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Whirlpool Brings TLC to Sandy Relief Efforts - Broadcasting & Cable

Whirlpool Brings TLC to Sandy Relief Efforts

Vignettes highlight sponsor's role in helping Atlantic City victims
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Not
many people come back from Atlantic City as winners, but Discovery Communications
and Whirlpool didn't go there to gamble. Both companies were involved in
helping to rebuild homes in the city devastated by Superstorm Sandy. So when
the time came to create some vignettes for the marketer, the Jersey Shore
became a focus.


When the new home improvement series Honey Do premieres on June 17 in
primetime on Discovery's TLC, vignettes featuring three of the show's handymen
hosts-Jonathan Waud, Kevin Peake and Benjamin Patterson-who pitched in at
Atlantic City, will air in promotional time. The Honey Do trio will tell
viewers that Whirlpool donated appliances for the rebuilt homes. The vignette
shows a Whirlpool truck delivering washers and dryers, as well as some of the
grateful homeowners.


John Barry, senior VP for ad sales at TLC, said the vignettes came together
extraordinarily fast.


Whirlpool had already bought its schedule of commercials and would be
advertising products it had not featured on the network before, including washers
and dryers.


"The viewers of TLC align nicely with the consumers we're trying to market to,
so it's a natural fit for us," says Janet Johnson, associate brand manager for
Whirlpool.


Like most advertisers buying significant ad packages, Whirlpool would also get
some branded content in the form of integrations, vignettes and billboards.


"Back in early April their agency, Optimedia, came to us looking for some
really good ideas," Barry says. TLC called in its sales marketing team, as well
as the network's marketing team. "What really resonated well was the Atlantic
City project."


More than 125 Discovery Communications employees and on-air talent converged on
Ventnor City, a suburb of Atlantic City, to work with Habitat for Humanity last
month as part of the media company's Discovery Impact initiative. In addition
to the guys from Honey Do, Buddy Valastro of TLC's Cake Boss and
Dave Salmoni of Animal Planet took part in the effort. Also showing up for work
were Ventnor City mayor Mike Bagnell and New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
(In 2011, Discovery employees rebuilt homes in suburbs of Birmingham, Ala. hit
by tornadoes.)


Whirlpool has worked with Habitat for Humanity for 13 years, contributing more
than $78 million in cash and merchandise. TLC approached Whirlpool about
joining in the Atlantic City effort, especially since the Honey Do
talent would be involved. "We felt like partnering with that show was a natural
for us," says Whirlpool's Johnson.


In Atlantic City, Whirlpool donated 30 household appliances including washing
machines, dryers, dishwashers, ranges and refrigerators. The appliances were
installed by Discovery volunteers, working with Habitat's people.


Creating vignettes around the Atlantic City effort was a great fit, Barry says.
"We probably turned this around in a two-to-three-week time frame," he says.
"One of the keys was getting great cooperation on the approval process. There
was a very tight timetable for us to work with."


The vignettes will be accompanied by traditional spots from Whirlpool.
Initially, a vignette will air during Honey Do, but it will also appear
on other shows on the network. Whirlpool will also get on-air billboards
highlighting its sponsorship.


Whirlpool doesn't normally trumpet its work with Habitat for Humanity on TV.
"It is something Whirlpool and the Whirlpool Corp. are obviously proud of, but
not necessarily something we led with in marketing. This is a little different
in the way we're approaching it," says Johnson. "We put this together in less than
two weeks' time. It was amazing, but well worth it. We're excited to be a part
of it."

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