Technology doesn’t have to be all about ones and zeroes and glowing screens. Sometimes it can come in the form of the most pedestrian (or at least seemingly so) of products.
American Standard, a 140-year-old brand, is set to introduce consumers to a new hub of innovation, “Porcelain Valley.” Like the famed Silicon Valley, the area features creative thinkers addressing a multitude of challenges in fancy offices.
“Silicon Valley is [perceived] as always thinking of something that can improve someone’s life,” says Shawn Hansen, account director at Solve (the agency behind the effort). “But when we look at American Standard, they’re thinking of things we don’t even know we need yet.”
The multimillion-dollar, multi-channel effort introduces a cast of nerdy product engineers designing and testing revolutionary plumbing inventions in a laboratory environment. In the video, a voiceover explains the workspace where “pixels don’t matter as much as people,” and that they “deep dive every day” (literally, in tubs of water). The spot ends with the line, “Born in Porcelain Valley.”
The effort also includes a Steve Jobs-like product introduction, in which a yellow turtleneck-wearing engineer introduces a new toilet innovation “from Porcelain Valley” — a self-cleaning toilet, which cleans with every flush — to rousing applause. The campaign also includes product-specific spots.
“There’s a little humor, but we are focusing this brand on product innovation,” Hansen tells “Marketing Daily.” “We’re taking the tech [idea] of think tanks in Silicon Valley and putting it in Porcelain Valley.”
The campaign is targeted at homeowners looking to do improvements or considering upgrades, and will run on sports programming (such as ESPN and NCAA Football) and home and shelter programming and media, i.e. “all the places where people go to get sharp about home improvement.”