Friday, October 10, 2014

Home is Joy.

Whirlpool has launched a new campaign based on the idea that "every chore is an act of love."  The company acknowledges that while chores are a drag, they are also a way that we show our families that we care. (Baar, A.)

Maybe they are fans of Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages, which mentions "acts of service" as being one way people express their feelings. 

But I am reminded of an idea McCann-Erickson pitched to them in the mid-90's.  In developing it, we discussed the fact that people do not manage their homes but rather create them, as an act of love.  The brand essence we presented was -- Home is Joy.  They ran away from the room as fast as they possibly could! 

So what do you think of this approach?  Will it be effective?  Think about the strategy first, then take a look at the execution and decide.

Baar, A. (2014, October 7)  Whirlpool Wants To Change Idea of 'Chore'  Retrieved October 10, 2014, from


  1. I think the strategy behind is more on the guilty, rather on the happy side. Watching the commercial, one would think they are not doing enough to keep up housework (washing clothes, cooking, doing dishes) or quality time with their families (spouse or kids).

    Guilt is far more powerful than happiness. Happiness is an utopian feeling and tend to be a transitional state, guilt could stay more permanently in people's minds.

    The ad exploits the fact that life is far from perfection, showing everyday feelings from surprise, joy, silliness, contentment (using with bright light and colors) to disagreement, fatigue, hurt (using hues of gray and with darker luminosity).

    I believe this approach could at least catch consumer's eyes and ears. However Whirlpool makes white consumer goods, and it could take awhile to see significant differences in sales and profits.

  2. The strategy has promise, but the execution was completely off. Whirpool would be better served with an ad that reinforces the positive, happy family narrative. The darker subject matter (and colors, as Thais Marie noted above), shouldn't be a conversation that a washing machine company has with its audience. I was mostly confused when the son slammed the door in his father's face seconds after having a heart-to-heart chat. I also thought that using Johnny Cash in the soundtrack was a little far reaching, but I understand that they were after Boomers and Gen Xers, both of which can appreciate the "man in black."
    -Rory Williams

  3. Maybe it's the way it's shot (handheld, close) and the idea of classification copy has been done many times before like in Purina and Best Western ads (the fluffy one, the road warrior, etc) that I'm not connecting the dots between doing chores as acts of love and Whirlpool.

    I feel like there's too many story lines much going on and I hardly see product in the forefront. That could be any washer dryer or fridge. I also question the idea of using Johnny Cash as the music bed. In this case he's grating to the ears. A lively, less subdued "sunny" track might have helped get across the idea of "love" across. I'm wondering if simpler story line involving a chore act of love plus a more upfront approach at the features of a Whirlpool product that make life easier would have been better.

  4. The strategy used by Whirlpool for this campaign is an emotional one. It has been found that an emotional content of an ad is far more powerful than it's rational content. Recent Dove campaign for 'real beauty' is an perfect example of this.
    When it comes to decision making feelings and emotions always prevail over cognition, and Whirlpool is trying to use this as their new strategy for advertising. Moving away from the rational campaign and focusing on the emotional benefits of the brand leads to a more stronger and effective communication and persuasion. These ads are usually more enjoyable, generates engagement and are highly memorable.
    Ads which evoke strong positive emotions are more likely to do well on our measure of Persuasion, and more likely to create greater brand appeal, and for this reason the Whirlpool campaign may be successful.
    The execution of the ad is a good reflection of the strategy.
    The ad however did not evoke much emotions for me, I feel the ad is too long.

  5. I think this strategy had as a target the moms and tried to connect with them in an emotional way, by showing that all the hard and endless work they did for their families was mainly because they loved their owns. The problem is the way how they tried to transmit the message. In my opinion, and as my classmates have said, there are a lot of "short stories" which really don't have a clear relation between them, to message and neither to Whirlpool. it is a little bit confusing. They must have use less stories and more attractive and bright colors. And maybe, the must have been shorter.

    Natalia Ramirez

  6. I agree with much of what has been said already in critique of this add. What seems to be lacking is one clear longer story to which I might attach an emotional connection. All I see here are lots of people ( families) doing daily activities including chores...but that’s all I get. The first “acts of care” shown (getting ready for school, bandaging a cut...) have NOTHING to do with Whirlpool products at all. As the ad goes on, the appliances barley feature, and when they do, I have no way of knowing that they are whirlpool appliances (as Roderick said, “that could be any washer dryer or fridge”). In fact, there is no image of the Whirlpool logo until the very end. The ad made little connection to the scattered stories of families and the specific appliances needed to provide service to their family through doing chores (lovingly or otherwise). Even if I had understood the “chores are acts of love" message ( I didn’t) nothing here tells me that whirlpool is the company I should buy from. That is a problem. In fact, after watching I found myself wanting to go to whirlpool's website to remember what appliances they actually sold.

    In thinking of a similar style commercial that is more effective, the Swiffer/Swiffer WetJet ads come to mind for me. With Swiffer I get one story, one family per ad slot (in only 30 seconds I might add). They show me how their lives are messy in a far more upbeat and positive way that allows an emotional connection to the family presented in the ad. The doorbell rings and they receive a Swiffer in a box. They name the product clearly, both showing the label on the large box and then stating the name of the product aloud. They then proceed to show me how they use it to clean up their mess. The different stories are cute, and enjoyable to watch. Perfect. Short, sweet to the point. I remember the brand, I remember the story, and I remember the product worked to clean up their messes easily. I even remember the love and care the family members seemed to have towards each other. Almost all of these elements were lacking in this whirlpool ad for me. No clear emotional connection, no presence of brand label, no understanding of how whirlpool would make my life better. To me, it doesn’t seem very effective.


  7. When I read about the ideas behind the video I though it will work. I imagined a happy couple in the light house and they were buying new appliances together, smiling, enjoying the process of finding a place for them in a house. Then I though I would see how they happily drink freshly squeezed juice, smell hot coffee and touch soft washed linen. I would love that! To see in action how good household appliances make you happier, because it's so much easier to do the chores that are essential part of the cohabitation.
    But I saw a child's running nose and almost exhausted women faces... I felt sorry for those people on the ad, they were suffering and I was scared that can happen to me too. What this ad actually did - is made me afraid to have children.

  8. I think that the approach Whirlpool has taken is a great idea. The message of everything you do, everyday is an act of love is great. However, I don’t see that message reflected in the ad.

    I agree with previous comments that they used a lot of different stories, making the whole idea confusing. Until the end of the ad I couldn’t understand what they were trying to say and what they were offering. It is true that the stories are emotional, but I think that they didn’t achieve an emotional connection between the customer and the brand in order to be an effective campaign.


  9. I think they hit a home run as far as the strategy is concerned. As a homemaker myself, I can relate to the tiredness and messiness the ad depicts in managing day-to-day chores. And the joy one feels in going through that pain to take care of their family.

    The tone of the ad is realistic. When the father wipes his daughter’s nose and wipes his hand on his jeans, I felt like I was in someone’s home witnessing a very personal, messy but a very genuine moment.

    The writing is beautiful. Couple of lines, I believe, can easily become referenced in pop culture: “Because every act of care we give, helps the people we love, become people who love”; “If it comes from care, it counts.”

    But, I too agree with the previous comments that you feel a bit lost with the many short stories. There were too many visuals to keep track of. The brand reference was also at the very end. It is a bit too subliminal and subtle for the average audience. They could have used a stronger tie in moment between the brand and the story and could have a spent a couple of seconds more lingering on that.

  10. The strategy is clearly emotional, to touch their audience in an emotional way by telling the unassisted parents at home that the simple things are the one that counts and at the same time making them feel guilty. Emotions influence what we buy and are the primary reason why consumers prefer brand name products. I like how they tell the story and the execution of the commercial. In previous comments they’ve mentioned that they used couple of short stories and it’d be better shorter but in my opinion it’s the different situations in the commercial that make it “special”.


  11. If I didn't read the description first I would never expect it to be a home device supplier add. It's long, it's boring, it's based on the human emotions within the family, which are the most important ones we will, but at the same time I feel like Whirlpool has gone too far in it and it annoying instead of touching. Plus, at the end of the day, it's just Whirlpool. They are trying too hard to make an impression that is is more than just a company with dishwashers.