New KitchenAid effort puts food in spotlight

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KitchenAid hopes to whet consumers' appetites for home appliances with a campaign featuring delectable food.

Colorful images of multihued fruit shakes, herb focaccia bread and lemon souffle pancakes jump out at readers in new print advertising from N.W. Ayer & Partners, New York. The effort is the first from Ayer since KitchenAid parent Whirlpool Corp. unified the brand's small and major appliance divisions into one business unit in July.

"A lot of thought went behind [the campaign] because for the first time we're bringing these two different divisions together," said Ayer Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Mandel. "This is the first time they're really sharing one voice."

TEMPTING RECIPE

Print spreads feature arresting food visuals and a description of how KitchenAid portable and major appliances worked in conjunction to produce the fare. For example, the ad featuring lemon souffle pancakes reads: "Introducing the 36 [inch] Pro Line cooktop with the cooking power of 15,000 BTUs. Combine it with five-ply stainless steel cookware and the legendary stand mixer, and you'll never want to sleep in again."

The new campaign retains KitchenAid's longstanding "For the way it's made" tagline. The effort breaks in April issues of epicurean, shelter and bridal magazines including Conde Nast Publications' Architectural Digest, Hachette Filipacchi Magazines' Elle Decor and Metropolitan Home, and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's Martha Stewart Living.

Ayer Exec VP-Senior Partner Thomas Wyatt said KitchenAid's target audience is "home enthusiasts" and described the segment not by income or age, but as "the person who actually loves to get her hands in the dough."

TRIO OF AGENCIES

Ayer Parent MacManus Group scored a coup in December after KitchenAid consolidated its marketing assignments at some of the holding company's agencies. Those agencies -- Ayer as well as Clairon Marketing & Communications and DialogueWorks, both New York -- worked in conjunction to create the breaking integrated effort. At the time MacManus won the assignment, KitchenAid was slated to spend $50 million on marketing efforts in 2000.

This year's integrated push includes public relations, direct mail, trade advertising, point-of-purchase displays and promotions. The marketer and agency are currently working with retail outlets to coordinate in-store cooking demonstrations.

"It's more than building a brand," Mr. Wyatt said. "We're creating an brand experience around KitchenAid."

KitchenAid also will launch a redesign of its Web site on March 15. The print advertising directs consumers to kitchenaid.com to get recipes for food items featured.

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