These Philips Ads Give Refurbs a Retro-Futuristic Makeover

Putting a cosmic spin on blasts from the past

Philips Refurb Editions—an offshot of the Philips brand, and whose name succinctly describes its product line—made its grand debut at a Hamburg-based pop-up store in mid-June.

The "Better Than New" campaign jabs at the notion that new usually equals better, and showcases refurbished personal-care electronics using a retro-futuristic aesthetic with a strangely soothing audiovisual palette.

The creative is below, featuring a razor, a hair dryer and an epilator.

According to Philips, 38 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a durable product; 40 percent buy secondhand. Environmental impact is a big psychological motivator. But going into refurbs makes sense for companies, too, as critical raw materials, hidden within the shiny carapaces of so many electronics, get harder to come by.

Thus, for Philips, innovation these days is about designing products that can survive multiple generations of use (in this case representing multiple consumers). That puts the onus on brands to build for longevity, while also making refurb products look as attractive as possible for their next owners.

“We believe that innovation should be about making quality products that you can enjoy for a long time,” says Josefien Olij, the brand's global senior director of marketing and communications. "The ‘Better Than New’ campaign is about creating greater awareness of the benefits of reusing perfectly good products, so consumers can use less and reuse more in a fun, easy, accessible way.” 

"Better Than New" springs from a collab between the brand, Amsterdam-based LePub, artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. The last two are co-founders of an Italian image-only magazine called Toiletpaper.

“Philips has a great heritage in innovation,” explains LePub's chief creative officer Milos Obradovic. “To launch this new initiative  and show how a technology company can lead us into the future in a new way, we revisited the company’s rich past with a fresh take on what innovation can mean for the future.” 

LePub worked with Toiletpaper to scour Philips' ad archives, and came up with the idea of refreshing some of the brand's old-school print ads. The result is a mashup of the latter, with retro-futurist touches coming from Toiletpaper, which often uses that aesthetic as a signature.

At the pop-up store where it launched, "Better Than New" advanced the idea that refurbs can lead to a better shared future. Attendees were invited to buy products virtually. Since then, it's rolled out in outdoor media, print and social media.

According to Philips, the Refurb Editions line—which Olij proudly does dub an innovation—saved the brand 139 tons of e-waste in 2022. That year, over 39,000 refurbished products found new homes.


Agency: LePub
Campaign: Philips Sustainability - "Refurb Is the future"
Advertiser: Philips

Head of Marketing Center of Excellence: Claudia Calori  
Global Sr. Director Marketing Communications: Josefien Olij 
Marketing Planning & Operations Director: Timo Wassermeier  
Senior Integrated producer: Gustavo Velho 

Global CEO LePub, Global CCO Publicis Worldwide & CCO Publicis Groupe Italy: Bruno Bertelli 
LePub Global Creative Team 
Chief Creative officer: Milos Obradovic 
Creative Director: Jessica Kersten 
Creative Director: Sandrine Le Goff 
Jr Art Director: Alejandro Gutierrez 
Jr Copy Writer: Nikolaj Malchev 
LePub Global Strategist & Chief Strategy Office: Isabella Mulholland
Strategic Planner: Martina Rinciari
LePub Global Account Team
General Manager Publicis Italy: David Pagnoni 
Business Director: Francesca Baldrighi 
Account Director: Sanne Kragten  
Account Manager: Ayuningtyas Baskoro Djarot 
Chief Production Officer: Francesca Zazzera  
Head of Video Production: Anna Sica  
Art buyer: Rossana Coruzzi 
Producer: Sabrina Sanfratello 
Post producer: Alina Chaplygina 
Digital Art Director: Ariberto Anastasi 
Production e Print Manager: Tina Paolella 
Digital Project Manager: Ornella Scarparo
Digital Producer Supervisor: Simona Caldarini 
Motion Graphic Designers: Prodigious Stefano Moretto, Matteo Marzano
LePub Global PR Team
Global Head of PR & Communication: Isabella Cecconi
Global Senior PR & Communication Manager: Julie Foulet

Photographers: Maurizio Cattelan, Pierpaolo Ferrari
Creative Director: Micol Talso 
Art Director: Antonio Colomboni  
Art Director Assistant: Sara Matacena 
First Assistant Photographer: Chiara Quadri
Second Assistant Photographer: Andrea Ceppi
Stylist: Elisa Zaccanti
Stylist Assistant: Bianca Luini 
Casting Director: Simone Bart 
Casting Assistant: Alessandra Richiardi 
Set designer: Michela Natella 
Set builder: Lorenzo Dispensa 
Set designer Assistant: Giulia Varisco 
Hair & makeup Artist: Lorenzo Zavatta 
Hair & makeup Artist Assistant: Federica Russo Digitall, Tommaso Bressan 

Creative Retouching Studio: Martin & Rainone Production
Coordinator: Stefania Biliato
Production Assistant: Fjoralba Murati
Production General Assistant: Alessandro Pagani
Backstage Photographer: Manfredi Prestigiacomo

Media Agency : OMD

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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