Bosch Pegs Rebate To Energy Savings

Even though oil prices are heading down--at least in the short term--appliance maker Bosch is finding ways to base purchase incentives on energy costs.

Bosch--part of BSH Home Appliances, Huntington Beach, the U.S. arm of BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgerate, GmbH--is running the "Bosch Energy Savings Event" promotion through the fourth quarter, offering rebates based on energy savings.

The offer, for Bosch's Nexxt machines, bases the rebate on projected energy saved over 10 years of use. It is based on average U.S. household use--about 8.6 cents per kwh, totaling between $80 and $110, depending on the model.

The company, which recently won praise from J.D. Power & Associates for its dishwashers and laundry machines, is also likely to update its current ad campaign for the Nexxt line to include the award logos.

Daniel Tiffenbacher, brand manager for Bosch, said a product category winner can use the accolade in ads, but it will cost approximately $400,000 per year to feature the logos in ads for both products. "It is possible and likely we will do it," he said yesterday.



Bosch's new campaign is the second this year to tout the brand's energy efficiency. In addition to print ads, the effort includes point of purchase materials. Bosch uses Hamon and Associates, Santa Monica, for advertising.

Bosch's first energy-efficiency effort this year ran in the first quarter and used a green frog as an icon, with the tagline: "It pays to be green." If that sounds familiar, it's because Ford used a similar creative approach to promote its hybrid version of the Escape SUV this year, with Kermit the Frog and the tag: "It's easy being green."

Bosch, challenged by Ford, launched its Nexxt line of machines two years ago, and had to prove it had developed the creative idea ahead of Ford, said Tiffenbacher. Earlier this year, Bosch launched the Nexxt 100 series, then introduced its first refrigerator line in September.

The company, seeking to promote itself as a green appliance maker, has also signed a promotional and advertising deal with eco-shelter magazine Verdant, which launched three weeks ago.

The major appliance market has been unspectacular, but Tiffenbacher said Bosch has had double-digit sales increases for "several years." According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), U.S. appliance shipments for all brands and categories are up 4.7 percent this year, and 3 percent in August.

Separately, Maytag has begun selling its Epic washer and dryer duo, the first new Maytag product since its acquisition by Whirlpool last year.

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