Wait, is that an Ace Hardware in a Walgreens or CVS building?

I recently saw a commercial for Ace Hardware touting that they sell Benjamin Moore paint. But, the image of the their building stopped me from paying attention to paint:

AceBuildingJul20

This does not look like any Ace Hardware building I have seen before. Instead, it looks like it used to be either a Walgreens or CVS. The building structure says chain drugstore: dual automatic doors at the front, the angled entryway, the high windows on the sides. The few glimpses of the inside in the commercial look similar to a drugstore (even if it is hard to imagine paint at the front of a Walgreens.)

Did Ace take over a former drug store building and then use it in the commercial? Or, is this a backlot creation? I found a Florida Ace commercial that features the same structure in the beginning.

Brands have a whole set of items that go with them: a logo, a jingle, a slogan, colors, and buildings. The buildings might get less attention – they are not in radio commercials, they do not often feature in print ads, and videos may or may not included interior and exterior shots – but they matter for the brand and the experience. I imagine many American consumers could drive by empty malls, strip malls, and shopping areas and identify the stores that used to be in the building without any signs or lettering present. Many of them have a similar look across the United States, even if they occasionally try to “fit in” with local styles, meet local guidelines, or embody more uniqueness.

Linking the Ace Hardware home and Wisteria Lane

Following up on a post regarding an odd-looking home in recent Ace Hardware commercials and a comment on the post that the Ace home was located on Wisteria Lane in the TV show Desperate Housewives, here is another look at the home courtesy of Wikipedia:

File:KathrynsHouse.JPG

While the Ace commercial made the house gave the house even more odd proportions in order to fit an Ace sign on the front, the house is still odd. Too many gables that stick out too far plus a really odd second story window that barely fits between the two gables.

Here is more about Wisteria Lane:

In preparing for the pilot, the Desperate Housewives production team searched a 30-minute radius of Hollywood for a suburb in which to film the show, but nothing was quite right. The production team initially looked into purchasing a block of actual houses for filming, however they felt the houses looked too similar and lacked character. So they went with Plan B – a studio backlot.

Only two studios in Hollywood have significant backlots, Warner Brothers and Universal. Warner Brothers had half a street, with houses on one side and a park on the other, but there was no sense of community, but Universal had Colonial Street – a collection of rundown house fronts that lined both sides of the street, and were close enough together to look good on camera.

The only problem was that the houses are only three-quarter scale. The team had to deal with the challenges of the unnatural – the houses being too small and too close and the sidewalks not as wide as the real thing, but the show is a parable and a slightly less-than-real look became an advantage, and added to the suburban perfection on film…

At first, the houses were just facades, with interiors built on a sound stage, but once Housewives was picked up, something unique was done for the show, interiors were created, including Susan’s kitchen and Mary Alice’s living room, and Gabrielle could go in the front door and into the main floor of her house. This created a unique filming style which allowed viewers to watch a scene inside a house and look out through the windows into the street – creating a real sense of community.

To help audiences identify the different characters quickly, the team devised a colour palette system based on the characters personality and traits. They looked for colours that were intriguing, and then matched them up, these colour palettes are carried out in each character’s house exterior and interior. For example Gabrielle Solis was set with warm orange-yellow tones to hint at her spicy Latino nature. Whereas Susan Mayer’s character has more feminine sensibilities, demonstrated by the use of pastel colours.

So perhaps the real problem with the poorly proportioned house was that it was a 3/4 scale. Still, even a full scale version of the house might look at little busy in the front.

The new Ace Hardware home is badly proportioned

Ace Hardware has a new set of television commercials where they argue going to their neighborhood stores is like visiting your neighbor. However, there is one big problem (beyond the fact that many people don’t know their neighbors): the house is badly proportioned. Take a look:

AceHardwareHouse

The bottom portion of the house doesn’t look too bad: a porch, front door, and a two car garage. But, then look above. My best guess is that the Ace sign displaced the actual window which then got squeezed in between the roof line and the garage. Overall, it doesn’t look good. The neighbors would not be happy if the house next door looked like this.

Despite the odd looking house, I like the sales pitch. I was at Home Depot to get five items related to gardening this weekend. Due to the size of the store and my infrequent visits (perhaps once a month or so), I had to ask where three of the five items were because they were very difficult to locate otherwise.