Samsung washing machine: Appropriating the freshness factor

By , agencyfaqs! | In | August 18, 2003
The new commercial for Samsung washing machines is different from the earlier ones in touting freshness as the chief selling proposition

This is not your average hard-working washing machine commercial. No footage of dirty linen being washed frame by frame, no jargon spangled spiel on the machine's technological superiority, no word whatsoever on how this machine cleans better with a smaller dose of detergent or how it endows your expensive clothes with a longer life. And no, there are no kids smearing muck at each other happy with the knowledge that they have their moms at home waiting to wash their filthy clothes with her new washing machine.

In short, the new commercial for Samsung washing machines is different from most others in the category in the manner in which it has refrained from selling the machine though every shot of the commercial.

The ad opens with the shot of this couple preparing to leave their home. As they cross the lawn, the husband suddenly chances upon a football lying on the ground. Unable to resist the temptation of taking a shot at it, he kicks the football towards his wife, presumably challenging her to return the shot. His wife is game. Even without batting an eyelid, she kicks the ball back to her husband. As they slug it out on the wet and muddy ground, the background score goes, "Tumse hai har pal/Tumse hai har khushi/Tum hi to ho meri/Tumse hai mera jahan…"

What brings the two back to reality is the sight of this group of kids peering over the bush, very amused at the picture of the two adults, quite oblivious of their state, playing the game with childlike seriousness. The ad ends with the shot of this couple looking fresh again in their spanking clean clothes, with the voiceover reiterating, "Samsung washing ...jaise tum meri zindagi mein."

Incidentally, this is the first commercial that has been executed for Samsung by Grey Worldwide since the account moved from Triton in June this year. The campaign, released under the umbrella of 'Tumse hai zindagi', will span television as well as print, focusing mainly on women's magazines.

Explaining the brief to the agency, Ravinder Zutshi, director, Samsung Electronics, says, "The idea was to create a distinct identity for Samsung washing machines under the umbrella thought of freshness. Using the (aspirational) need for togetherness and quality time as its leitmotif, the ad seeks to create an atmosphere of 'playfulness' and 'carefree abandon' - the key characteristics of the Samsung woman. Her functional needs - fresh clothes, fresh food etc - are taken care of by home appliances from Samsung; so she is now free to let her hair down, enjoy the little pleasures of life, especially quality time with her husband/friend."

Interestingly, with this piece of communication, Samsung has extended the theme of freshness, which was the platform for its refrigerator and microwave commercials till now, to washing machines. "Freshness is an identified desirable," explains Zutshi. "In a category such as washing machine where technological differentiators are minimal, brand differentiators play a key role. Hence the need to appropriate and own a key umbrella brand attribute called freshness."

Visuals of the football and the mud and the wife's sandals strewn across the lawn are used to support the 'play-time' theme. Says an executive previously associated with the brand's communication, "Obviously, the company is looking at the emotional approach as more effective than punting basic instrinsics." Elaborates Zutshi, "We wanted to talk to the urban woman in the age group of 25 to 40 in a manner that we associate with her life and aspirations, and thereby connect with the functional benefits the product brings. The current campaign focuses on the woman's world in a more direct way - showing how she brings freshness to the world around her - while the former relied on the woman's family and the importance of her relationships."

This campaign, besides trying to appropriate the freshness factor for the category, is a precursor to the launch of a new range of washing machines by Samsung. Later this month, the company will add six new top-loading fully automatic washing machine models as well as a front-loading model. A company spokesperson says the company plans to pump in Rs 12 crore as mould investment for boosting its line-up this year. "The new fully auto washing machines will not only have a wider range in terms of the capacities being offered, but the features will also be enriched," the spokesperson adds.

All these efforts are aimed at increasing Samsung's market share in the segment to 25 per cent by the end of the year, indicate company executives. The company is targeting sales of 3 lakh units of washing machines this year, against 2 lakh units sold last year. "In addition to boosting our washing machine line up, we are in the process of expanding our home appliance channel this year by 30-40 per cent," states Zutshi.

Adds the company spokesperson, "Samsung aims to strongly appropriate the word 'fresh' for its entire home appliances range - including washing machines, refrigerators and microwave ovens." © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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