giant Whirlpool has called for a creative pitch for its upcoming and possibly even upgraded products. This pitch is a creative one; the media duties for the new range will stay with Whirlpool's existing media agency, Lodestar Universal.
Whirlpool is present in four categories in India, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners and microwaves. However, these products are not under review; FCB-Ulka will continue to handle the creative duties for them.
Some of the new categories that Whirlpool plans to create a presence in include built-in appliances (high-end appliances built into a modular kitchen by default, such as ovens) and water purifiers. Bollywood's star couple, Kajol and Ajay Devgan, will be retained to endorse the new ranges of products.
"FCB-Ulka has been our partner for a long time and has helped build the brand in India," adds Singh.
This year's advertising and promotional spend for Whirlpool has touched Rs 70 crore thus far, out of which some 40 per cent was earmarked for above-the-line activities. There are plans to spend a similar amount next year as well.
According to Singh, they are looking for an agency that has a strong strategic inclination, with strong account planning and account management functions. "And, of course, we'll be looking for innovative solutions to reach out to our core consumers and households," he says.
Whirlpool had been focusing on its washing machine and refrigerator ranges till recently. Then it launched ACs and microwaves in the market, competing with the likes of LG, Videocon and Samsung. With all the new products it is readying for launch, Whirlpool is eyeing 20 per cent growth in sales in 2008.