Contract on board for Whirlpool

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 11, 2008
Contract will share the Whirlpool business with Draft-FCB-Ulka, the agency which was handling the account single-handedly until now

In a & #BANNER1 & # pitch that was called in November 2007, Contract has been brought on board to handle the creative duties for Whirlpool's foray into new categories as well as the new products that the company plans to launch in existing categories. Contract becomes the second agency to come on board, Draft-FCB-Ulka being the older hand on the business.

Speaking on the development, Shantanu Dasgupta, vice-president, marketing, Whirlpool India Ltd, says, "We have had a very successful turnaround in the last few years and are now leaders in some of our key segments. We owe this to a very strong brand positioning and memorable communication. FCB-Ulka is a key partner and has helped us deliver those goals. Going forward in the next stage of our growth plans, we would like to put more focus on new businesses, while not losing our grip and leadership in core categories. As a part of this outlook, we have decided to get Contract on board. Contract has displayed good understanding of our communication needs and strong strategic capabilities during the evaluation process."

Originally, Draft-FCB-Ulka was looking after the creative for the four categories in which Whirlpool is currently present: washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners and microwaves. The pitch was originally called for the company's upcoming and upgraded products in existing categories, and not for the current four ranges of products which Draft-FCB-Ulka was looking after. With Whirlpool retaining the flagship refrigerator category as well as cross-category communication for the brand with Draft-FCB-Ulka, the latter seems to have lost out to Contract, which has won not only the new businesses the company plans to explore, but also the other three existing categories that were with Draft-FCB-Ulka - washing machines, air conditioners and microwaves. The media duties continue to lie with Lodestar Universal.

Whirlpool has planned an advertising and promotional spend of Rs 70-75 crore. Around 40-45 per cent of this will be taken up by above the line advertising.

The new categories that Whirlpool plans to get into 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 range of products.

Arvind Wable, executive director and CEO, Draft-FCB-Ulka, says, "FCB-Ulka has done pathbreaking work to build the Whirlpool brand over the last decade. Positioning brand Whirlpool as a partner in homemaking and creating the concept of a homemaker as against a housewife, marked a shift in the depiction of women in Indian advertising. With our continued involvement with Whirlpool, we hope to continue to steer the brand in the future to reflect the changing consumer trends."

Jagdip Bakshi, CEO, Contract Advertising, says, "Contract is proud to have been given this opportunity. Whirlpool is respected globally as a pre-eminent player in white goods. We look forward to a glorious longterm relationship in the growth years ahead."

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