Listen to any social media evangelist yabber on for a few minutes and you're likely to hear the words honesty, authenticity and openness mentioned. The thing many of them seem to overlook is the fact that as long as there is competition, many companies will presumably continue to be dishonest, fake and secretive. After all, it's what business was originally founded on (oh, and greed). There are exceptions, of course, and, to be fair, the rise of social media has forced a number of previously PR-driven, corporate speaky companies to get real with their customers. Which is a very roundabout way of getting to Fisher & Paykel's new campaign, Inside Stories, a feelgood marketing initiative that aims to show what really goes on behind the scenes with stories that are told through the eyes of its staff, rather than through its appliances.
F&P's Facebook page is a lesson in creating content—some of it corporate, and most of it relevant and interesting to the fans—that then creates a community. And F&P is obviously aiming to ramp up that feeling of community by showing a more personal side to the 76-year-old company in its marketing with a series of two minute clips based around the things that drive innovation across the design of its home and culinary appliances—and the lengths the staff, whether those in the fridge section or those in the customer care department, will go to to get it right.
The campaign, which is 'narrated' by Evie Ashton, has launched online and kicked off on television on Sunday 17 October. It could be tedious, technical and industrial, but the fourteen behind-the-scenes vignettes are surprisingly watchable (maybe it's our jingoistic brand love rearing its ugly head again). And, importantly, they also create a point of difference by stapling the company's design and innovation cred (here's a good one it announced recently) to the wall and explaining the brand values in an understated Kiwi way.
“To me, these videos capture the depth of the Fisher & Paykel advantage,” says Roger Bridge, F&P's New Zealand marketing manager. "These two minute long stories are a cross-section of our 1200-strong workforce across New Zealand, showing they don’t just produce and support our products, they are also the developers, innovators and quality controllers at every level and stage of the process. Some of our talented staff have started their own widely-followed Food Blog and our appliance recycling team generated Fisher & Paykel’s commitment to environmental sustainability well before it became PC in the workplace, when it was just the right thing to do."
Check them out at www.fp.co.nz/inside-stories.