August 30, 2017

2017 Effie-Winner Spotlight: Whirlpool, “Care Counts”

The North American Effie Awards and ATOMCK have teamed up to present a special interview series featuring winners from the 2017 competition. Alan Hart, managing partner at ATOMCK and host of “Marketing Today,” sat down with these marketers to discuss insights from their Effie-winning work.

In this week’s 2017 Winner Spotlight, Hart spoke with Bill Beck, vice president of brand marketing at Whirlpool, to discuss Whirlpool’s “Care Counts” campaign, created in partnership with DigitasLBi.

Beck wanted to add meaning to the tasks appliances accomplish for us. In a world of savings, no one was telling a story with their products and acknowledging their role in people’s lives. The Whirlpool team studied the connection between people and their appliances. One thing Beck discovered: A top reason for children skipping school was that they didn’t have clean clothes. It seemed obvious to Beck and his team that they could help.

With the help of the St. Louis school system, Whirlpool installed washing machines in a number of schools. Right away, they saw improvements in the schools — attendance rates went up, academics improved, and the schools came alive with a new vibrancy. Beck knew this initiative was the right thing to do. As a purpose-driven brand, Whirlpool looks for ways to create positive change regardless of the recognition it might get. The results encouraged Whirlpool to put more machines in more schools to help underprivileged families have clean clothes. Beck has since grown the program to include a partnership with Teach For America with the mission to get machines in as many schools as possible. “Care Counts” highlights the meaningful purpose of appliances in people’s lives and shows how a purpose-driven brand can have a real impact.

“Care Counts” by Whirlpool and DigitasLBi took home an Effie in the Branded Utility and Positive Change categories at the 2017 North American Effie Awards.


The Campaign