Editors’ Blog

Friday, April 26, 2013

Meditation Vacuum

Electrolux uses mindfulness to promote its new super-quiet vacuum, suggesting you can meditate while sprucing up the house. 

For the first time, you can seize the moment while cleaning. That's the claim being made by Electrolux with its new vacuum line—the UltraSilencer, with its record-low sound levels.

Okay, hold your eye-rolling, but just for a moment. The company did some homework and teamed up with Gunilla Lönnberg, a mindfulness teacher, to develop an accompanying relaxation system called "Clean Your Mind."

The 30-minute recording includes ambient sounds intended to "harmonize" with the vacuum—like the sounds of the the power button clicking on and off. The guided instruction component sounds like a regular body scan—except for particular instructions for praciticing while holding a vacuum (i.e. "turn on the vacuum cleaner and begin to vacuum. Direct your attention to your hand, holding the handle. Feel the grip. Is it tight, or loose?")

Feel free to let your eyeballs float upwards. Or maybe this campaign doesn't give you the same reaction?

It's all about incoporating mindfulness into everyday activities, right? The campaign makes a good sell for turning chores into quality time, yet, we can't imagine this romantic vision working as effectively, for, say, other cleaning tasks with less luxurious products (it's clear that Electrolux is doing its version of Dyson's formula of  marketing vacuum cleaners as state-of-the-art tools). For instance, would the same meditation routine that Electrolux is using work with, say, scrubbing the grout from your tiles ("pick up the old, soggy toothbrush and begin to scrub...")?

Below, an animated Lönnberg explains the connection between mindfulness and vacuuming. 

Tell us what you think: can meditation and cleaning go hand in hand?

posted by Stephany Tlalka, 11:07 am
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