Several years ago two London artists installed themselves in a purpose-built glass-walled house, allowing the public to view them in their daily routines, and alleviating the boredom of those people waiting at the bus stop over the road. Similarly Big Brother, which began its third series in the UK two weeks ago, appealed to the public's seemingly insatiable appetite for voyeurism.
Korean electrical goods firm LG and PR firm Herald Communications launched a similarly-styled promotion on 20 May, putting a 'family' of four in a four-roomed house in the window of Harrods.
To demonstrate the functions of LG's networked products (multimedia fridge freezer, internet washing machine, and internet microwave oven) to the public and the media.
To raise awareness of the LG brand in the UK, and beyond.
Strategy and Plan
Herald and LG had talks in November about how they could create an environment in which the products' functions and interactivity could be showcased.
Herald came up with the idea of the internet family living in a house, in the midst of LG appliances. Harrods, owned by Mohamed al Fayed, rented the space to LG.
Herald decided four people living as a 'family' would be most effective, as families are LG's target market. In April an ad requesting volunteers (a 'mother', 'father', 'daughter' and 'son') was placed in The Guardian, Time Out, Evening Standard and The Stage.
The vote was put to the public on the campaign website, www.lginternetfamily.co.uk.
Client: LG Electronics UK
PR Team: Herald Communications
Campaign: LG internet family
Timescale: November 2001 - ongoing
Budget: £1m (for 12 months, including ads, design, etc)
The family were media-trained, briefed in the use of the LG products, and finally installed in the 'house' on 20 May. During their seven days at Harrods the family were interviewed by the media, given challenges (including dancing with Riverdance wearing wigs and drawing with Tony Hart) and visited by celebrities, including former Big Brother participants Craig and Helen.
Harrods designed the window and its press and marketing office liaised with LG and Herald on a daily basis, according to Harrods events marketing manager Lisa Lamarca.
Four in-window LCD screens presented spectators with information about the project and LG's products.
Measurement and Evaluation
National and regional print and broadcast media covered the campaign.
Additionally it attracted journalists and TV crews from as far afield as Kazakhstan and Korea. Formal measurement and evaluation will be conducted soon.
The ads seeking recruits for the project led to 178,000 hits on the website within three days. On the day that it went live, the site drew 775,000 unique users and 1.2 million the following day.
Due to the media interest, the assumption that the campaign raised the LG's profile seems justified. However, Herald intends to measure the impact in sales and to conduct on-the-street surveys to assess the impact on brand awareness. Further LG events are planned throughout the year.