afaqs!

Carat Fresh wooed Bengaluru's women with steaming Philips irons

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | March 03, 2011
The activation titled 'The Philips E-Steam Wardrobe Challenge' took place between end January-end February; Philips' annual activation spends are earmarked at around Rs 2-4 crore.

In a move to popularise Philips' new steam iron, its premium product offering, Carat Fresh (part of the Aegis group) went on ground with an interactive campaign that ended a few days back. The campaign kick-started on January 29, and was on for 20 working days.

It is learnt that Philips' annual activation spends are earmarked at around Rs 2-4 crore.

The BTL (below-the-line) event was held in Bengaluru, and activation points included carefully selected high-end locales around the RWA Apartments (Residential Welfare Association) such as Mantri Paradise, Ajmera Green Acres, and Mantri Elegance. The activation was held only in Bengaluru for now, but will soon be conducted in other markets, both in metros, as well as in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, depending on the specifics of the activity being carried out.

For the activity, the area was divided into two parts. It was carried out in one part, from Wednesday-Friday, and in the other, from Thursday-Sunday.

The Philips' premium steam iron, the product being promoted in the campaign, has been around in the market for a while, but there hasn't been much communication for it since 2007-08.

Sampath Shenoy, senior business director, Carat Fresh, says, "The prime proposition was the 'enjoyability' factor, and the communication attempted to highlight just this."

The aim was to show women in the 25-44 years age bracket (the target group), that ironing clothes can be a fun activity if they use the Philips' steam iron. Since most women consider ironing an extremely mundane chore, the objective was to change this impression and make ironing clothes a fun activity for them and to convey that the product makes it possible to iron clothes in a single stroke, and that there is no need to wet the clothes before ironing.

Men did not fall in the target group, as market insights showed that the purchasing decisions for irons lay primarily with women, as they were more concerned with laundry-related issues.

An ironing contest was held, in which around 3, 500 women participated. The activity was largely promoter-led, with the promoters dressed formally all through. The Philips team took permission from the RWA authorities and set up a giant steam iron, a wardrobe, and other branding collaterals in the region. The 3D steam-emitting iron was the main impact display; it kept releasing steam, much to the delight of the participants and passersby.

The participants, who were specially invited, were given clothes of different textures to iron. They were judged on the basis of their ironing speed and efficiency. Participants were also asked questions such as which fabric was used in denims, and what a Sarong was, to determine their knowledge about fabrics, garments, and other wardrobe-related details.

A written contest which doubled up as a feedback procedure was also conducted, in which participants were asked to note down their views on their ironing experiences.

The winners were selected on the basis of their ironing performance, as well as the written contest. There were in total 10 questions, of which five or more correct answers fetched glass bowls, while all correct answers pulled in a Philips Dry Iron.
The winners were awarded the product itself, as well as iron-shaped trophies.

Besides BTL, other media channels used to promote the product included radio, television (commercials were aired in some parts of North India), and cinema (in the form of advertisements during the interval). Red FM radio spots, through the activation period, promoted the event in the Bengaluru region daily, and the IVRS (Intelligent Voice Recording System) was used for this. The coverage helped evoke a keen interest in the contest.

The creative agency currently handling the Philips account is Mudra.

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