Whirlpool Corp. announced today that it has launched an in-house ad agency, or as the company put it, “a new brand experience organization” that will be doing most of the company’s creative advertising work by 2023, a rep for the company confirmed.
Media is not part of the remit, so Publicis Groupe’s Spark Foundry will continue to handle media chores for the appliance marketer. Whirlpool consolidated most of its creative account with Publicis Groupe about 15 years ago and much of the creative work in recent years has been generated by Digitas, which declined to comment.
But sources noted that the agency is currently in production on a creative campaign -- so at least for now, there is a relationship beyond media.
Whirlpool’s new Chicago-based agency is called World of Whirlpool Studios, or WoW Studios for short. It comprises a multidisciplinary creative team, including numerous agency veterans who will work across Whirlpool Corp.'s North American brand portfolio, including Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, JennAir and Amana brands.
In its 2021 annual report, Whirlpool said advertising costs for the year totaled $345 million.
The annual report also suggests that taking greater control of the firm’s brand stewardship has been a company priority.
“Our success in maintaining, extending and expanding our brand image depends on our ability to adapt to a rapidly changing media environment, including an ever-increasing reliance on social media and online dissemination of advertising campaigns,” the firm stated.
“This new division of the company will blend over 111 years of appliance knowledge with creative excellence to enhance the consumer experience (CX), while unlocking new value for consumers and improving the lives of millions at home,” the company added.
"As consumer expectations evolve, we recognize that traditional marketing approaches are no longer enough," added Joe Liotine, chief operating officer of Whirlpool Corp. "That is why we are focused on delivering an enhanced consumer experience across all of our brands and channels." h
Whirlpool has tapped Anita Puri to be the agency’s head of operations. Most recently the 25-year industry veteran was executive vice president and group account director at Leo Burnett, where she led teams for Altria digital, Allstate and others.
Mike Frease has been named head of creative. He’s served at FCB, JWT, Leo Burnett, Arc, and Digitas.
More on the new in-house agency can be found here.