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Whirlpool has just launched an effort to pull together single men and women, especially second-time singles (a new-to-me term, otherwise known as divorced) and singles over 30, around their brand....

In partnership with the relationship-connecting site, they are hosting "Spin Cycle" events starting today that will include laundry-themed games, karaoke "Duets" (the brand's best-selling top load washer/dryer, as well as two-person singing teams) and the possibility of winning Whirlpool brand prizes.
I give the brand points for recognizing the power of this slice of their market and trying to come up with a creative way to connect with unmarried people. I think it also bodes well, in general, that there are more marketing efforts like this (and the Ford Bold Moves campaign I wrote about a few weeks ago) reflecting real life and the societal changes we've undergone over the past few decades.
However, I'm not sure if this is a perfect match (as it were) for divorced people and those singles over 30. Will enough men and women show up for the events? Will the people in this category really be motivated to play laundry-themed games together?
According to the press release, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, the relatonship expert featured on, will host the Spin Cycle events. She cites a Whirlpool survey on "folders" versus "washers" as a possible indicator of relationship compatibility (a "washer" should look for a "folder," in other words). Half of Americans consider themselves "washers," most of whom are looking for a "folder" to complement their lives.
Two more interesting findings of the Whirlpool survey (which generated more than 350,000 total responses):
-42% of respondents ranked "doing laundry together" as the most intimate experience [other than the obvious, I suppose?] to share with a new boyfriend or girlfriend , tying with "buying groceries together," but easily beating "cooking together."
-More than 35% of respondents said they usually wait 6-12 months before they do laundry with someone they're dating. 42% [only?] responded that they "never do laundry with someone else watching."
(Remember: the appliance brand paid for this very laundry-focused survey.) I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't even think of laundry if asked on the street about intimate experiences they share with significant others. Isn't laundry, for a lot of people - including singles, just a task they fit into the bigger slices of their daily lives?
Bottomline: More and more brands are beginning to focus in on the solo market, which is commendable. But, dating/matchmaking-related promotions/events shouldn't necessarily be the default approach for reaching these 30+ year old women and men. While new appliances might be relevant to the many unmarried people who own homes, promoting them by way of matchmaking games...uh, might be a bit of a disconnect. Or, perhaps that's just the case for this particular solo. (
I'd love to hear what the rest of you think!

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image of Andrea Learned
Andrea Learned is a noted author, blogger, and expert on gender-based consumer behavior. Her current focus is on sustainability from both the consumer and the organizational perspectives. Andrea contributes to the Huffington Post and provides sustainability-focused commentary for Vermont Public Radio.