Ashwini Gangal

Whirlpool meets creative agencies

The process is underway in Delhi.

American home appliances giant Whirlpool is currently scouting for a creative agency. The process is underway in Delhi.

Draftfcb Ulka has been handling the creative duties for Whirlpool for several years and has worked on its washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners and microwaves businesses. The agency has played a significant role in establishing the brand in India.

Whirlpool meets creative agencies
Towards the end of 2007, Whirlpool initiated a pitch and in January 2008, the team brought on board Contract Advertising. The agency was given the mandate to handle the creative duties for Whirlpool's foray into new categories as well as the then new products (including water purifiers and built-in appliances like ovens for modular kitchens) it planned to launch in its existing categories.

Draftfcb Ulka continued to stay on board and since then, the two agencies have shared the mandate for the brand. Sources inform that both agencies are part of the current review process.

Lodestar Universal has been Whirlpool's long standing media agency. A few years ago, Ignitee Digital Solutions was appointed to work on Whirlpool's branding across online media, mobile, social media and e-commerce platforms.

The roots of Whirlpool can be traced back to 1911, to a company called Upton Machine Company, founded in Michigan, USA. In 1929, Upton Machine Company merged with Nineteen Hundred Washer Company to give birth to a new firm called The Nineteen Hundred Corporation. It was The Nineteen Hundred Corporation that successfully launched the very first product (an automatic washing machine) under the Whirlpool brand name in 1948. Then, in 1950, Nineteen Hundred was renamed Whirlpool Corporation.

In 1987, Whirlpool established presence in India through a joint venture with Sundaram Clayton (TVS Group). In 1995, Whirlpool Corporation acquired Kelvinator, giving birth to Whirlpool India.

In 2011, Whirlpool Corporation celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Today, Whirlpool is marketed in more than 170 countries. The product portfolio includes appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, microwave ovens, air conditioners, water purifiers and other built-in offerings such as coffee machines, barbeques and dish washers.

Locally, Bollywood actors Ajay Devgn and Kajol have endorsed Whirlpool's products extensively. Whirlpool competes with brands such as LG, Videocon and Samsung, among others.

Besides ATL communication, Whirlpool has, in the recent past, utilised other media platforms as well to reach out to its consumers. Draftfcb Ulka crafted a guerrilla marketing exercise for the brand last year, which involved a T-shirt design that looked as if carved out of human skin. Volunteers clad in the T-shirt approached shoppers buying clothes at shopping arcades, reminding them that their discarded clothes could make a difference to the less fortunate who have nothing to wear.

The T-shirt was also placed in apparel shops. Shoppers could also scan the given QR tag to reach a website that held more information. Titled 'Ek Jodi Kapda, Skin Shirt', the activity was spread across 80 cities and 200 towns with more than 1,700 schools and colleges participating, along with 400 corporate entities. At the end of the activity, 175 tonnes of clothes were collected.

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