The Ace Conservation Initiative (ACI) Program is designed to help increase sales of conservation-oriented products through Ace,
which in turn, help conserve natural resources in some way.   Several thousand hardware stores have used the foundation's Bog Frog mascot to promote conservation. The foundation is a 15-year veteran of the hardware business and has won several awards for its
work within the hardware industry.  The WATER Foundation has been a conservation partner with Ace stores since 1994, helping sell conservation products and helping with store operations that conserve resources. The mission of The WATER Foundation is to make conservation practical and profitable, hence it's motto, Conservation Pays!  

The ACI is a combination of radio advertising, print advertising, Internet advertising and merchandising programs which work synergistically. Radio is the backbone of the ACI, making millions of impressions on consumers daily.  As the leading syndicator of radio programs on conservation, the foundation creates and broadcasts award-winning DIY tips and trivia type programs like Outdoor Trivia, Frog Friendly Tips, Energy Trivia, Natural Ways, Ocean Planet or Eco-Auto Tips on over 500 local radio stations.  These radio programs can feature Ace's vendor ads in the middle of the Trivia and DIY Tips, instead of in an ad cluster.  Each vendor radio advertising module delivers 6,000,000 highly memorable impressions on DIY consumers. Click the image to the right for information on our radio programming.   According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, placing radio ads inside of feature programs like the above, rather than in a cluster of other ads, makes the ads much more memorable and effective. Through The WATER Foundation's programs, Ace vendors' radio ads will deliver 6,000,000 listener impressions on adults aged 25-54 (measured by Arbitron) during radio drive-times on commercial stations. Ace vendor product messages are placed into targeted editorial campaigns seasonally to coincide with retail sales peaks.

Each Vendor is also promoted by Ace Corporate Advertising Department, through their primary communications tool, the Ace Monthly Promotion Guide, sent to all Ace stores.  Vendors ads are also placed in Ace print advertising, in a dedicated flyer, themed for the appropriate conservation campaign, which you can view by following the link to the Vendor campaigns above.  Samples of the advertisements are shown below and in the History section of this website.  The Internet advertising is on the popular website,, and vendors will receive a Level III advertisement there, linked to an appropriate product education site.

ACI Program Features & Pricing: $15,000 per Module

National Radio Advertising
Ace Vendor Ads will make over 6,000,000 listener impressions (on adults aged 25-54) during radio drive times on hundreds of stations: News/Talk, Country/Western, Adult Contemporary, Oldies, Sports, Christian, Middle of the Road and other types of mainstream radio stations is the USA.  Fifteen hundred :30 second radio spots are guaranteed in each module. Several network options are available to advertise regionally or nationally.

Click here to see the list of stations on The WATER Foundation's Radio Network.

Vendor ads are featured in targeted conservation campaigns on the following:
  • Energy Conservation
  • Water Quality
  • Eco-Auto®
  • Natural Gardening
  • Water Conservation
  • Power Equipment
  • Less Toxic Pest Control
  • Waste Reduction
  • Rechargeable Batteries

Retail Merchandising Kit

A Retail Conservation Merchandising Kit will be distributed to participating Ace Hardware Stores. This kit contains merchandising and marketing tools for stores, including End Cap Header Cards, Vendor Radio Ads, In-Store Audio ads, Print Fliers (featuring vendors products), in-store signage, shelf-talkers, vendor signage, vendor sales literature, letter from vendors and directions for using the kit.  This information will be sent to stores and radio stations at least 60 days in advance of vendor ads airing nationally.

Ace and TWF Trade Publications

Ace Retail Communications and Retail Training tools will be used to teach and implement the conservation programs.  These tools include Ace Monthly Promotions Guides, Ace Insight, Ace Conventions, Ace websites, as well as tools from The WATER Foundation (TWF): Internet directories for stores and products, Best Management Practices, CD-ROMs, and other training documents like the award-winning cause-marketing guide for Ace Retailers, the GreenGuide®
Internet Advertising

The H.O.P. Shop is a project of The WATER Foundation to educate consumers, stores, contractors and other businesses so they may make informed decisions before they purchase conservation products and services. The acronym H.O.P. stands for Help Our Planet, and participating Ace stores are featured the Green Pages directory at so website visitors can find a store near them to buy your products. Your listing includes a 30 word description of your product(s), link to your website, 10 Key Words (meta-tags) for internet searches, your company logo and contact information displayed in the easy to use format below:


Packages include 1500 thirty-second radio spots placed directly inside of The WATER Foundations programs over a 2 month period, an ad module in an Ace print circular and the Ace Retailer Monthly Promotions Guide, modules in the Ace Retail Conservation Merchandising Kit and one year of advertising on the HOP Shop website. Signed affidavits will document the broadcasts.

Option 1: $15,000Your product is the only product featured in the ad modules
Option 2: $8,000You share the modules with one other vendor
Option 3: $6,000You share the modules with two other vendors

Contact us today at (218) 764-2321
for more information and availability!
Or Click Here to request more info!

A Project of The WATER Foundation
and Ace Hardware
©Copyright 2003 The WATER Foundation