CAMPAIGN: Electrolux promotes healthy competition

For the past five years the goods and electronics firm Electrolux has run an industrial design competition for students called Design Lab.

Campaign: Design Lab
Client: Electrolux
PR Team: In-house
Timescale: April 2006-April 2007
Budget: Undisclosed

Topical issues are used as the focus for some of the competitions with 2006's event calling on entrants to design a product linked with healthy eating. 

To promote the competition among design students. To attract entrants from around the world. To position the firm as an employer that is committed to innovative design.

Strategy and plan
The competition’s launch in spring, the judging process and the announcement of the winner in November were all used as triggers for live events, media relations and online advertising.

Each year a website is created to guide entrants through the competition process, and online journalists and design-focused blogging sites were targeted. Journalists were also invited to watch shortlisted entrants show off their designs to the jury.

Around 120 journalists attended the award ceremony in November in Barcelona. Istanbul student Metin Kaplan won first prize for his design of a multi-tiered lunch box that keeps different courses of a meal hot or cold.

Measurement and evaluation

The 2006 event created around 385 articles from May 2006 to March 2007. Channel 4’s design programme Grand Designs also featured entrants.

Entries were shown at this year’s Grand Designs Live Exhibition in London in June as well as at Birmingham NEC in October. Two finalists are now employed as designers by Electrolux.

Sarah Woods, senior reporter at Design Week, says the campaign tapped into an increasing emphasis across the industry on professional development and training.

‘It is a good idea to give students experience of competition,’ she explains. ‘Increasingly, employers are saying that sitting behind a desk is not enough, so it is important students get the chance to take part in something practical like this.’


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