Brand: Whirlpool Duet
Link: none (Whirlpool has not responded to e-mail.)
Target: Families with Children
A very simple spot. The spot starts with the Whirlpool logo. Then a flash of “How to get more done.” Then a product shot of the Duet Washer and Dryer. Then a shot of the claim “16 Pairs of Jeans.” Then the claim “Best Selling Laundry Brand in the World”. Ends with the tagline “Get More Done.”
Normally we ThirdWay bloggers write these critiques because we see an ad, love it or hate it and then decide to write about it. This was not the case with the Whirlpool ad. Instead of seeing it, I heard about it. A lot. Most recently last week, when in a marketing training session with the Army, MAJ Bret P. Van Poppel, a former Ranger from Fort Knox started pounding his fist on a conference table shouting “16 Pair of Jeans! 16 Pair of Jeans!” That got my attention.
In short, I knew that the spot was working before I watched it. The nice thing about this spot is that it shows the value of straightforward brand positioning and of finding the “truth point” in your claims.
From a brand positioning standpoint, this is a classic spot. We have the user - busy parents, frame of reference – ways to get stuff done, reason why – ’16 Pairs of Jeans,’ and permission to believe – ‘Best Selling Laundry Brand in the World.’
Amazingly, there is nothing else to this spot – literally nothing. It is as if the ad agency was hired to go out and shoot the brand positioning statement. And that works just fine.
The ‘truth point’ is the point at which a claim is so well constructed that changing a single word would either make it less relevant or untrue. It seems pretty clear from what I’ve been hearing from my family-oriented friends in the Heartland that Whirlpool has found the truth point with this ad.
The obvious danger when you’re trying to own ‘Capacity’ as a maker of washers and dryers is the possibility of starting an arms race. And as a consumer I’m just not ready for a walk-in towel dryer. But Capacity was probably what Whirlpool needed to own. In spite of declining real-world Maytag reliability (especially on the Neptune line), the A+ marketing campaign by Maytag over the last several decades has effectively locked up ‘Reliability’ for Maytag. ‘Capacity’ is the next most important brand attribute to the core target audience of overburdened parents. You have to hope that Whirlpool got the truth point exactly right and that ’16 Pairs of Jeans’ is more meaningful than ’25 Khaki Chinos’ in someone else’s hands.
Branding Bottom Line -
Like a well-struck cymbal, Whirlpool’s claim resonates for the good of the b(r)and.