To introduce its WiFi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control, Honeywell (along with Minneapolis agencies Mono and Haworth Marketing + Media) created a digital campaign in which actor John Slattery (Roger Sterling of “Mad Men” fame) reads articles on digital sites (such as The New York Times, Gizmodo and Mashable) to users.
“In the last few years, Honeywell has done little from a [consumer marketing] standpoint; we have focused on helping our marketing partners reach consumers. But in this case, we felt we had to send a message directly to consumers,” Frank Quadflieg, global director of marketing communications, tells Marketing Daily.
For the campaign, which begins this week, digital banner ads have a silhouette photo of Slattery and the headline, “Let John Slattery read you an article” from the publication currently being viewed. When a user clicks on the ad, Slattery begins reading the article. (The content Slattery is reading was arranged in advance.) At some point during the reading, he remarks that the room he’s in is getting warm and addresses the Honeywell thermostat to adjust the temperature. At the end of the reading, Slattery thanks users for listening and adds: “Wouldn’t it be nice if someone listened to you? Introducing the first thermostat built to listen.”
“When we first heard about [the thermostat], this was a human and innovative product,” Chris Lange, founder and co-creative chair at Mono, tells Marketing Daily. “I wouldn’t call it a product demo, but it does show off [the thermostat's] innovative features. ... It's the human benefit of technology.”
The ads will run on the digital sites of The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gizmodo and Mashable, to reach a technologically savvy, digitally oriented consumer. Corresponding print ads, which proclaim, “Today, smarter living is all about speaking up. Stay tuned. We have a lot more to say,” will run in the The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
“This campaign is about selling these products,” Quadflieg says. “But we also felt it was important to remind people of Honeywell's innovation in the category.”