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For its new ad campaign breaking last week, Whirlpool Corp. hired a cultural anthropologist to better understand the relationship between consumers and their appliances.

What the anthropologist found: Women are the coach of the household, assigning tasks and managing other members of the household.

Agency Campbell-Ewald, War-ren, Mich., developed a print campaign tagged "Making your world a little easier," with ads emphasizing products including dishwashers, washers and refrigerators as opposed to the traditional lifestyle approach to appliance advertising.

A TV campaign will follow the print this summer in conjunction with a product launch.

"Unlike other research, the anthropologist helped us dig deep into the minds and hearts of the target audience," said Jim Huchok, senior VP-account manager on the business at the agency.

Along with the new positioning, Whirlpool has developed new ways of getting its message out, including its first sponsorship in the Nascar auto racing circuit.

Whirlpool will jointly sponsor Ricky Rudd's race car with Procter & Gamble Co.'s Tide detergent.

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