Fisher and Paykel goes patriotic

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 07:29 21/06/2013

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Twenty years of patriotism on the part of Fisher & Paykel has been revealed thanks to a viral social media video that shows its washing machines can play the national anthem.

A video posted on YouTube by a woman on Tuesday has received more than 165,000 hits.

The woman explains how to make the washing machine play the New Zealand national anthem.

Fisher & Paykel marketing manager Sonya Aitken said the machines, which can also play the United States and Australian anthems, were programmed to play tunes by the company's engineers for demonstration purposes.

Aitken said the company did not release the video.

The discovery was a surprise, as was the hype surrounding the video.

"They've been able to do this for nearly 20 years," she said.

"It's that real reflection that your washing machine has come from New Zealand."

While the singing machines were used to draw customers' attention in stores 20 years ago, it was no longer part of sales techniques, so the feature had essentially been forgotten and then rediscovered, she said.

Aitken said she would like to think the social media attention would be good for Fisher & Paykel's brand and sales.

However, the company's engineers were bemused by the excitement about the function, she said.

"They're quite incredulous, because they've been doing it for 20 years."

Fisher & Paykel's dish drawers also used to play the anthem, but the function was removed to make room for other features.

The washing machines could also play two theme songs from 1980s science fiction movies if there was a power surge, Aitken said.

"The engineers did it to see if anyone would find it."

The downside to people playing the national anthem on their machines was it put them in "demonstration mode", she said.

To get them back to their primary function machines needed to be turned on, and then unplugged for at least 20 seconds.

"Otherwise there will be a lot of people in New Zealand with washing machines that they can't use."

How to play the anthem:

- Hold down "power" and the "advance" buttons together to turn on demonstration mode.

- Then hold "wash temp up" for 2 seconds for the New Zealand anthem.

- Press "wash level up" for 2 seconds until it beeps, then press "temperature up" button for 2 seconds for the Australian anthem.

- Press "wash level up" for 2 seconds until it beeps, repeat pressing wash level up for 2 seconds until it beeps, then press "temperature up" button for 2 seconds for the United States anthem.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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