What do you think about when you envision a washing machine? Work? Chores? Boring tasks you’d rather not do? All of the above, most likely. Who wants to buy something that represents one more thing on an already lengthy to-do list?
That is the challenge that faced the marketers of Samsung’s washing machines.
Most advertisements for washing machines highlight technical features that allow users to clean “even the toughest stains” or just do it faster. The tone may be chipper, but these ads aren’t exactly uplifting.
But Samsung’s “Wash Happy” campaign attempts to overturn this trend with an advertisement that exploits dance, fun and bright colors to communicate with younger audiences who need to be approached in a different way.
In order to narrow down the interests of the primary audience targeted by Samsung and discover how best to communicate with them, we restricted our target to mothers between the ages of 18-24 (21.3%) and 25-34 (78.7%) years old.
At the top of the interests ranking we find Retail with a Relevance score of 160%, Beauty with 154.8% Relevance and Apparel and Fashion with 149.3% Relevance. In the Wash Happy ad, these interests appear as a fashionable young woman with modern, yet slightly retro, style including red lipstick and multiple brightly colored, full-skirted dresses.
To refine the target’s lifestyle preferences further, we first drilled down into the Retail category which had the highest relevance index.
Target is ranked the highest, which tells us this customer values higher quality brands rather than the cheapest possible products. Research shows that most of Target customers have graduated from college and make a middle-class income.
Also in the ranking are many stores which base their images on refined style and quality, like the “screaming owl,” which offers discounted boutique items for moms and children, at second place with a Relevance score of 151.2%. Other stores, like Saved by the dress, The mint julep boutique, The blue door boutique and Charming Charlie also feature simple but curated styles, perfectly embodied by the young woman dancing around Samsung’s washing machine in the advertisement.
All of these retail stores also show very high percentages of Penetration and Affinity within this market, underlying the strong bonds between Samsung’s target audience and the values these brands promote.
Digging into the second most relevant category, Beauty, which is also the first ordering by Affinity, revealed other elements that characterize Samsung’s target audience, and that appeared in the ad.
Ordering by Relevance index, in first place we find The Honest Company, with a Relevance index of 190.6%, which espouses the brand values of transparency and genuine products. Interestingly, the color palette used by The Honest Company is very similar to the bright, happy colors used in the Samsung washer ad. Happiness, which is also in the name of the Samsung campaign, is displayed in the execution of the spot and seems to be a transversal value expressed by many of the brands present in the Beauty ranking of the target, which begins with The Honest Company and also includes “happiness” in its mission.
The connection between vitality, happiness and the target is enforced by the presence of fitness brands and communities which appear in the target’s interests, and which are represented in the spot by the energetic dancing of the young woman.
We talked about the interest in fashion, and in a deeper analysis of this last interest, we finally understand the choice of the retro look worn by the young woman. Vintage and retro style works well with the funny, genuine and fresh style of the campaign but when we looked at the favorite fashion brands of this audience, it became clear that this choice was inspired by brands this target loves, like Modern vintage boutique with an Affinity score of 158.8% and Lime Lush boutique with 174.1% affinity at the top of the ranking.
Samsung’s decision to overturn the general trend of listing features in washing machine advertisements has a solid bases when seen beside the interests of their target demographic. In fact, the advertisement never mentions technological features - an excellent choice considering technology is nearing the bottom of this demographic’s interests table.
The campaign, designed around bright colors, retro style and happiness, embraces the interests of young moms looking for simple, genuine products and fresh style.
The ad represents the target’s active lifestyle too through the high-energy dance moves of the female protagonist, all while wearing dresses, high heels and accessories, implying an appreciation for fashion.
Opportunities: Samsung’s ad paints an attractive vision of the lifestyle and tastes of its audience, but could it have included something more to more effectively grab their target’s attention?
The ad opens with the protagonist singing about the tasks she can accomplish using this appliance. Right after, brightly-hued drinks and scoops of ice cream fall on the floor, acting as visual examples of why one would need to scrub clothes before putting them in a washing machine.
It’s here that we noticed an opportunity for Samsung to have made their advertisement even more tailored to its target.
The moment in which the clothes get dirty, especially in appliances ads, expresses lifestyle too. Often in these types of ads, we see a mother washing clothes stained with dirt from children playing football or eating ice cream. As we browsed through the target’s other interests, we discovered that Samsung’s audience loves Pets and Animals (a category with an Affinity score of 119.4%, Popularity score of 136.4%, and Penetration score of 12.7%). In fact, the number-one celebrity in this demographic’s Famous People list is Ree Drummond, a blogger who writes about life on a ranch.
What if this ad had shown the clothes becoming stained with muddy paw prints from playing with the family’s dog?
We believe that adding a funny cut that includes a dog leaving muddy paw prints on the kids’ T-shirts could have added something more to the advertisement by depicting another fragment of the actual lifestyle of the target audience. The more touchstones the audience has to connect with, the more relatable the advertisement, and the more desirable the product.