The Elementary of Emotions: Philips Breathless Choir (2015)

How would you describe your ideal PR campaign? For me, it all goes back to emotions. Many communications experts believe that emotional storytelling is the future of branding, and I perfectly agree on this point. Emotions are just too strong to be ignored—it leaves marks and let your brand engage while being recalled with related feelings. An emotionally-engaging narrative would always find its audience—imagine a campaign so unbounded that it goes beyong the reach of its main targets. Philips Breathless Choir became one of my favorite for its use of emotional storytelling.

Philips have been known to be a leading electrical products brand globally, yet only a number of people seem to know the existence of its healthcare line. So as any other companies with similar needs and enough marketing budget would do, they contacted a communications agency. Philips chose to work with Ogilvy & Mather London in introducing its healthcare line. The agency, known for its advertising and PR works and now labeled itself as an integrated marketing communications agency, came up with a strategy which highlights one of the company’s product’s attributes. With Philips Breathless Choir, Ogilvy showcased the user imagery, how consumers use and relate to, Philips SimplyGo Mini, a new portable oxygen delivery device from the company.

What they communicate is simple—that Philips has a healthcare line, and one of its products is the new portable oxygen delivery device. However, how they communicate the message through user imagery was a whole different matter. They built up audiences’ emotions by telling the stories of Philips’ consumers, the breathless ones, who are always out of breath to do anything they like. Ogilvy highlights the consumers’ incapability to feel free and face anything without being scared of collapsing at any time. They then build up the narrative by asking the group to do what they scare the most—singing.

By inviting a well-known choirmaster to help the group in overcoming their fear, Ogilvy narrates that Philips carries the same essence as a brand. Phillips helps you in times of need, makes you feel secured to do the things you love without being enveloped by fear. Philips makes the breathless ones sing, and it can help you as well. The narratives focus on the group members’ emotions in overcoming the challenge and how they feel afterwards. The transition between the group’s story and Philips’ positioning was very smoothly done because the brand has been there, embedded with them, the whole time. Philips is the positive change within them, perfectly depicted in its tagline.

Needless to say, the integrated campaign received highly positive results after its launch in November 2015. It also became, by far, followed by Always #LikeAGirl, my favorite inspirational PR campaign. Find out more about the campaign here.

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