Friday, June 29, 2007

White Goods with White Board

When GE launched “Imagination at Work” as its new slogan to replace
“We Bring Good Things To Life”, the most eye-catching part of its
online campaign was a virtual whiteboard that visitors could sketch and
scribble on. Apparently, someone at GE had the smarts to transfer the
ad’s essence to the gleaming white surfaces of GE’s appliances. White
goods + whiteboard…? Witness the birth of the sketch-a-fridge.

Currently only available in Brazil, where it is sold as Risque Rabisque
(roughly: Scrawl & Scribble), the refrigerator is covered in a
special coating similar to dry erase whiteboards. Replacing the age-old
practice of sticking grocery lists and children’s drawings on the
fridge, missives can now be written directly on the appliance and
easily wiped off. It’s a simple innovation that cleverly integrates
existing human behaviour, and turns a mundane product into something
playful and appealing. Opportunities? When rethinking a product or
service, don’t just focus on features or haute design. An element of
fun can be just as much of a sales magnet, at a fraction of the cost.

Adding an interesting twist, GE isn’t the only company to launch
fridge-a-doodlers in Brazil this year. One of Whirlpool’s Brazilian
appliance brands, Consul, is peddling Aquarela, a line of sketchable refrigerators. Who peeked at whose design boards? If you know the answer, leave a comment ;-)

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