LG is soaking spectators during the summer season with a dishwasher-themed experiential marketing installation smack dab in the middle of Manhattan.
The 6,750 square-foot pop-up water park, which coincides with the tenth annual Citi Summer Streets, is intended to promote the LG QuadWash and the product’s four spray arm technology that doubles up on the category’s traditional two-spray-arm design—all while drenching festivalgoers.
The inflatable water attraction, located next to Central Park and about two-and-a-half times the size of a tennis court, is modeled from the exterior and interior elements of the LG QuadWash.
“Let’s face it—the dishwasher is not the most exciting thing in the household. Yet, it’s essential, and a way for parents to have children chip in to complete their chores,” Peggy Ang, head of home appliance brand marketing at LG Electronics USA, told AListDaily. “When we looked at how we can launch a product differently, we considered timing, so the water park consumer experience and idea was born. A water park in the middle of Manhattan is as unique and disruptive as an experience can be for our target audience as we shine on our technological innovations.”
LG wanted as many people as possible to have a personal experience and touchpoint with the over-the-top branding effort while beating the heat and turning a mundane experience into something more rich and meaningful, Ang says. The marketing activation is designed to drive affinity and relationships with consumers and promote the brand’s proposition, “Life’s Good.” Partnering with Citi Summer Streets—they’re part of a larger sponsorship of the festival—was a natural fit for LG, Ang says, because it brings families together.
The LG QuadWash, priced at $699, is one of the brand’s key product launches this year and is marketed for affluent, “technology inclined” consumers. The South Korean electronics manufacturer’s other product launch this year was the LG InstaView door-in-door refrigerator, which was also paired with an out-of-home interactive experience. A third flagship item will launch in the fall.
“LG’s brand strategy with activations and advertising this year has celebrated the realistic elements of life in a no-filter world,” Ang says. “The one tenet that we’re looking for in everything that we’re doing now is disruption. Yes, it’s a common term used in marketing. We look at disruption not for the sake of it, but to give consumers a different view of a boring task like dishwashing, and bringing that to life. It also opens the conversation on how dishwashing merits a second look, and can be a part of the family experience.”
As newfangled appliances hit the marketplace, Ang says LG is finding marketing inspiration from its consumers.
“We give consumers the liberty to think bigger and better than just the traditional context by which our products live in the home. We’re trying to expand everyone’s creative juices while making sure our tech innovation is not lost in the shuffle,” she says. “If we need to bring that out of the traditional view—we will. We’ll not compromise on the consumers, though. Yes, we’re selling dishwashers—there’s no question about that. But we’re embracing and acknowledging consumers while doing so with experiences outside of the kitchen.”
Ang says she considers the brand to be media-agnostic and uses experiences like the one currently erected at Citi Summer Streets until August 19 to gain insights into their consumer profile. For its New York activation, LG is avoiding channels like paid media and surveys to specifically amp up its PR and social presence with contests centered around giveaways.
“We need to bring innovation that makes sense to the daily lives of consumers. That means, ‘how can I bring more meaning to your life? Or a smile?’ The strength of our brand comes from true LG fans. We’re trying to take a different path,” — Peggy Ang, head of home appliance brand marketing at LG Electronics USA.
In addition to livestreams from inside the water park, LG also has 30 on-site ambassadors in poolside cabanas giving product demos and netting nuggets of intel on the kind of value consumers see in their product.
“The comments [on social media] are beyond the usual that we’ve experienced,” Ang said. “They’ve been speaking and referring to us with some of our marketing lingo. The images guests share can be very telling, too. I value that as the most authentic piece of content I can push than any paid media possibly can. They only share stuff to their audience that they’re proud of. When I see the pictures, I can tell they’re excited, and that it’s not a farfetched correlation between what we’re doing, and how we’re making an impact in their lives. When we speak together as cohorts, it makes us more relatable as a brand, all while helping us reinforce our brand proposition.”
Using influencers such as Fortune Feimster, Adrienne Moore, JD Witherspoon and Sam Talbot like they are with the water park is part of LG’s marketing strategy, Ang says, but it’s not the driver. LG considers consumers who share their thoughts with their communities as points of influence.
“Dishwashing is not exciting—we get it. But it’s so ripe for disruption and innovation,” Ang says. “When I joined the company last year, I told the stakeholders, ‘You have great products. We need to innovate the marketing.’ That didn’t mean turning everything upside down . . . We believe LG has an important role to play in the enhancement of the home, and how families can interact with their appliances.”
In the case of the LG QuadWash dishwasher, the main learning so far has been that consumers want to save time on the tedious task of dishwashing duties, no matter how much “fun” it is.
Ang believes the home appliance category can use a serious marketing shake-up.
“I’m a marketer. I get excited about a lot of things,” she says. “We need to bring innovation that makes sense to the daily lives of consumers. That means, ‘how can I bring more meaning to your life? Or a smile?’ The strength of our brand comes from true LG fans. We’re trying to take a different path.”