Editor's Note

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Whirlpool is an interesting brand. Arguably one of consumer America's most ubiquitous and recognizable names, it is also one of the most nebulous.

While Maytag had stored up years of emotional equity on the back of its endearingly underemployed Maytag Repairman, Whirlpool had traditionally opted for a more rational sell.

Now Whirlpool marketing director Jeff Davidoff is out to change all that. By more strategically leveraging a standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity, the Benton Harbor, Mich. appliance maker is opting for a more emotionally driven branding campaign—and one that's DVR proof.

Acting upon an inspiration that was incubated within a multidisciplinary team of agencies led by senior account manager Jon Renner at Publicis, New York, Whirlpool is the presenting sponsor of country music and WB TV star Reba McEntire's summer concert tour.

"To me, the big breakthrough in this project was the realization of what my brand can be—how much we can open up the emotional dimension, the emotional personality", mused Davidoff.

On the topic of opening up dimensionally, I'm happy to usher in with today's edition the next phase in the continuing evolution of the Madison + Vine brand. The newsletter has now migrated to the Web (madisonandvine.com) where we aim to raise the bar on our coverage of the branded-entertainment space.

We will continue to publish every Wednesday and a teaser e-mail will arrive in every subscriber's in-box with a taste of that day's coverage to whet everyone's appetites. Subscribers then can log onto the new site with their individual passwords to access the newsletter in its entirety.

Beyond a renewed emphasis on breaking news, we will also be launching a section titled "Data," which will offer readers bite-size snapshots of branded-entertainment metrics, trends and opportunities that will be actionable as well as insightful.

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