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Building The Power Of A 100-Plus-Year-Old Brand

TW Special Report

A t nearly 130 years old, the Mohawk brand is older than household names such as Hershey, Coca-Cola or Disney. For the last decade, branding has been a major area of investment for Mohawk Industries. After its major acquisitions in the early 1990s, Mohawk set about consolidating many of the floor covering brands it had purchased and bringing them under the Mohawk flagship. While many of these brands still have some presence among dealers, the emphasis with consumers has been to take advantage of the power of the Mohawk name.


Mohawk's 2006 consumer advertising campaign, named "What If?," features fairy-tale characters.

Consumer Advertising

For the last several years, Mohawk has conducted strong consumer advertising programs, using key consumer shelter publications and national television. In the last four years, the consumer ad campaign has also been tied to national sales events to give Mohawk’s aligned dealers — Mohawk Floorscapes, Mohawk ColorCenter, Mohawk Floorz — extra selling opportunities. Studies show that Mohawk is one of the most-recognized brands in the floor covering business, and the company continues to reinforce this through a very active consumer advertising and public relations program.

Mohawk’s 2006 consumer advertising campaign is using print and television to make more than 1.2 billion impressions targeted to floor covering shoppers across the nation. The campaign includes ads in more than 30 magazines and on 11 national television channels. 



The television campaign continues the use of Mohawk’s “Shall We Dance?” commercial, which features a dancing vacuum cleaner, while the print campaign entitled “What If?” features all-new creative based on classic fairy-tale characters, including Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Evil Queen. Ads feature different types of floor covering — carpet, hardwood and ceramic — and ask: What if the ending of a classic fairy tale or fable is changed by the beauty of a Mohawk floor?

The “Cinderella” ad features the would-be princess in her kitchen, while her pumpkin carriage awaits, visible in the background. But she’s not in a hurry to get to the ball — the copy explains, as she gazes at the floor, Mohawk Ceramic’s new Sardara. She’s already found her “true love.”

A second ad, “Goldilocks,” showcases the beauty and comfort of Mohawk Carpet. Cottage Hideway, featuring Wear-Dated® fiber and Scotchgard™ Protector Advanced Repel Technology, is the product highlighted in the ad. It shows Goldilocks asleep in the three bears’ bedroom, but not on any of the beds. She’s dozing on the floor, which is the place that’s really “just right.”& #160;



A third ad takes a slightly different approach for Mohawk Hardwood. The Evil Queen of fairy-tale fame is looking in a mirror at Mohawk Hardwood’s Santa Barbara Plank. Her countenance is more grim than usual as she realizes she has unbeatable competition for the “fairest of all.”

“The humorous approach we’ve used in previous campaigns is still a strong way to build recognition of the Mohawk brand and our products,” said Ed Williams, senior vice president of marketing for Mohawk. “This year’s campaign uses the humor of universally known stories to call attention to the beauty and comfort of Mohawk floors. We were particularly pleased with how strongly this campaign scored in consumer testing, especially with women. It really strikes a chord with the people who are most likely to be floor covering shoppers.”

The print campaign started in April and will continue through November in magazines including Better Homes and Gardens; Good Housekeeping; Architectural Digest; House & Garden; House Beautiful; Country Living; O, The Oprah Magazine; Martha Stewart Living; Real Simple; Food and Wine; Parents; Sunset; and Southern Living. Among the channels included in the television campaign are HGTV; DIY Network; Discovery Home; The Learning Channel; We, Women’s Entertainment; and the Travel Channel.

The fairy-tale graphics are an integral part of the Mohawk consumer website, www.mohawk-flooring.com, which was updated recently to make it easier for consumers to get information and find local dealers. Information is now categorized into three stages: “Decorating and Planning”; “Shopping and Buying”; and “Caring and Maintaining.”

“By organizing information in this manner, consumers can have easy access to the details they need at every step of floor covering selection and ownership,” Williams said. “This means they come into dealerships better informed and better prepared to buy.”

An easy-to-use and informative website is critical as shoppers do more research online before going out to visit actual stores.

July/August 2006