How indie agency Karbonat transformed a Turkish wedding tradition and boosted sales with 'Pinnable Home Appliances'
Since the Ottoman Empire, Turkish weddings have seen people give gold to newlyweds to help them start married life. That’s evolved into a tradition where people buy gold to pin to the couples’ clothes. More often than not, that gold is used to buy new appliances and other items for the home.
Unfortunately, over the past few years, an unstable economy and rising gold prices meant that wedding guests were struggling with the tradition. And so independent agency Karbonat and Turkish home appliances brand Vestel, decided to remove the middle step by allowing guests and well-wishers to buy pinnable vouchers for items, which the married couple can then exchange. To weave those pinnable appliances into local traditions, the Karbonat team worked with local jewellery designers. The campaign was shared in store, in TV ads and through social and digital channels. As a result, 312,285 Pinnable Home Appliances were sold, the brand gained 7.8m Turkish Liras worth of earned media and Vestel store visits jumped up 321%.
ECD Cihan Kavaklıpınar caught up with LBB’s Laura Swinton to dig deep into the campaign.
LBB> What was the initial brief from the client?
Cihan> The brand team briefed us to attract the attention of consumers with a more creative idea than making classical discount campaigns during the wedding season. They wanted to be the primary choice in the home appliances market that newly married couples would need while setting up their homes.
LBB> Why did you decide to create work around weddings specifically? Are there any particular challenges facing newlywed couples today in Turkey that made you think there would be an appetite for this kind of wedding gift?
Cihan> The major share of buyers in home appliances is the newlyweds. As they are starting a new life, they prefer buying their home appliances brand new. And this makes the wedding season a great potential for brands. Our major goal was breaking into the shopping journey of the newlyweds. We concluded that most couples depended on the gold and money collected during the weddings to buy new stuff for their new homes. So, we decided to challenge the moment where the family would buy the gold and decided to present our products as valuable as and as stylish as gold to be presented during wedding ceremonies. If we could offer a refrigerator or an iron like a piece of gold we would break into the shopping journey of weddings.
LBB> How quickly did you get to the idea of pinnable wedding gifts?
Cihan> That, probably, was the brightest yet the fastest part of the whole ideation process. Our married colleagues as well as anyone who has attended a wedding ceremony knew the tradition by heart. And we also knew disrupting such a popular tradition would create the most buzz.
LBB> When did the campaign launch - if it was in the past year, how did the Covid-19 situation factor in (for example, was there a need to find new ways to keep the economy moving? Were weddings still happening?)
Cihan> The campaign was designed in the pre-Covid era and started at the beginning of 2020 while weddings were still crowded, with no Covid fear. During summer, life was quite like pre-Covid times and therefore we had a successful sales period. But by the end of the year, both conventional gold and Vestel Pinnable Appliances' sales faced some decline due to the restrictions about wedding ceremonies.
LBB> How did the local media respond to the idea and how was the idea shared across the press and social media?
Cihan> The unstoppable increase in the gold prices was a major topic during the wedding season. And our solution towards this economical difficulty created a buzz amongst the press and they approached the brand with interest. Many news sites mentioned this innovation as a game-changing solution for wedding guests.
We first published our 30-second online video on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram with a small amount of media budget. As our major communication platform was social media, all the responses came through the channels. Per our social listening team, we know that we had very high positive responses towards the creative idea and the brand's innovation.
LBB> The number of Pinned Gifts sold is incredible - why do you think people took to the idea so enthusiastically?
Cihan> People like to differentiate but gold gifting serves no customized experience and turns out to be a very materialistic gift in the end. But having the ability to gift something that looked like gold, was valuable like gold but at the same time represented the emotional values of the wedding guest was the main reason people loved it.
LBB> And it's an idea that really uses local cultural insights - why was that the right direction to go in for this brand?
Cihan> Local values are the common values when two families of different backgrounds come together for a wedding. It’s the common ground that all parties agree on. All parties agree on the fact that a brand new home should be built with new furniture and home appliances. And this makes the wedding season a big potential to go for.
LBB> What was the response from married couples?
Cihan> The couples who were going to marry informed their families and relatives about the campaign. So, people, including married couples, came to our stores and experienced the unique and innovative products. Apart from that, we do not have enough evidence to suggest married couples bought our Pinnable Appliances for each other as gifts. Overall, people liked this idea whether they were married or not.