At Press Event, Circles and Squares Distinguish Whirlpool Products From Maytag's

By Anna Sekula October 18, 2010, 3:55 PM EDT

Photo: Bernard Doyle Photography

Whirlpool & Maytag Laundry Line Media Event
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As an understated way to differentiate its two washing machine and dryer brands at the same press preview, Whirlpool Corporation employed a subtle circle-and-square motif that not only matched the shapes found on its appliances, but hinted at the target demographics as well. Held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Metropolitan Pavilion, the Whirlpool and Maytag laundry line media event was overseen internally by the home appliance manufacturer's senior manager of mass brand public relations, Monica Teague, who worked with Peppercom's event division to decorate and manage the afternoon affair.

Divided over two floors of the west Chelsea venue, the event's installation was simple enough, with a showroom-style setup that placed the new washers and dryers around the perimeter of each room. The difference was in the details: On the level showcasing Whirlpool's new Cabrio, Duet, and Vantage models, the planning team projected circles on the floor, used circular cocktail tables, and displayed an image of Columbus Circle; while the floor for Maytag's Bravos X, Maxima, and Performance Series 2000 lines adopted a square look, with similarly shaped projections, tables, and a poster of Times Square. The images of the New York landmarks helped hint at the core demographic of each brand, with Times Square representing the mass consumer appeal of Maytag, and Columbus Circle hinting at the slightly more upscale Whirlpool audience.

The theme was carried through to the food and catering trays, too. On Whirlpool's floor, the Good Knife passed circular hors d'oeuvres like ginger lime shrimp with coconut and peanut dipping sauce, braised chicken and vegetables on mini tostadas with a cilantro garnish, and bite-size apple cider doughnut holes. For Maytag, the square-shaped nibbles included miniature peanut butter cheesecakes, roasted poblano salsa on grilled polenta, and tomato-braised short rib on roasted mushroom.

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