Philips content push aims to make consumers reassess the brand

Philips is launching a UK marketing campaign that it hopes will make consumers reassess the brand for the innovative products it produces now rather than linking it with sectors it no longer operates in.

Phillips innovation

Targeting what it has dubbed “the sandwich generation” – influential adults who have both children and parents to care for – Philips has created a digital “innovation and you” content hub with videos that aim to show how the brand is impacting that sector of the market’s lives, across a number of different business verticals.

The push, created by Ogilvy One, with media planned by Carat, will be supported with paid digital ads, social media and PR as Philips plans to reach more than 2 million people with the messaging over the coming months.

The campaign began in earnest in November, then targeting c-suite customers. The consumer element of the push then rolled out in other markets including Brazil, North America, Benelux, the Middle East and Turkey before reaching the UK this month.

The activity forms part of Philips wider brand repositioning effort, a project it embarked on in November when it introduced the new “Innovation and You” strapline and logo as part of a marketing overhaul that now sees all future activity communicate how the brand is impacting people’s lives. 

Wander Bruijel, Philips UK and Ireland head of brand and integrated communications, told Marketing Week the campaign’s key measure of success will be determining if its target market associates Philips as a brand with innovation and people at the heart that makes a difference to their lives – but he stresses that this is a long term play.

He added: “We are not going to change perceptions with the British public about what we do in a mere month, this is a job that will take a number of years.”

Another focus of the campaign is to ensure consumers recognise the key categories – healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting – Philips now operates in.

Bruijel said: “The public often associates Philips with things that are not core to what we do any more – things like TV and lifestyle entertainment. A lot of people don’t know that a significant part of what we do is b2b. So I hope this campaign will increase the familiarity with the breadth of what we do.”

Last month when reporting its first quarter financial results, Philips warned 2014 would be a “challenging” year due to the strength of the Euro and weaker demand in Russia and China.

Bruijel said marketing is disconnected from these challenges.

“We are seeing no implications for the way we are doing marketing. The fact that we are continuing on this repositioning journey is indicative of the importance of marketing within Philips,” he added.

In 2011 Philips embarked on a cost cutting programme that aims to make €1.5bn in savings by the end of next year. Bruijel said part of this strategy is to reinvest savings back into marketing activation, giving the brand more leeway to invest in its repositioning efforts.

Philips reported a 14 per cent drop in profits to €138m in the three months to 31 March as sales slipped 4.5 per cent to €5.02bn.