How LG Electronics' Aussie marketing leader sold in a fresh brand plan

Marketing director talks through the new brand program of work, why the iconic 'life's good' campaign needed a rethink, and how she's worked to sell it in internally

The new LG brand campaign
The new LG brand campaign

Reconnecting to modern consumer conceptions of what makes life ‘good’ by reflecting everyday moments has seen LG Electronics invest in its first brand-oriented program of work in more than a decade.   

LG Electronics Australia marketing director, Gemma Lemieux, told CMO the brand’s iconic ‘Life’s good’ tagline, which was first developed by Aussie marketers 21 years ago, required a significant rethink given how profoundly life and what is ‘good’ has changed for consumers in the last few years. In particular, she highlighted challenges over the last two years such as bushfires, floods and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stagnating brand health, a reliance on product-specific marketing and silos across the organisation also provided triggers for investment into a rejuvenation of brand internally and externally.

“I’d come back into the industry after six years and realised LG has not done a lot from a brand perspective or taken care of the brand as I think we should have over the past decade. It gave us an opportunity to reflect back on what the marketplace was doing, from a pandemic perspective, plus the latent love for the LG brand,” Lemieux said.

“We needed to look at how society had changed over the past 20 years. If you look at some of our older advertising, you can see we had been stereotypical in the way we represented consumers’ lives and our brand. It’s not reflecting the way society is living today. We wanted to reconnect with the Australian consumer.”  

To help better understand audience shifts, LG locally conducted a comprehensive consumer research program late last year. The work looked at things like daily habits, the way consumers behave and operate, and attitudes.

Two key audience segments stood out across LG’s core home appliance and home entertainment categories providing the foundations for how the brand is now working to demonstrate its products, Lemieux explained. Off the back of this, LG has created two core storylines to bring to life how LG products services these two different audiences and build affinity.

“What we were finding was that the home appliance audience tended to be home owners, slightly older in terms of demographic, who love entertaining from an attitudinal perspective and celebrating at home and who tend to gravitate towards the kitchen,” she said. “In the home entertainment space, it’s potentially renters and a slightly younger audience, who potentially will become the home appliance segment of the future. They gravitate more towards the TV, enjoying time in front of the TV with friends or flatmates.”

The result is the ‘Rediscover good’ campaign, showcasing consumers experiencing positive moments in their natural environment. The creative looks to remind and inspire consumers to rediscover the good in the everyday. In addition, LG sets out to showcase the company’s unique technology, such as Instaview, and how it makes lives easier.

The first TV spot explores a family with Generation X parents and two school-age children enjoying a family breakfast before racing to a soccer game. The second features millennial friends and housemates coming together for a fun-filled movie night at home and how LG technology is part of their daily lives through countless tiny moments. Both are accompanied by a soundtrack featuring a mix of everyday sounds and character jingles found from around the home, plus Buddy Holly’s Everyday song.  

The Works, recently appointed by LG Electronics locally to lead brand strategy, spearheaded creative direction including partnership with film director, Kate Halpin, production company, The Sweetshop, and soundtrack producer, Squeak E. Clean Studios. 

As to media mix, a key part of the campaign is returning to TV. “We hadn’t been on TV for some time and been digitally focused. For a big campaign, we wanted to be back on TV, and be able to demonstrate the brand in way people can appreciate it,” Lemieux said.

There’s also a mix of digital advertising, social, digital touchpoints and out-of-home. To help, LG has worked with partner, Hearts & Science, to finely target media using data and bring attitudinal segmentation and research done with Pollinate into profiling across media channels.

Read more: How LG Electronics used influencers to win over millennials

Building brand investment and buy-in internally

In the back end, Lemieux said it was also clear LG teams had stepped away from brand and were operating in product silos.

“We’d talk about one product, but not the suite, nor about how people use our products,” she said. “We were missing that unique identity that connected our products together.”  

In response, Lemieux has bolstered the corporate marketing team and extended responsibility to managing brand across the business.

“I’ve tasked them with rolling this out across every touchpoint, so there is a brand look and feel around ‘rediscover good’ and rediscovering good in small moments of everyday life,” she said. “That brand positioning runs across CSR programs and digital. It’s a lot of work to do to align everything, such as trade marketing and product campaigns.

“Some of these are global, some are local, and it’s hard to change a big global rollout. I’m seasoned enough to know if we can get to 70-80 per cent of content looking and feeling the same, I’m happy. I just need to sell that back into the business and work closely to make sure this is reflected in the bigger MPIs as well.”  

Lemieux’s push to invest in brand benefitted from the combination of a new managing director, consumer behavioural research, brand indicators and changing market conditions. Nevertheless, she admitted it was hard work to secure investment.

“I call it the ‘sandpaper’ method – I hard to work hard to get it across the line,” she commented. “It took a while to sell in the research, so we could organise the way to go to market, and then sell in brand campaign. But I had a perfect storm of the right people in the right roles at the right time and also elements like brand health and our siloed structure.”  

The first iteration of the brand campaign runs until October and will be measured through brand tracking and brand health.

“Our guide is to get a good view of how the campaign impacts brand measures, both category and overall. That will be a big part of success for us,” Lemieux said.  

“In terms of sales, we are coming off a successful year and seen sales continue, which is another contributing reason why there was a real focus on brand. As people prioritised product purchases, they were looking to enhance their home life and we wanted to be the brand of choice. So it was very important to communicate across the brand, rather than just products, and to have personality.”  

Alongside the camapign, LG has upped the ante on giving back to community, spending more than $1.1 million in the last 12 months through product and cash donations to give back to those in need. Programs include a ‘Local legends’ initiative to reward and bring to life and spotlight those doing good.

Ultimately, Lemieux said the focus comes back to those little moments in life and how we all see good in our lives even in a difficult environment.

“We want to be a key brand in the home, known for adding value and making consumer lives easier,” she added.  

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