Can your appliances do this? JennAir’s sexy focus on form over function

Who: Whirlpool Canada with Darkhorse (lead creative), Zulu Alpha Kilo (for Canadian elements), Cossette Media and Hill + Knowlton for PR.

What: A Canadian adaptation of the award-winning “Bound by Nothing” branding campaign for Whirlpool’s luxury appliance line, JennAir.

When & Where: The campaign is live in Canada now, running across print, digital/social, and out-of-home—along with a new brand website and earned media efforts. It launched in the U.S. in March 2018, and won a Gold at the North American Effie Awards in the U.S. in March.

Why: The “Bound By Nothing” positioning was developed in the U.S. by Darkhorse, a “bespoke” agency comprised of Digitas and MSL. The goal was to breathe new life into a decades-old “super-premium” brand that had fallen behind by 2017. The campaign connects JennAir to a very modern design aesthetic while mocking stodgy luxury stereotypes.

How: According to a release announcing the Effie win, JennAir and Darkhorse wanted to target consumers “drawn to strong leadership qualities including courage, distinctiveness, calculated risk taking and most importantly, the idea of progress.” The creative focus is less on cooking and washing dishes, and more about how the appliances look and make the owner feel. There are a few product cameos in the anthem spot by Darkhorse, but there are also motorcycles with flaming wheels, a doberman held by a fierce-looking model, and suggestions of threesomes and sexual ecstasy.

What about the product: JennAir is pushing the Rise and Noir lines in Canada, with a new showroom opening in Toronto next week where people see the JennAir appliances and talk with a JennAir “concierge.”

Quote: “JennAir exists to drive progress in the appliance industry by delivering limitless possibilities for our luxury consumers, helping them build their dream kitchen…Our new product line features progressive design, meticulous craftsmanship, and frictionless technology. Through this new line we are making unmistakable strides toward meaningful progress and innovation in the category.” —Janice Ryder, senior marketing manager, Whirlpool Canada.

David Brown