Beyond Buttons And Beeps: Consumer Durable Brands Are Changing The Content Game

Machines have feelings too. It all depends on how you tell their stories. Explore how consumer durables are rewriting the content script, shifting from gadgets to emotions.

By Red Bangle

05 min read

Jan 31, 2024

With the festive season now behind us, this is perhaps a great time to look back at the consumer durables sector.  After 3 barren years impacted by the global pandemic, the consumer durables industry in India finally made a comeback. Showing a 25% year-on-year growth, largely on the back of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and a longer festive period. 

So how are consumer durables amping up their content game? It’s not just about unboxing gadgets; it’s about unboxing emotions. Let’s dive right in and decode what’s working, why it’s working and how you could draw inspiration for your next marketing campaign.

1. Stories over specs

The big shift has been the rise of emotional narratives and story-telling that goes beyond product features. Brands now know that stories matter as much as specs.  Consider LG’s latest ‘Life’s Good’ brand film for instance. There’s not a single appliance in sight. It’s all about the emotion the brand stands for. A celebratory delve into what life can be like if you embrace optimism. In a category that can sometimes be cold, the commercial allowed LG to own the sunny feeling called ‘optimism’ as its brand credo.

2. Flip the digital rules

In a marketing move that turned heads, Samsung redefined ad targeting and achieved a whopping 34% boost in sales . How? Enter the Flipvertising campaign for the Galaxy Z Flip 4 launch. Aussies were nudged to embark on a digital scavenger hunt, seeking out specific Samsung-themed YouTube ads for a chance to win the coveted phone.

Viewers had to outsmart their Google Search algorithm by watching particular Samsung-related content to trigger a winning ad on YouTube. Once participants viewed all three videos, they entered a retargeting pool. The final winning ad popped up as a pre-roll spot on YouTube. The result? A search volume record for a Samsung Z Flip launch, a whopping 133% higher than the next best launch.

3. Inclusivity is the key

Traditionally, most appliance commercials used to show women as their primary users. But those gender roles are now blurred, and some brands are quick to embrace the change. In India, Voltas Beko tugged the heartstrings with its ‘#StrongerDads film that celebrates new-age fathers who wholeheartedly embrace their equal share in household responsibilities. With a powerful and heart-warming story that unfolds through a day in the life of a homemaker father.

At a global level, Whirlpool’s latest ‘Care Counts’ initiative goes a step forward by putting their money where their heart is. The program was born from a simple insight: millions of underprivileged U.S. children were found to be bunking school due to a lack of clean clothes. School children wearing dirty clothes often report being bullied and stigmatized. Whirlpool intervened, by installing washers and dryers in pilot schools. This simple act of increasing children’s access to clean clothes improved attendance among 90 percent of the at-risk students tracked. Watch their recent video here.

4. Think out of the social box

Social media is as much a place for cat videos as it is for computer reviews. Globally, the standout example was Hewlett-Packard’s (HP)  #HPCoachella launched in conjunction with the Coachella music festival, ticked all the boxes to become phenomenally viral on TikTok. The initiative called for people to record beats by using various everyday items (including, but not limited to, pots and pans) and then add said beats to TikTok’s most popular songs. #HPSustainableSounds attracted the attention of TikTok stars like @abigailbarloww and @dreaknowsbeast, so much so that it significantly outranked Coachella’s own TikTok account!

5. Use data to innovate

Recently, much to the industry’s surprise, Urban Company has ventured into something altogether new, nearly 10 years after it started out. In 2023, the consumer services unicorn forayed into the consumer durables territory by launching reverse osmosis (RO) water purifiers and a smart door lock under the brand name ‘Native’. Urban Company recognised that existing competitor products required frequent maintenance. Feedback from the service category enabled the company to pinpoint exactly which spare parts needed the most attention and innovation. As a result, the company claims that its purifier requires the least maintenance and servicing.

So, whether you’re a brand builder, a gadget geek, or just someone eyeing the next big shiny appliance for your home, one thing’s for sure – the consumer durable revolution is being streamed, liked, and shared. Let the unboxing begin! 

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