Whirlpool Design & Branding, Case study Zera by DigitasLBi


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Industry Electronic Devices & Home Appliances, Environmental & Animal Issues
Media Design & Branding, Case study
Market United States
Agency DigitasLBi
Released October 2016


Cannes Lions 2017
Product Design Impact: Innovation Bronze Lion

Credits & Description

Title: Zera
Agency: Whirlpool Corporation
Brand: Whirlpool Corporation
Country: USA
Entrant Company: Digitaslbi, Chicago
Advertising Agency: Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor
Engineer Lead: Tony Gates (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Senior Engineer: Paula Lobaccaro (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
General Manager Of Wlabs: Jennifer Bonuso (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Category Senior Manager: Kelley Rich (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Principal Engineer: Tom Latack (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Manager, Global: Megha Agarwal (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Sr. Engineering Manager: Scott Sichmeller (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Lead Engineer: Christopher Wilcox (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Senior Engineer: Rachel Maghas (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Performance Engineering Manager: Wade Atkinson (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Senior Product Designer: Thomas Burger (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Senior Product Designer: Michael Weston (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Manager Electrical Engineering: Heron Plaza (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Project Electrical Engineering: Hussein Kassem (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Master Technician: Joseph Taylor (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Engineer: Eric Boal (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Project Electrical Engineering: Victor Vargas (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Senior Electrical Engineering: Orlando Garza (Wlabs Of Whirlpool Corporation)
Brand Manager Industrial Design: Suzanne Berberet (Whirlpool Corporation)
Lead Industrial Designer: Mike Seeley (Whirlpool Corporation)
The average American family produces over 400 pounds of food waste per year.* That waste comprises roughly 20% of space in landfills, decomposing and producing methane — a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change.Management of food waste in landfills is a growing problem and one that has significant negative impact on the climate change. Consumers have been actively looking to reduce their food waste imprint for decades, but the current technology available is about as old as it gets. Traditional composting takes months to process, requires a large outdoor space, manual heap maintenance, and can attract pests and wildlife. These barriers combine to present a solution that is not attainable for most consumers. To truly tackle this problem, a solution was need that could be implemented in a wide variety of settings and requires minimal effort on the part of the consumer. *Based on estimated 3.5 kg
Campaign Description:
WLabs, a skunkworks division of Whirlpool Corp, took this problem head on. With their mantra of being a rebel force for good they sought to tackle the large and growing volume of food waste in landfills. Current alternative methods of food recycling, such as composting, have significant barriers to adoption. They are time consuming, messy, require a large amount of outdoor space, smelly, and generally undesirable. WLabs saw a deep need to create a better way. With the belief that when responsibility meets convenience, we can do great things, our team created the Zera™ Food Recycler. A revolutionary new kitchen appliance that can help a family manage their food waste with an environmentally responsible and sustainable approach.
The Zera™ food recycling process converts food waste into fertilizer through a fully automatic process, accepts a variety of food types including meat and dairy, and can be performed inside your home within 24 hours.* Unlike traditional composting, Zera™ Food Recycler automatically controls moisture, heat, air, and the process is not exposed to unwanted pests or wildlife. The beautifully-designed device conveniently fits into the kitchen, and with a simple push of a button converts household food waste into homemade fertilizer through an easy and convenient process. We believe we are the first to market in the U.S. with an indoor food recycler that converts a week's worth of food waste into ready-to-use homemade fertilizer within 24 hours.* Competitive products take at least a week to process and the output is not as uniform. *Based on estimated 3.5 kg weekly household food waste for average U.S. family.
Since the debut of Zera™ in January of 2017, the response has been overwhelming. Zera™ made its public debut at CES 2017 where it was awarded Best Innovation. The Indiegogo launch campaign surpassed its funding goal by over 800%! Media outlets at the local, national, and international level featured Zera™ - which contributed to millions of social media mentions and shares. Outside of the initial round of product going to the Indiegogo backers, Zera™ will be launch in select test markets in Fall of 2017.