Philips Promo, Case study TRANSFORMING FRIED COOKING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA by Fleishman Hillard

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Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Singapore
Agency Fleishman Hillard
Released March 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Account Director: Pamela Phua (Fleishman-Hillard Singapore)
Senior Account Executive: Luana Low (Fleishman-Hillard Singapore)
Senior Pr Manager/Asean And Rest Of Asia Pacific: David Ong (Philips Consumer Lifestyle)
Customer Marketing Manager/Sales Organization Singapore: Linda Lam (Philips Consumer Lifestyle)
Senior Executive/Sales Organization Singapore: Aw Ee Ling (Philips Consumer Lifestyle)
Marketing Director/ASEAN: Chung Hee Young (Philips Consumer Lifestyle)
Media placement: Consumer Communications - - 1 March 2011
Media placement: Product Launch - - 1 March 2011
Media placement: Regional Communications - - 1 March 2011

Summary of the Campaign
How do you change a cooking tradition that Southeast Asians have been practicing for 3,000 years? Fried food has been a staple cuisine in this region. Amid rising concerns about health risks from high-fat diets, Philips decided it was about time for a change. In 2011, it launched a revolutionary appliance that fries food with air versus oil - the Philips AirFryer.
The challenge of changing deeply entrenched cooking habits in the region was sizable, requiring a demonstration of the product’s benefits and reliability in cooking Asian food. Communications needed to create awareness and excitement around the breakthrough nature of the product, drive purchase, while reinforcing the leadership of Philips in health and well-being with its timely innovations that improve lives.

Research showed many consumers perceive frying appliances negatively based on heavy oil consumption, odour and mess. They also believed air-frying sounded too good to be true and were reluctant to pay beyond a certain price-point to try it.

The campaign strategy focused on 'seeing (and tasting) is believing', building trust among consumers in 6 countries by putting AirFryers into the hands of influencers (chefs, media, bloggers and celebrities) to showcase the product’s ability to fry local recipes with up to 80% less fat.

The message was 'Lose the fat, not the taste', and the execution was in 4 phases that yielded multiple waves of exposure and favourable coverage. With regional fryer sales volumes up more than 300%, Philips was able to command a more than 15% product price increase in Singapore.

The Situation
Health and well-being company Philips had a radical idea in cooking science: create an appliance that fries food with air versus oil, saving mess, odour and health perils associated with fatty oils. The AirFryer, introduced in Southeast Asia, seemed like a natural for consumers across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam where fried food is a staple. But Philips needed to overcome deeply entrenched habits in cultures where cooking traditions are sacred. PR was critical in educating consumers on air-frying and in assuring them of the method’s abilities to help them to 'lose the fat and not the taste'.

The Goal
Philips undertook consumer focus group research in Singapore, the pilot market for the regional launch. The goals of the campaign developed in response to the research findings, included:
1. Create awareness of and interest in AirFryer as a healthier, more convenient way of cooking among media, consumers and influencers;
2. Overcome belief barriers to build product sales, set the stage for more favourable pricing model;
3. Further Philips’ positioning as a health and well-being company focused on improving lives through timely innovations.
The goals were consistent across the 6 target markets - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Strategy
To achieve Philips’ goals, the campaign capitalised on the breakthrough nature of the AirFryer while building trust and credibility through a 'seeing/tasting-is-believing' strategy to clearly demonstrate the product’s core promise to help consumers cook and eat healthier without compromising on taste. The approach of putting the AirFryer to the test with media, bloggers, chefs, celebrities and other influencers was designed to ignite and radiate conversation and allay 'too-good-to-be-true' concerns.

The campaign was created to unfold in 4 key stages to achieve multiple waves of exposure in each country, from the time of launch to the year-end festive season:
1. Themed pre-launch media teaser/launch event invitation;
2. Interactive media launch event featuring demonstrations and credible third parties who endorsed AirFryer;
3. Test-kitchen trials to spark positive reviews;
4. Holiday gift promotion.

The PR campaign in 6 countries centred on the key message of 'Lose the fat, not the taste', bringing this proposition to life at every stage.

'Air of excitement' pre-launch media teaser: To create curiosity and pave the way for launch, Philips developed and sent to reporters, producers and bloggers an air-themed launch event email invitation ('Imagine Frying with Air'), followed with deliveries of clear balloons, each containing a fried chicken wing visual inside.

Product launch event: A launch event introduced the product and its technology to media in each country in an interactive format that included celebrities and samples of air-fried Asian dishes prepared by a leading chef. Through the AirFryer Challenge, media were invited to guess the estimated amount of fat saved in each air-fried dish.

Media test-kitchens: Samples and recipes enabled media and bloggers to personally experience the AirFryer at home as the basis for reviews.

Documented Results

The campaign generated over 200 positive articles including broadcast coverage across media in 6 markets, conveying the AirFryer’s low-fat proposition for healthier diets and Philips as a company focused on health and well-being.

Since the PR introduction of the Philips AirFryer in 2011, Philips’ sales volume in the fryer category increased nearly 350% from 2010 across the 6 target markets. In Indonesia and Singapore in particular, Philips’ sales volume growth of the Fryer category since the introduction of the AirFryer increased over 1,500% and 600% respectively.

More than 30,000 units of the AirFryer have been sold in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to date.

In Singapore, demand for the product was so strong it warranted a more than 15% price increase 4 months after launch, despite early consumer research indicating that its premium pricing was a potential barrier to purchase.

The product achieved the endorsement of the Singapore Heart Association.