LG's Twist On Appliance Upgrades: Do It For The Heck Of It

LG Electronics is launching a campaign positioning its major appliances as a step up in design and technology in an effort to get consumers to switch. The initial $20 million, two-month phase of the "Upgrade" campaign shows consumers fantasizing about how far they would go to get rid of their old home appliances and upgrade to LG.

The campaign, via Y&R's BrandBuzz agency, focuses on LG's premium full-kitchen series and steam laundry system.

The TV commercials are also shot in high definition. In one, a woman dreams about what she can do to get a new LG SteamWasher ... shoving her old washing machine off a diving board into the deep end of a pool.

Another features a consumer's desire for a new LG French-door refrigerator and her fantasy of tying her old refrigerator to railroad tracks in the path of an oncoming train.

The print effort is launching at the same time in consumer shelter, lifestyle, fashion and epicurean-focused magazines. Key headlines used to introduce the "upgrade" message include: "The average lifespan of a washer and dryer is 13 years; fortunately there are ways to shorten it," and "What would drive you to sabotage your perfectly good dishwasher? Our dishwasher."



TV, which debuted Monday on "Dancing with the Stars," will roll out over the next month to other network and cable television stations. There will also be Internet and PR efforts supporting the campaign.

John Taylor, vice president of public affairs at the Englewood, N.J. company, says the campaign derives from internal research suggesting that consumers are frequently upgrading instead of waiting for their appliances to go gentle into that good night.

"We wanted to take a tongue-in-cheek approach and drive home the premium nature of appliances we bring to market," he says, adding that the ads highlight the steam-in washer's ability to incorporate steam inside the washing machine and dryer; and the Panorama three-door refrigerator, the flagship of LG's kitchen series.

"I don't think we have ever done as concentrated a push as this over a two-month period," says Taylor.

LG has a leg or two to stand on when it comes to customer satisfaction, based on J.D. Power and Associates' "2007 Major Home Appliance Study." Based on 22,637 responses from consumers who bought one or more new major appliances during the previous 24 months, the study gives Bosch, GE, Kenmore, LG, Maytag, Samsung, Whirlpool and Whirlpool Gold high rankings. LG, Bosch and Samsung were ranked as particularly strong. LG ranked highest among clothes washers and dryers.

Overall, LG ranked third in dishwashers, fifth in side-by-side and French door fridges, and fifth in countertop microwaves. Other leaders were GE Appliances for built-in cooktops and wall ovens, Maytag for free-standing ranges, and Whirlpool for freezer-on-top refrigerators.

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