

Here are all the 9 ads being launched.

Fast-forwarding 24 hours to let the ads run.

Here’s the results

Campaign Numbers:

    • Ad budget: $13.62
    • Total Impressions: 4,037
    • Total Reach: 3,364
    • Total Clicks: 32
    • Cost Per Click (CPC): $0.43
    • CTR (all): 0.79%

Ad results

  1. Reach and Impressions:
    • Headline 4 has the highest reach and impressions, indicating that it was viewed by the most people. This could be due to the ad’s content, placement, or targeting strategy.
    • Headline 8 has the lowest reach and impressions, suggesting that it might not be as effective in capturing the audience’s attention or it might have been targeted to a smaller audience.
  2. Amount Spent:
    • Headline 4 has the highest ad spend, which is consistent with its high reach and impressions.
    • Headline 8 has the lowest ad spend, which aligns with its low reach and impressions.
  3. Cost Per Mille (CPM):
    • Headline 9 has the highest CPM, meaning it costs the most for every 1,000 impressions. This could be due to competitive bidding in its target audience or the platform’s valuation of its potential effectiveness.
    • Headline 2 has the lowest CPM, making it the most cost-effective ad in terms of impressions.
  4. Link Clicks and Cost Per Click (CPC):
    • Headline 4 has the highest number of link clicks, but it’s not the most cost-effective in terms of CPC. Headline 6 has a lower CPC, making it more cost-effective for driving clicks.
    • Headline 3 and Headline 1 have the highest CPC, suggesting that while they might be driving clicks, they are doing so at a higher cost.
  5. Click-Through Rate (CTR):
    • Headline 5 and Headline 6 have the highest CTRs, indicating that a higher percentage of people who saw these ads clicked on them. This suggests that these ads were particularly engaging or relevant to the viewers.
    • Headline 2 has the lowest CTR, which could be due to less engaging content or it being less relevant to its audience.
  6. General Observations:
    • Ads with higher reach and impressions don’t necessarily have the best CTR or the most cost-effective CPC. This highlights the importance of not just reaching a large audience, but also ensuring the ad content is engaging and relevant.
    • The dataset has some ads (Headline 8) with no link clicks data. This could be because the ad didn’t drive any clicks or the data wasn’t captured.

In conclusion, while Headline 4 reached the most people, ads like Headline 6 and Headline 5 were more effective in terms of engagement (CTR) and cost-effectiveness (CPC). Advertisers should consider both reach and engagement metrics when evaluating the success of their ads.


Distribution of Link Clicks Across the Ads

CPM for Each Ad

CTR for Each Ad

Winning Ads: 

  • If the goal is to get maximum reach and impressions, ‘Headline 4’ is the top performer.
    • Headline: “Still Using That Old Gas Blower?”
    • Ad body: “Still clinging to that ancient gas blower? It’s a tragedy seeing folks like you missing out on the revolution. Don’t be the laughing stock of the block. If you don’t switch to Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL Blower, you’re just asking for defeat. Consider yourself warned!”
      • Blades: Emotions (Anger, Disgust), Types of Statement (Condition), Future (Warning), Language Devices (Slang, Tragedy), Shame (Defeat)
    • Total Impressions: 1786
    • Total Reach: 1484
    • Clicks: 11
    • CPC: $0.40
    • CTR: 0.62%
  • If the objective is to get the most clicks at the lowest cost, ‘Headline 6’ stands out.
    • Headline: “Ditch That Dinosaur Blower Before It’s Too Late!”
    • Ad Body:
    • “Holding onto that old blower like a safety blanket? Newsflash: It’s dragging you down. Time’s ticking, and if you don’t upgrade to the M18 FUEL Blower, you’re cruising for a bruising. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya!”
      • Blades: Emotions (Anger, Disgust), Types of Statement (Condition), Future (Warning), Language Devices (Slang, Tragedy), Shame (Defeat)
    • Total Impressions: 352
    • Total Reach: 335
    • Clicks: 9
    • CPC: $0.22 
    • CTR: 2.56% 


So in this thorough case study, I extensively analyze, examine, and audit Home Depot’s ads relating to the M18 blower, then come up with new ad ideas based on 17 analysis “lenses”, and finally validate ad ideas by running them through paid FB traffic to determine the winning ad.

  • Both ads 4 & 6 are from the group of ads using the “Shame” model of “defeat” and emotions of anger & disgust. When one of the ads performs better in the same group, it’s very likely that we can combine them in another ad to get the best of both worlds.
  • It’s amazing to see that 2 winning ads are derived from using the complex emotions vs the feature/benefit. That leads to the conclusion that having only one control ad can seriously underperform your entire campaign because of the lack of A/B Testing, targeting limitations, ad fatigue, risk management, and optimization challenges.
  • Having multiple analysis “lenses” is the foundation to come up with ad ideas addressing customers’ needs, wants, objections, pains, and frustrations. Without additional analysis “lenses”, you are more likely to get “stuck” with boring and mediocre “features & benefits” angle.
  • Ideas & creatives are the name of the game.
  • I’d recommend Home Depot create more ad angles for each of their products. The path of “Extreme Ads Makeover” doesn’t stop and should be continuously evolving with the market.

What-If Revenue Impact Analysis

  • What If Lexus went ahead and doubled down on ad #6 with the lowest CPC,  what would be the revenue impact?
  • Let’s make some assumptions:
    • The conversion rate is 1% (given the normal conversion rate of 2%)
    • Price: $179

    • Double down on ad #6 by increasing the number of clicks to 10,000 clicks (Cost = 10,000 clicks x $0.22 = $2,200)
  • Let’s calculate the potential revenues
    • At 0.1% conversion rate, 10,000 x 0.1% = 10 shoppers purchased.
      • Revenue = 10 x $179 = $1790
      • ROI = -18.6%  ($1790- $2,200) / $2,200)
    • At 0.5% conversion rate, 10,000 x 0.1% = 50 shoppers purchased.
      • Revenue = 50 x $179 = $8950
      • ROI = 307%  ($8950- $2,200) / $2,200)
    • At 1% conversion rate, 10,000 x 0.1% = 100 shoppers purchased.
      • Revenue = 100 x $179 = $17900
      • ROI = 714%  ($17900- $2,200) / $2,200)

Next Step

  • Double down on the winning ad and amp up the budget on it because I’ve done the homework for you, all you need is to increase the ad budget.
  • I share with you the 17 proprietary models I used to create ad ideas. While those 17 models appear easy for me because I’ve used them to generate thousands of ad ideas, for you, generating ideas may not come easily. That’s why I want to introduce the…
  • “Second Opinion” Package

If you are a 7-figure business owner and already run paid ads and need someone to critique your ads for a potential makeover, go ahead and order my “Second Opinion” package.

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