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Humor and the art of selling ACs in the Middle East

Midea air-conditioner deploys humour and health

Marketing an air-conditioner can be a limiting exercise for any marketer, with most ads focusing on features. In such a challenging backdrop Midea Aircon, one of the most sold AC brands in the world, has launched a brand campaign around humor and health for the Middle East market. Here is a look at the ‘cooling’ plans of Midea Aircon for the region.

Midea Aircon first launched its range of technologically advanced air-conditioners in the Middle East in 2004, with the idea of bringing a new standard of cooling to the market. This year, the company launched its new Xtreme ProTech series with Midea’s latest solutions in the AC space.

January Yi-Yun Zhang, marketing director, Midea Residential Air Conditioning Overseas Sales Company, says, “this new product answers a new need in health, thus providing not just a more comfortable cooling experience, but also security and peace of mind with its germ-killing features.”

Evolution of the AC category in the Middle East region

The Middle East has a very hot and dry climate, and high temperatures all year-round, so the air-conditioner market has been in high growth. With people spending more time indoors since the pandemic, maintaining thermal comfort has become even more crucial than ever, hence the surge in the category demand. Of course, there have been challenges on the demand in the backdrop of unstable economies, tough competition, and unpredictable sales.

Making a ‘cool’ brand campaign

Due to the global pandemic and lockdowns, consumers in 2021 have got in a state of hypervigilance and clean, germ-free air at home has become a very important element of the shopping basket. Keeping this in mind, Midea Aircon launched its campaign for the Middle East ‘Love That Protects’, conceptualized by Shanghai-based creative agency F5.

The brand campaign uses this emerging trend to communicate how consumers can get to keep their loved ones comfortable, worry-free, and healthy, shares Yi-Yun Zhang.

The brand decided to layer this message with humour, as well as cementing the polar bear’s position as the Midea icon and ambassador. Eventually, the brand hopes to increase the market awareness of its full range of innovative air solutions.

Establishing the brand ambassador – the polar bear

In an era of highly paid celebrities, Midea opted for a relatively cost-efficient and more relevant polar bear as its mascot.

Kelvin Co, creative group head, F5, explains, “the Midea mascot was first introduced in 2020 to KSA, UAE, Oman, and more ME countries and it has been a great success, having increased the awareness and likability of the brand.”

After the success of the polar bear, the brand decided to stick with the same mascot strategy and build a stronger connection between the brand and consumers in the Middle East.

Creative solution: deploying humor along with health

Brands are increasingly realizing that for them to stand out and be remembered in a crowded world, the trick is to be relevant and simple. Agrees Yi-Yun Zhang and adds, “consumers in the Middle East are probably the biggest fans of humor and they also value their family very much.”

Thus, the brand opted to set a humorous tone in the relevant home scenario as the stage to tell its single-minded product benefit as the approach to win the attention battle.

Behind the scenes

The live shoot was remote, shares Kelvin Co of F5, and being a CG-heavy project, there was a separate motion capture shoot to record the motions of the polar bear.

"It was a lot of hard work and fun as well. It’s not every day you get to see a man in a green suit, or an actor in a motion-capture suit doing stunts for a chubby, lovable, protective polar bear", he adds.

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