In a new television commercial that began running this week, actor John Slattery (best known as Roger Sterling on “Mad Men”) sits alone in an apartment, declaring “The future is voice control.” He demonstrates by ordering up a beer, a dog, some music and a hibachi chef all with one-word commands.
Although he concedes the present isn’t quite at that point, he notes that his thermostat does understand his commands. As a demonstration, he addresses the monitor, and looking at the flaming grill, says “It’s a little hot in here.” The monitor responds by saying it will lower the set temperature.
“It’s using John in an environment where he can interact with the thermostat,” Chris Lange, creative co-chair at mono, the Minneapolis agency behind the campaign, tells Marketing Daily.
The television campaign is an outgrowth of a digital effort Honeywell launched last year that enabled Internet users to hear Slattery reading versions of stories in the New York Times. The new campaign continues that effort, but on a larger scale, Lange says.
“It’s much like we were doing in the online banner campaign, but reaching a much broader audience,” Lange says. “Obviously, the category is hot right now, and Honeywell is a true innovator. They want to make sure people know about [this product].”
The overall effect to to humanize the product rather than focusing on the technology, Lange says. “You really get to see the human participating with the technology,” he says. “Even though this is a huge jump in technology, we really wanted to show the human benefit.”
The commercial will be airing on prime time and late-night programming throughout the summer.