By Shirish Agarwal, Head - Marketing Communications & Brand, Panasonic India
Panasonic Miraie - the future of living spaces
Back in early ‘90s, watching those sci-fi Hollywood movies, I often used to wonder how ‘cool’ would it be if I could control my AC, TV, Refrigerator, Fans all with a click of a button, while sitting in my drawing room. Enter 2020, Miraie by Panasonic made it possible and continues to shape the future of living spaces.
I am sure you must be wondering what Miraie is and how does it link to living spaces? Allow me to narrate the story of Miraie. But, before that let’s take a step back to understand the genesis of this concept. It all started with the proliferation of Digitization; access to internet opened multiple avenues, feature phones were upgraded to smartphones, new-age technologies such as IoT, AI/ML etc., were introduced that set the premise for a connected ecosystem. These rapid advancements in technologies matched pace with the growing consumer aspirations as they expected their homes to be Smart just like the smartphones they were using. This meant that the appliances needed to be smart in order to build a smart home.
To test the market-readiness, we conducted a consumer insights survey which highlighted that India is ripe for smart living spaces. Consumers are looking for tech-enabled, smart appliances that offer - convenience, comfort and connectivity. Panasonic’s India Innovation Center started to work on creating the smart home concept customized for India audiences. While we do offer smart home solutions in other markets, here the challenge was to customize the solution as per the needs of India audience and keep it affordable. We wanted to introduce the concept in-line with our founder Konosuke Matsushita’s mission “Our mission as a manufacturer is to create material abundance by providing goods as plentifully and inexpensively as tap water”. With this the seeds of the concept – Miraie, were sown.
Work on developing the concept was in full swing, and we were in the process of readying our smart home offerings, when we were hit with two challenges – first, differentiating ourselves from other offerings and linking to the strong Japanese heritage of innovation. We had to revisit the drawing board to coin a brand name that addresses these challenges. We came up with several suggestions, shot down many, only to brainstorm again and come up with – Miraie. ‘Mirai' meaning 'future' and 'ie' meaning 'home' in Japanese – was the nomenclature that was finalized to highlight our (India and Japan) synergies towards new-age innovation, the future of connected living spaces. Second, Miraie offered a complete portfolio of home appliances’ connectivity ranging from electricals (switches) to electronics (home appliances).
The next step was to give a brand imagery to Miraie. After much debate and discussions, we came up with a simple yet unique logo. The logo was designed intelligently – just like the solution. AI (Artificial Intelligence) was carefully placed under a house’s logo, signifying smart homes.
With the logo finalized, the next step involved onboarding a creative partner to conceptualize the marketing campaign. For the same, we on-boarded Wunderman Thompson. The brief to the agency was to create a campaign that delivers our message of ‘Connected Living’ in a simple yet intuitive manner, through everyday life situations. After, several ideations and multiple drafts, we finalized #MeetTheFuture campaign for Miraie. #MeetTheFuture campaign stitched together a series of videos for ACs, based on simple yet important consumer insights, bringing alive the sense of ease and fun through connected technology. The campaign garnered significant traction across digital mediums with Miraie’s digital campaign crossing 100 million views – a milestone reassuring Miraie’s acceptance across India.
Matching the tone of our innovation, we designed our marketing plans centered around our umbrella campaign #MeetTheFuture targeting both digital and traditional media. Ensuring Panasonic’s presence across all mediums, our marketing initiatives conveyed how our initial range of Miraie enabled Air Conditioners, Smart Door Bell, Plugs & Switches can help consumers meet the future and enable enhanced convenience and connectivity. A series of digital films, influencer outreach programmers across social media platforms, a national dealer’s meet and multiple outreach initiatives further established Miraie as the differentiated proposition across the industry.
Today, in these unprecedented times, Miraie has become a blessing in disguise for all who want to upgrade to a smarter living. Furthermore, an overwhelming response to #MeetTheFuture campaign coupled with a positive on-ground feedback from our partners reposes the faith that our marketing efforts have not been in vain. Miraie will continue to driving the core message of ‘connected living,’ and will be the unifying bridge that connects hardware (home appliance & automation) to the future (connected ecosystem).