With a focus on teaching students safe decision-making choices regarding drugs and alcohol, D.A.R.E. America, a non-profit organization, introduced a new, prevention curricula for grades K-12 classrooms, that confronts the opioid and prescription drug abuse crisis. In kicking off the curricula, the agency worked closely with individual D.A.R.E. officers, training them to become spokespeople for the program and working with them to become informed speakers as they interfaced with their local media. Additionally, they were tasked with publishing articles in trades, as well as OpEds in their local media, which always focused on the urgency of the problem and the need to educate on prevention. The agency created a national Public Service Announcement for television and radio, distributed to the many markets all over the country that were most impacted by the opioid crisis.
When GoodJanes, a beauty company using naturally derived ingredients to promote health-conscious options for its users, came to the agency, it tasked it to build and drive awareness and interest to promote sales for its new beauty and makeup product, the Kiss My Lash Mirror, a patented triangulated mirror. To first promote consumer engagement with their product, we audited their site for SEM and SEO and for navigational ease. Subsequently, we made recommendations for changes and, simultaneously, the agency’s LAB186 created video assets to use on the GoodJanes website and social media platforms. Moving on to editorial media, we targeted beauty and lifestyle beats and influencers offering immediate product trial to each and suggesting to hundreds of influencers to create social media posts and reviews in their blogs and on YouTube videos and include them in holiday gift guides. The results were vast, across blogs, social media platforms and media -- such as being on Daytime TV and The Lifestyle List “Fall Beauty Must Haves” segments and making the Luxe List’s “Fab Fall Finds” segments across U.S. markets, among others.
In anticipation of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, USA Triathlon became the first sport to begin preparations and training for the Games. As such, the team sought out the agency to build enthusiasm for their first Los Angeles-area race, the Legacy Triathlon. The agency promoted USA Triathlon’s news that it will launch a series of annual races in Long Beach on the very site of the future Olympic course – where the next generation of Olympians will be presented.
The agency facilitated several partners and supporters, including the City of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach, and brought local, national and international media attention to the unveiling of the Legacy Triathlon, while also streaming to an online audience through Facebook Live.
As LAX and the City of Los Angeles began work on a massive multi-year capital renovation project, it was uncertain what would become of the Bob Hope USO LAX center. Servicing more than 100,000 members of the military a year, the center has become a flagship of Bob Hope USO and an important place for service members to rest and eat while traveling.
Working on behalf of Bob Hope USO, the agency initiated a long-term community-awareness campaign to build grassroots support for the center and to attract volunteers to help with its 24-7 operation. The agency coordinated media days around news cycles that focus on the military, such as Veteran’s Day, Military Appreciation Week, and Memorial Day with in-depth feature broadcasts touring the facility and driving interest in volunteering for the center.
When Moviebill launched the first-ever entertainment magazine for moviegoers to coincide with the summer blockbuster season, it sought out the agency to get the word out as to the uniqueness of the experience. The magazine afforded movie goers with exclusive content for the film they were seeing and included Augmented Reality features so that moviegoers could bring the content to life with their smartphones. Piggybacking on the timing of the launch, the agency set out to capture the attention of three industry media sectors: entertainment, business, and advertising. Media outlets such as MediaPost, Entertainment Weekly, and Adweek covered the story from several angles and helped propel enthusiasm.
When MovieBill kicked off with Avengers: Infinity War and then Jurassic World, it delivered 1 million copies to moviegoers at Regal Theaters, making it one of the highest circulated entertainment magazines in the country and marking the largest theatrical handout ever.
When a 7,000-square-foot axe-throwing venue, Kick Axe, opened to the public in the New York Metro, the agency was retained to highlight the venue’s experiential entertainment edge. In a lodge-like lumberjack-themed bar atmosphere, guests can experience what it’s like to throw hatchets at a wooden bullseye -- as entertainment, of course -- complete with beer, wine and malt beverages, plus a photo area. To garner media attention, the team challenged journalists to come and throw the hatchets for themselves and partake in the fun ambiance. For those that hesitated, the team basically offered a demonstration in-studio. The media outreach to local and national press netted more than 723 million media impressions, including The New York Times, Time Out New York, Metro, Mashable, Patch, and BKLYNER.
Data and analytics company Helios and Matheson Analytics purchased a majority share in Netflix co-founder Mitch Rowe’s company MoviePass, allowing the subscription service to drop its fee to $9.95 monthly for unlimited movie theater viewings. The explosive news disrupted the industry as the agency worked with HMNY CEO Ted Farnsworth and MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe on a week-long New York City media tour and blitz, ranging from top tier national broadcast outlets such as CNN to national movie trade outlets such as Variety. The MoviePass news escalated further when AMC Theaters publicly denounced the service, enabling the agency to prolong coverage and take both companies into another editorial cycle in national and local news nationwide.
SodaStream has become synonymous for disruptive marketing video campaigns. April Fool’s 2017 was no different, with the agency playing an integral role in the development, logistics and coordination and media distribution of the launch of a new faux brand of condensed sparkling water by Paris Hilton: NanoDrop. We helped develop the initial concept that led to the creation of NanoDrop and secured Paris Hilton to appear in a spoof video that conveyed brand messages. In addition to acting as a liaison to secure Paris for the campaign, the agency coordinated negotiations between talent managers and PR reps, agents and SodaStream—as well as exclusive media interviews with Paris’s team, agency partners and SodaStream corporate HQ in Israel. The PPMG team was also responsible for drafting talking points for Paris’ interviews, creating a global press release announcing the gag, and arranging for global PR coordination. On launch day, the PPMG team conducted outreach to health & wellness, marketing & advertising, food & beverage and corporate business verticals, securing more than 712 million media impressions.
When U.S. Digital Gaming (USDG), a technology platform that enables states and operators to manage every aspect of legally compliant online gaming, noted increased online gambling discussions taking place at the state and federal level, it sought out the agency to drive awareness of USDG as an industry expert. We positioned co-founder Richard Bronson as a thought leader, and USDG as leading the charge to legalize online gaming in the United States. We keyed into the news cycles and proactively developed relationships between USDG and its respective media audiences (consumer, business, technology, financial, governance, public policy, legal, gaming industry, etc.). Within the first 60 days, we secured an editorial briefing for Bronson and the Wall Street Journal, resulting in a full-length profile story.
Heart disease has become the #1 cause of death for women. It takes a village to raise awareness that early detection screenings can save lives. Everyone Has A Heart Foundation’s “village” included partnerships with a major health institution, a cardiologist spokesperson, health care networks, local community clinics, women’s groups, religious institutions, and the collaboration of civic, business and community leaders to spread the word within their own spheres of influence. We created a Women’s Heart Day Health Fair, which offered free screenings and educational seminars. Notably, we partnering with the LA Unified School District to distribute more than 450,000 Valentine cards for children to bring home to their mothers, urging them to get heart screened. Shortly after, LA Metro came on board as a marketing partner.
An Earned Media Relations Campaign That Paid Off The Community Water and Power Community Credit Union (WPCCU), originally established for employees of a utility company, needed enhanced community brand awareness and visibility in order to expand its customer base. We conceptualized and executed creative experiential events: “Moolah Madness” was timed around tax day on April 15, and contestants could win all the cash they could catch in a minute inside a money machine; “Cold Hard Cash” was timed around the hottest days in the San Fernando Valley – Labor Day weekend – and contestants had to melt ice sculptures with their hands to find the cash frozen inside. And because new members can include those who need an adult co-signer, we also organized job fairs for high school students scheduled around graduation and “Homeruns-4-College,” a Little League home run derby that awarded scholarship money for 21 local students.
The Writer consultancy enjoyed a heavy media presence in the UK, but had no brand visibility stateside. With its first US office opening in New York, the mission was to establish thought leadership in brand language writing and training as well as generate media coverage. Tying The Writer’s services to the current conversation about impactful content marketing, we targeted influencers in key industry silos in need of a content makeover. Our media outreach campaign aimed to shift “content” to “conversation” marketing to showcase The Writer’s unique value proposition that focused on the importance of a differentiated “brand voice.” We also secured a webinar with PR Daily and a session at the Advanced Learning Institute’s 2015 Strategic Internal Communications Conference that opened up additional speaking platforms.
Before tattoo-brightening beauty product Tatul tapped Kickstarter to crowdfund the innovative new skincare tool, they needed third-party endorsements and testimonials from their target audience: Millennial women. Since evaluating a product means trial, we created a special vetting process to identify the best possible online beauty and cosmetic influencers who would spread the word about Tatul. The criteria designed to vet participants was by influence, ranking, size of social networks and views. Some of the most influential tattooed Millennials on the web landed on our influencer list. We then invited hundreds to participate and create social media posts, videos, tweets and blogs about their experience using the product. Armed with several high-quality placements from influencers in their target demographic, we were able to re-purpose them to help add credibility to their Kickstarter campaign.
The City of Santa Monica needed to better understand the community for more informed policies and community initiatives, but realized that it lacked the right type of data. So it set out to do something that had never been done before: integrate the science of wellbeing into the foundation of the local government. The core of the Wellbeing Project, the city’s winning entry in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor’s Challenge, is a comprehensive index of analysis developed in partnership with renowned research firm RAND Corporation and New Economics Foundation. The agency worked closely with the project to distill and communicate the data for public consumption, consulted on website development and to assist in strategically implementing change within the city based upon findings. The launch of the index solidified the city’s thought leadership platform in sustainability and health and wellness.
The American public has a love affair with speed. We leveraged that “love” to engage consumers, and spark interest and demand for the one-of-a-kind speed measurement device Pocket Radar: the world’s only palm-sized, full-performance speed radar device. When it launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the dual messaging platform that we created had to resonate with two sets of audiences — professionals and everyday consumers. Pre-show, we sent creative media mailers to pique curiosity and generate word-of-mouth buzz. The product’s innovative technology, a break-through Doppler radar sensing and processing system, earned it a CES Innovations Honoree award, which was highlighted and leveraged to secure one-on-one interviews and post-show product reviews. The resulting coverage totaled 202,722,673 media impressions.
Frequently overshadowed by its more renowned neighbors up north, namely Sonoma County and Napa Valley, The Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association (SBCVA) needed to find an identifiable brand for the region that would resonate with both wine connoisseurs and regional tourists. They asked the agency to unify the Association’s 62 vintners and wineries into a cohesive branding effort that included all collateral material, messaging and positioning that emphasized the region’s attributes. Additionally, targeted food, wine, lifestyle and tourism media were invited on familiarization trips and to SBCVA festivals and tasting events to explore the region’s offerings. The Santa Barbara wine region was put on the media radar map and noted by Decanter Magazine, Wine Spectator and Gourmet Magazine as well as national news and travel outlets.
The opportunity to work closely with a new business to develop all of their brand communications and marketing materials from scratch was an exciting one, but certainly not without its challenges. While the top executives at The Sage Group, an investment bank, were all highly successful in their previous positions, the new company was still a virtual unknown. The agency was tasked with positioning the company as a niche leader for middle market investment banks and a “go-to” source in a variety of markets for transactions ranging from $50-$500 million — right in the middle of one of the weakest merger and acquisition markets in history. Through proactive media relations, Sage has been featured nationally as a thought leader and continues to be successful.
The Santa Monica Pier, the West Coast’s last remaining pleasure pier, turned 100 years old. Its rich history conjured up nostalgia of a bygone era. When called upon to awaken memories, our agency brought it all back by engaging the surrounding community as well as national and international tourists as part of the celebration. We launched a nationwide online and offline media blitz focusing on the iconic pier’s legacy and its value for future generations, as well on a series of celebratory events such as the SideShow at the Pier, Schools Out!, La Monica Ballroom Redux and Centennial Day, to gain exposure and get a myriad of stories out about the pier. Social media outreach alone netted an estimated 3 million impressions plus 400 million media impressions.
With media reporting frequently on the economic impact of retail and real estate, RKF, the nation’s largest independent retail real estate firm, wanted to increase its presence in the media. They needed a PR agency with an excellent track record of media relations in a variety of industries, especially in hyper-competitive urban markets that are notoriously cynical about food, fashion and retail positioning in emerging submarkets. We positioned the firm’s senior leadership and national brokers as experts in their industry who can speak to “big picture” topics impacting the nation and local markets. We worked closely with them to determine long-term trends in key urban retail markets, and developed specific relationships with major trade publications in real estate, luxury/lifestyle, fashion, food, technology and business. As a result, RKF has significantly increased its presence in national mainstream news and trade media.
With people looking to express themselves through functional fashion choices, Ritmo Mvndo came to the agency to capture international attention of its accessible luxury brand. Leveraging the trend of coupling affordability and luxury, the agency utilized an international media relations campaign across trade, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment outlets to position Ritmo Mvndo as a trendsetter. Capitalizing on Ritmo Mvndo’s extensive celebrity clientele, unique price point and myriad of styles, the agency positioned the brand as an elite fashion accessory of the stars, yet accessible to the general public. Following the product launch media blitz and representation for two consecutive years at the world’s largest watch trade show, BaselWorld in Basel, Switzerland, the watches were seen as the hottest accessory emanating from Hollywood.
Before the global water scarcity and drought crisis reached its present fever pitch, the 75-year-old irrigation manufacturer understood that it faced a potential environmental crisis perception — simply for being an irrigation company, which carried an implication of wasting water. The agency positioned the company as a thought leader in water conservation as it relates to the lawn and garden industry, and created a new campaign coined “The Intelligent Use of Water.” We developed a roadmap for a sustainable, multi-pronged program with multiple touch points that included industry white papers, bi-annual Intelligent Use of Water global summits, film competitions, awards programs, partnerships, grade school curriculums, Tournament of Roses Parade participation and more. Its position as an industry leader in landscape water conservation insights, was solidified.
Perhaps the most storied romantic road in American history, Historic Route 66 had an official start in Chicago, but no official end; rather, numerous disputed ends. Multiple organizations, including the Route 66 Alliance, the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation and the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, asked the agency to organize a campaign and event to finally give recognition that the official end of Route 66 belonged to the iconic Santa Monica Pier. The Pier and Route 66 used history to their advantage as a way to engage local community members to rally for the preservation of these landmarks. A parade of 66 vintage cars drove down the Pier, where dignitaries unveiled a replica Route 66 sign, marking the official end of the route.
“Portraits of Service”, a new book by photographers Robert Miller and Andrew Wakeford, presents images and vignettes of a cross-section of living war veterans that capture the fears, emotions and unique stories of service men and women across four generations. The publisher, The Patton Foundation, wanted to raise its visibility and identity through media relations, increase book sales and assist in building relationships with corporate sponsors and allied organizations. To differentiate our messaging from other veterans groups, the content focused on servicewomen, an oft-unrecognized segment of the veterans community. We also created alliances with the Gary Sinise Foundation and Final Salute, Inc.; celebrity spokesperson actress Erin Cummings; and developed a relationship with A&E Networks, that all contributed to significant increase in book sales.
Developing a corporate image program for Oversee.net, a marketing network company, presented two unique challenges. First, we needed to manage its reputation as it moved from small startup to the next level of expansion. Second, we needed to position the company as a leader in the emerging, yet little understood, domain industry. We developed an industry white paper that established Oversee as a thought leader and the company with which “domainers” want to do business. A media campaign targeted influencers, investors and customers, highlighting Oversee’s proprietary technology prowess and establishing it as a “go to” marketing tool to monetize sites. Oversee was named to the Inc. 500 and also named “Internet and New Media Company of the Year” by the Technology Council of Southern California.
Punto 2012, a Mexico City-based company with years of experience in online marketing and SEO for restaurants, quickly realized that the .com space was too crowded; the search for restaurants was too difficult if they had long, complicated domain names. They saw a need for food-related businesses to form their own Internet “neighborhood” and from there, bought the .REST and .BAR domain names; .REST is the abbreviation for “restaurant” in more than 30 languages and more than 50 countries. We developed and executed an aggressive media relations strategy and thought leadership platform, coordinated with the agency’s Worldcom partners in six countries. Additionally, all partner agencies sought strategic partnerships with influencers, such as food bloggers and TV hosts, and restaurant associations across the United States.
PowToon, a software that puts the power of animation into anyone’s hands, took its latest interface deep into the Hadza region of Tanzania to see if people who have never been introduced to technology can create cartoons. They found animation to be a universal language and a strong tool of communication. The resulting two-minute video, released on PowToon’s blog and social media channels was geared to influence the influencers about the power of animation. It chronicled their journey, which began with a desire to test the software’s ease of use with the world’s most isolated tribe platform, and evolved into an exploration of the human spirit and the unifying power of communication through art. Of note, the PowToon explorers learned about Hadza’s serious healthcare issues facing the region and were able to connect them with local doctors who previously had been unable to reach them. The agency counseled PowToon on the release of a video and used it to raise awareness for the power of animation and how technology can bring people together.
Promoting the new book, “Why Coolidge Matters,” was a call for public attention to the national trade association that serves 4.8 million notaries nationwide and the oft-overlooked legacy of Calvin Coolidge. We sought out and enlisted Christopher Coolidge Jeter, the former U.S. president’s great-grandson, to participate in a satellite media tour. Our campaign also partnered with the Library of Congress to host a launch event on the anniversary of President Coolidge’s inauguration, and secured Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Governor Jim Douglas (R-VT) as key spokespeople on a thought leadership platform. The agency secured a full hour-long discussion on President Coolidge in the context of the book’s themes on The Glenn Beck Show, and was added to the host’s “must read” book list.
When a breakthrough medical procedure has the potential to affect more than half a million women in the U.S. every year, the impact is daunting. miVIP Surgery Centers, a chain of outpatient surgery centers, recognized this when two gynecological surgeons were preparing to perform the first robotic hysterectomy on an outpatient basis at miVIP’s Beverly Hills location. miVIP looked to us for a media relations strategy to raise awareness of this procedure using the renowned da Vinci Surgical System®, a robotic surgery platform used for minimally invasive surgery. We produced a video that allowed broadcast media to utilize stock footage of the impressive equipment. On the day of the surgery, health reporters and other media were granted unprecedented access to shoot the procedure from only a few feet away in a separate room.
The face of advertising fundamentally shifted with the success of native advertising, but not without kickback from the industry. Native advertising pioneer, MGID, although globally successful, needed better access to the competitive US marketplace. MGID had to first deliver the message that it drives authentic traffic to websites, ethically. The agency introduced them to the trade group IAB, where they worked with industry leaders on developing ethical and technical standards for native advertising. Subsequently, we placed op-eds and articles in high profile advertising trades, to persistently combat negative stigma as well as position MGID as an expert on profitable advertising. We also leveraged MGID published data and survey results that keyed into entertainment trends for placements in that industry trades. MGID has grown to be a force of influence in the advertising marketplace and a thought leader on native advertising for advertisers, publishers, and consumers
Every Holiday Season, the retail space is littered with circulars, web ads, commercials and sponsored content, all claiming to have door busters, bundles and the ‘best deals’ of the season. Market Track, the leading provider of market intelligence solutions, had a wealth of untapped data that was able to determine how these competing retailers, products and brands were being advertised, priced and promoted both in-store and online. The agency was able to leverage Market Track’s data and expert commentary to position them as a thought-leader and expert source in the retail space both during the holiday shopping season and during other key retail events such as back-to-school, Halloween and Amazon's Prime Day. As a result, the agency was able to secure coverage in Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Associated Press, as well as trade coverage in eMarketer Magazine, Advertising Age, Retail TouchPoints, just to name a few.
It’s not easy to get the general public to stop and smell the roses, and it’s even harder to get them to take a look at the stars. So for the launch of Meade Instruments’ ETX-LS telescope at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), we were tasked with generating interest in the first hands-off, self-aligning telescope among space and telescope enthusiasts, as well as general consumers. We leveraged celestial events and consumers’ innate attraction to technological advancements to reinvigorate interest in backyard astronomy. We positioned the telescopes as forging new frontiers in amateur astronomy and post-CES, managed a comprehensive media product review program. Among others, the earned media included features on the ETX-LS in Wired, PC Magazine, Popular Science, USA Today and CNN.
Developing a media relations campaign for The Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy at USC came with unique challenges. Keston’s research and educational outreach activity was complex and far from palatable for mainstream media relations. We were tasked with positioning this non-partisan center as a thought leader in the advancement of knowledge, research and public policy advocacy for California and the nation’s public finance and infrastructure challenges. We identified timely and relevant infrastructure challenges and drew upon key learnings from the Institute’s forums, which often represented top players in state and municipal agencies, corporate executives and academic thought leaders. Keston has been featured on national broadcast news and public affairs radio shows across the country and become a much sought-after resource to local and state governments.
Recognizing that in today’s marketplace, a global reach in sales, marketing and distribution is essential for any property’s success and growth. L.E. Hotels, a hospitality brand that represents a “limited edition” collection of independently owned and operated properties, reached out to the agency to create a program that would link all of its properties across 18 countries through a global marketing program, and support each individual property’s particular needs and challenges. The program included quarterly regional promotions, trade and local media relations, blogs, newsletters brimming with company and member news and travel/tourism trade shows, as well as social media and native advertising. We also sought out Millennial-focused media outlets and scheduled editorial desk side briefings as a way of maximizing the individual property’s visibility.
When LegalShield, a leading provider of affordable legal services and identity theft solutions retained the agency, the client directed it to establish a thought leadership platform for its senior executives and drive media attention to its suite of products, including IDShield, an identity theft monitoring and restoration service. In capitalizing on the news of the high-profile data breaches at Equifax and Facebook, the agency established LegalShield as a much sought-out cybersecurity expert to address identity theft safety. In addition to multi-year PR and marketing campaigns, the agency established the LegalShield Law Index and the Legal Advisory Council, netting additional media attention and increasing the conversion rate by 200,000 new members. Eight billion offline/online media impressions were garnered, as well as profiles in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN.com, Associated Press, Investor’s Business Daily, and more.
In today’s digital age, traditional marketing techniques are frequently underrated. With CMOs committing budgets against social media campaigns, other marketing tactics often fade into the background. Keller Fay Group, a marketing research and consulting company, tasked the agency with renewing market interest in its proprietary Word Of Mouth (WOM) marketing. To legitimize Keller Fay’s research findings and connect with its stakeholders, the agency established partnerships with the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and automotive retail data site Edmunds.com, who assisted in gathering appropriate high-profile Fortune 500 marketing executives for presentations about the company’s insights around supercharging sales results. Through word of mouth, of course, Keller Fay was able to net direct business and thought leadership opportunities.
Making a film for a green cause requires an imagination…and talent. Long before it became common practice to crowdsource for talent online, we tapped social media to invite filmmakers around the world to enter Rain Bird’s Intelligent Use Of Water competition for the best short films that would portray the urgency of the global water scarcity issue. The experiential campaign included a microsite and digital communications to engage Millennials on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. We tapped into online forums for filmmakers. Grassroots efforts included street teams sent to 40 schools nationally to promote the competition to students, film professors, and with the American Film Institute and American Cinema Foundation. We received 87 film entries in three months, showed finalist films at a guest-only LA event and awarded monetary prizes for top winners.
Selected by both the manufacturer of the vitamin products and the family of the late Dr. Linus Pauling, a major push was necessary to launch this new line of Linus Pauling Vitamins™ into an already over-exhausted competitive environ while overcoming the challenge of lack of awareness of the “persona” among the younger generations. The agency strategically crafted an editorial story that was then produced as camera ready artwork and distributed to newspaper outlets across the country. To increase repetition of the message points, a radio mat release program was also coordinated. The six-month campaign resulted in over 728 placements in newspapers nationwide, representing a circulation of over 7.6 million people. The radio mat release, which was timed to “break” just prior to the print stories, garnered broadcasts totaling over 740 airings of our “prepared” story, for a total audience reached figure of over 4.3 million. In addition, the agency created a video news release which generated coverage for Linus Pauling Vitamins on major network affiliated in top-tier cities.
Transforming an unknown brand into a marketplace leader is always a challenge, and even more so in a commoditized service industry. InclusionINC, founded by CEO Shirley Engelmeier, focused on a highly fatigued subject: diversity training. Our main task was to raise market awareness and mindshare, so we tied into the news cycle on the corporate world’s rising interest and need for managing diversity in the workplace, and positioned the topic of inclusion as a fresh business advantage. We inserted Engelmeier into relevant big-picture conversations and focused on educating the media about the sensibilities of the emerging millennial generation in the workplace. The launch of her book, “Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage”, catapulted Engelmeier as a thought leader.
For an upcoming trade show in Las Vegas, America’s Incentive Business Travel and Meetings (AIBTM) expo needed to create compelling brand content and generate market interest to ensure its stakeholders would also attend its show in Chicago. Tying into a trend of mining the voice of the customer, we executed a strategy to engage stakeholders to actually become a part of the show rather than just attend. Using crowdsourcing as the show’s value promise, we developed a buzzworthy theme, “Defining the Future of Meetings…Together” to generate attendee enthusiasm. A conference keynote speaker focused on audience response technology to gather real-time input on the future of the industry. The results: a 165 percent increase in corporate buyers, a 33 percent increase in hosted buyer acceptance and a 51 percent spike in new attendance at the renamed IBTM.
Guidon Performance Solutions (now Peppers & Rogers Group) tasked us with raising the brand’s mind and market share by leading the conversation around the insights that healthcare payers and providers needed in order to survive the tsunami of challenges from The Affordable Care Act. Our campaign positioned CEO Ron Wince as one of the foremost healthcare thought leaders on the patient-provider relationship, organizational change and agility. We targeted healthcare influencer media to create educational articles that could be leveraged on social media, and with clients and prospects. Wince was featured in USA Today, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The media coverage and ensuing speaking opportunities led to new business leads and the market perception of category leadership.
The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business is comprised of international scholars and experts that had remained largely un-recognized or unknown outside academia. In order for Greif to raise its visibility among major business schools’ rankings and list position, we needed to bring the attention to its stellar faculty. We launched a media outreach campaign to re-introduce Greif through its faculty’s accomplishments. We targeted individual judges who influence national university rankings and a developed a comprehensive informational campaign to reach them, and placed bylined op-eds in major local and national business publications. After garnering national coverage, Greif was ranked by Success Magazine as the number one program for entrepreneurial studies in the country.
Launching a holiday campaign for toys can be challenging as the gift-buying season is often congested with dozens of new product launches, all fighting for a spot under the proverbial Christmas tree. We needed to help position the Fuzion Electron, a four-wheel sports scooter from NextSport, as one of the must-have items of the season. By targeting both potential riders (children under age 7 and under 135 pounds) and those with the purchasing power (parents), we pitched Fuzion Electron to kids as the “it” product for the next generation of scooters. For parents, the agency emphasized the product as a safer lifestyle alternative to two-wheel scooters, with a less expensive price point than most traditional “big item” holiday gifts for children.
When the nation’s leading supplier of massage chairs looked to us for a strategy to showcase the company’s newly re-branded consumer product division, we started by maximizing visibility of Human Touch and its award-winning HT-7450 Zero-Gravity Massage Chair at key technology and design trade shows that focused on wellness, design and technology. At CES and Las Vegas Market, we played into the weariness of trade show participants and attending media, and engaged national broadcast media outlets to take a moment to “experience” the H-7450 massage chair themselves. Our national public relations campaign completely re-focused media perception of the product category itself — massage chairs — from just “simple comfort/luxury indulgence” to essential lifestyle,health and wellness.
When then-startup company, Equipois, launched the x-AR, the world’s first exoskeletal arm using zeroG technology best known from the Steadicam camera, we knew this could be revolutionary. It allowed users to maneuver heavy equipment as if weightless, thus minimizing workers’ fatigue and reducing injuries. At the Applied Ergonomics Conference, we positioned the Equipois brand as a leader in American innovation alongside established companies such as IBM and its superhuman computer “Watson.” We engaged media with real-world examples where the x-Ar would boost efficiency and productivity, such as surgeons who would operate for hours without experiencing arm weakness; assembly workers in manufacturing plants who could speed up the process; and women who would now challenge muscular men in the handling of heavy tools with ease.
When WHAM-O, makers of the beloved and universally popular Frisbee, wanted to move it from the toy category into a new Frisbee Sport line of products, the challenge was to reconnect with the hard-core Frisbee enthusiasts and create a brand new generation of loyalists eager to experience the spirit of the brand’s competitive roots. Rather than focus on athletes, the agency targeted parents and their young children and teenagers. We developed a family-focused media relations program, timed to peak during the key spring and summer selling seasons, and implemented a junior high school physical education Frisbee sport teaching curriculum, coordinated with the Ultimate Players Association. Midway through the campaign, the Association officially approved the Frisbee Sport Disc for match play.
In an era where small main street banks had fallen into the shadows, one family bank, Farmers and Merchant’s Bank (F&M) with 23 branches in Southern California, passionately preserved its traditional focus on community values and conservative approaches. However, F&M recognized its need for greater external exposure to retain its leadership position in the communities it serves. It tapped the agency to garner media attention for its community sponsored events, as well as to position its executives as thought leaders on subjects such as lending and regional banking. The stories that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, American Banker and the Los Angeles Business Journal, supported the bank’s goal of reaching deep into the communities and being recognized as banking leaders upon which the communities could continue to depend.
Years before the “cloud” was even conceived, an ambitious entrepreneurial duo came up with a then-new online file sharing system and, in the process, practically launched the category. drop.io needed us to get word out in the marketplace — that online sharing was not only possible but that it would catapult change in the business landscape.
We sought out partnerships, business development and earned media opportunities that would fast track drop.io’s executive leadership team as industry thought leaders. The focus of our national media campaign was on trends in online file sharing and privacy issues. The ultimate indicator of the company’s success was when drop.io announced in October 2010 that it had been acquired by Facebook.
When the agency was tasked with introducing an already two-year-old patented Vitamin C product into the market, we created a strategy to tie in with public health and wellness issues and build on existing controversies. Ester-C, a Vitamin C supplement, entered the public consciousness through a PR campaign that included media relations, a large trade show presence and a thought leadership program. We enlisted independent expert spokespeople, such as a biochemist with 25 years of vitamin research experience and a nutritionist/author who advocates a vitamin-rich lifestyle to the “rich and famous.” The agency also booked a national radio campaign to promote vitamin benefits and educate consumers on public health concerns, such as toxicity levels.
Shopping for healthy food products at the grocery store can be challenging, due to the overwhelming choices and often conflicting nutritional information. With the introduction of Eaturna’s chef-created, prepared food products, the agency was challenged to cut through the clutter of the competition, and create rapid brand awareness for Eaturna foods in one neighborhood as a trial. The “Eaturnalize your Neighborhood” experiential product launch focused on word-of-mouth marketing, signed pledges committing to healthy eating habits, “Partnership for Healthy Neighborhoods” street teams driving consumer trial, family-focused community events and partnerships where Eaturna food got tasted. Within 60 days, the entire neighborhood had been reached one-on-one and pledged to eating healthy.
Considering that most individuals today spend more time on digital entertainment than on family conversations, the agency developed a kid-focused family lifestyle campaign to ignite renewed interest in backyard astronomy as a “well-spent family pastime.” With the launch of Celestron’s innovative SkyScout Personal Planetarium at CES, instead of just sending media new product pitches, we keyed into the mystique of the age-old question “what is that object in the sky?” while noting that this product could take the “mystery” out of the sky. The agency also leveraged national celestial events to generate curiosity in astronomy, as well as a Boy Scouts of America partnership to attract that particular demographic.
More than 40,000 commuters drive through Century City every day, causing tremendous traffic congestion in Los Angeles. The Century City Transportation Management Organization (CCTMO) was organized by area business leaders looking to increase awareness of the benefits of alternative transportation.
We created a commuter’s resource platform, Commute 90067, and launched an awareness campaign about the benefits of alternative transportation for commuting. The platform efficiently charted out bus routes, paired carpoolers and organized vanpools.
The Commute 90067 campaign included traditional and digital advertising, transit and street pole advertising, street team marketing, incentives, and events. Additionally, we developed partnerships with commercial real estate companies and their business tenets to communicate Commute 90067 to their staff through meetings and incentive programs. The extensive awareness program enabled CCTMO to reach its goal of reducing traffic into and out of Century City by 12,000 cars.
When the city of Beverly Hills, renowned for its special glitz worldwide, turned 100 in 2014, it wanted to celebrate in a big way. A block party was staged on Rodeo Drive, creating a family-focused experiential event replete with a commissioned birthday cake by agency client Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel, created in partnership with famed pastry chef Donald Wressell of the Guittard Chocolate Company. The staggering 4,000-pound chocolate cake that depicted Beverly Hills City Hall and Rodeo Drive served 15,000 people, which generated hundreds of millions of earned media impressions as well as social media mentions. To build up momentum to that day, we “seeded” media stories, planned mini events, held a cake-tasting preview for media, showed off with a 3-D model of the cake design and shot a video of the “making-of-the-cake” — a time-lapse video that wowed viewers around the world when released.
The Brita Water Filter System, a portable water filter system from The Clorox Company, is a household name today. But back when it first entered the market, public confidence in tap water was at an all time low. Clorox retained the agency to pilot test the product in Southern California, with the goal of changing the behavior of bottled-water-obsessed consumers. Through an experiential sampling program and a specially designed “Brita Water Cart,” managed by a “Brita Water Patrol” that showed up where bottled waters did — at sports events, marathons, home shows, trade shows, etc. — coupled with our national media campaign focused on health and wellness, sales increased by 26 percent in nine months. Our product launch campaign had unleashed the powerful “word-of-mouth” tool.
Setting their sights on redefining backyard water fun, a category that had become mostly stale in regards to innovation, Bestway North America’s new H2OGO! brand of backyard water slides was poised to transform the industry. Their slides, equipped with an inflatable speed ramp that propelled riders on an 18-foot track ending in a super soaking in the splash zone and could also eliminate the “bellyflop ouch,” were the perfect trigger to generate the desired media campaign buzz. Targeting mom bloggers, national print, and broadcast media, as well social media influencers, the agency bombarded all with imaginative and inventive story angles and contests. The campaign triggered TV broadcast airings and radio segments, and increased engagement on social media properties and print and blog stories — generating over 104, 268, 341 media impressions in a period of 4 months.
When Bel Air Investment Advisors, an industry leader in providing investment advice exclusively to high net worth individuals, families and foundations first came to the agency, their major concern was about controlling PR messages. A thought leadership platform was established that would allow for Bel Air Advisors to be viewed as a media resource. As such, through quotes, there would be more consideration for controlled coverage. The challenge was to identify what was the particular “own-able” expertise of each portfolio manager and match it with targeted media sectors; and then leverage it to the financial and business news cycle, building in the process, a base for long-term media relationships. The strategy worked. As breaking news in Bel Air’s sector’s crossed the wire and we were able to leverage Bel Air’s media reputation to present them as “the expert you want to quote.”
The saying “no news is good news” did not apply to Axiotron, an award-winning, authorized Apple Proprietary Solution provider that built its reputation by adapting consumer technologies to innovative new products. After the company suffered product delays, it faced stern customer backlash from the online community. Complaints stemmed from the company’s lack of news and unresponsiveness when questioned about product availability, and its reputation suffered. We were tasked with generating media and consumer interest, as well as lifestyle engagement, in the product launch of the Mac® Axiotron Modbook, an innovative pen-sensitive LCD tablet—particularly within the design industry. Immediately, we increased online community engagement and fed Axiotron news particularly around key event/trade shows. We partnered with artists and designers to present their art work in the booth at the Macworld show, which focused on design and digital art and earned wide attention.
When Altra Biofuels, an ethanol and biofuel startup, began operating in this crowded sector, its founders and backers knew that it had to gain credibility and build a positive reputation quickly to secure a leadership position in this space. We focused on Altra’s senior executives, positioning them as credible sources for commentary and predictions about the alternative energy sector—as well as about legislative news that affected the industry. We targeted national media outlets to drive coverage of Altra’s achievements, including its acquisition of existing biofuel production facilities, ground-breaking at new facilities, expanded production for energy plants, and the achievement of other notable benchmarks. Altra has been prominently featured in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg and Business Week, among others.
To broaden Al & Ed’s, California’s largest mobile electronic retailer, past that of a specialty retailer, we sought out cooperative brand partnerships that offered a new distribution channel for visibility. We designed multi-channel marketing programs that would reach audiences of both entities, and focused on raising awareness for high profile vehicle customization to support both new franchisees and customers. We secured a 2-year “Back-up to School Safely” program, where Ralphs shoppers who purchased 7UP products were automatically entered to win one of 50 Back-up Safety Cameras. As part of the promotion, Al & Ed’s ran safety clinics and displayed vehicles at prominent Ralphs locations. We also partnered with the California Highway Patrol, FREE-FM’s Adam Carolla Show, Santa Monica Subaru, Raging Waters and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Re-branding is never a simple matter, especially when it involves more than 70 individual storeowners — all entrepreneurs, and franchisees of a 60-year old established brand – Baskin-Robbins. So when our partner, Schneider Associates, asked our firm to support Baskin-Robbins’ “new retail look” in Southern California, it fell to the agency to manage each individual store’s grassroots efforts, as well as its engagement in experiential programming. The overall marketing effort extended to creative educational programs and special local events such as a “31-cent scoop night” at 31 Baskin-Robbins stores.
Crucial.com, a division of Micron Consumer Products and a leading online retailer specializing in computer memory upgrades, needed to increase awareness of their do-it-yourself memory upgrade as an easy solution for computer problems that plague consumers on a daily basis. In Phase 1, we utilized consumer survey research, satellite and ground media tours, media mailers, infographics and aggressive media relations strategies, to speak to the computer-induced frustration and stress that results from an underperforming computer, with the easy solution, of course, offered by Crucial.com. In Phase 2, the agency commanded audience attention through creative campaigns such as “Love Your Computer”, “Get Tough on Your Computer”, and the nationwide search for the “Official, Unofficial Office Computer Go-to Superstar” – and resulted in over 100 million media impressions.
National Public Gardens Day was all about fostering public programs, resources and educational initiatives to instill the importance of environmental preservation and landscape water conservation. In partnership with American Public Gardens Association (APGA), the agency created an annual National Public Gardens Day to inform of the vital role of APGA’s more than 500 gardens and arboreta in promoting environmental stewardship, plant and water conservation and education. On-the-ground agency partners were tapped in five markets to stimulate local interest and support a national media outreach program. On the pre-celebration day a Satellite Media Tour was launched together with a government outreach program and an expansive social media component. The result was a staggering. The 782 million media impressions promoted ecosystem management and the efficient use of water.
Strict regulations, required compliance and data security concerns have kept financial services technology in the stone age, for innovation is very risky and costly. Docupace’s turn-key Straight-Through Processing product eliminates those challenges. The company needed to raise awareness with a very niche audience and tapped the agency to develop a long-term comprehensive public relations and digital marketing strategy that would rebrand it as a cyber secure and compliant financial tech firm. We redesigned and implemented a new website, coordinated an advertising campaign, built content marketing, including strategic native advertising, and launched a thought leadership platform — all targeting the C-suite of financial services. Docupace entered the marketplace en force and saw strong growth in the marketplace. Docupace became a trusted FinTech leader for financial services firms.
With more than 2.5 million men and women serving in the armed forces and more than 4 million family members, the troops and their families depend upon the USO for critical programs and support. While the USO thrives through donations from major corporations and strategic partners, the agency, as their agency of record, saw an opportunity to tap an under-represented source of income through grassroots individual fundraising. Events such as Barbecue for the Troops, (leveraging the quintessential summer backyard barbecue), and Dance for the Troops, targeting school dances and New Year’s galas, were designed to mobilize individuals into throwing fundraisers in their local communities. Each campaign was supported with media relations, strategic partnerships, and organizational outreach.
When Sanyo Corporation tapped the agency to introduce their new Xacti Sound Recorder, we recognized that adoption without trial first would be near impossible; after all, the market was already flooded with recorders that claimed to be the best. So we targeted musical influencers to review the product and encouraged them to spread the word within their own networks to advocate for the product and brand organically. We reached out to musicians across all music genres, from rock to classical, music educators, songwriters and performers. After that, we engaged music fans and consumers through an agency-designed microsite and online contest. In just four months, 50 media outlets requested the unit for review well before the product even rolled out to market.
Fiesta Parade Floats (FPF), a 35 year-old builder of parade floats for the annual New Year’s Day Rose Parade, had kept a relatively low profile despite having assembled a team of world-renowned design and floral technology experts. We leveraged every opportunity to maximize media exposure by expanding the focus beyond the parade itself and on to the development of the floats from the float design and construction process through the final pre-parade flower decorating. Over five years of working with the local, regional and national media — the last week of the year, working from 4 am to almost midnight, daily — FPF was catapulted into the limelight by an enchanted media.
Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Greater Los Angeles (MAWLA) needed to reconnect with its community and foster new marketing relationships and asked the agency for new concepts. We launched a 60-day campaign, entitled A Season of Wishes™, with experiential and visual elements, called “Wish It Blue,” (the Foundation’s signature color). We did a city-wide alert of the “blue” with a flip of a “virtual” switch turning major Los Angeles landmarks “blue”, including the famed Pacific Ferris Wheel, the Santa Monica Pier, the Queen Mary and the Vincent Thomas Bridge. We created an “influencers” group, the Circle of Wishes, to expand the campaign. MAWLA’s individual heart-wrenching kid-wish stories were spread across the media, with reporters interacting with the children and their families, capturing the stories live on local broadcasting.
The Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) wanted to brand its city’s as California’s quintessential beach city as well as a world-class travel destination. Moreover, it wanted to entice worldwide tourists to visit Santa Monica, and have them increase their visitors’ stay, thereby promoting expenditures and supporting local establishments. Specific programming for specific audiences was created, such as the “Fun in the Sun” and the “Endless Summer” as travel and tourism promotions; “Sandy Monica” Mannequin promotion, in support of the new Santa Monica Place opening; the “Surfing Santas” promotion in support of the holiday season; a “Blogger Beach Contest,” as well as group FAM Trips for culinary media, bloggers, among others. A media outreach blitz triggered 400 million national and international.
When iconic toymaker WHAM-O, inventor of the “Hula-Hoop” and “Frisbee,” saw that it was losing customers to video games and technology, it enlisted the agency to find creative ways to re-capture the age-old excitement for its new outdoor summer and winter product lineups. To attract parents, the agency banked on triggering positive memories of their own childhood toys, which in turn, could translate into purchases for their children. In countering kids’ increasingly sedentary lifestyles, a summer multi-media campaign “Get The Kids Outdoors” and a winter one targeting “winter” states was pitched to the top 100 U.S. media markets. In just four months, WHAM-O generated more than 260 million print impressions and appeared on The Today Show, GMA, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, PBS and CNN.
The challenge for Luxe Hotels was to design an experiential and lifestyle synchronized communications platform that was workable for both Luxe Hotels (branded properties) and L.E. Hotels, a collection of premier independent hotel properties worldwide, across 31 countries. Multi-channel digital communications streams had to work in concert with each other regarding overall positioning and messaging, and needed to be dynamic by design, addressing different audiences from various angles. The programming was designed to be foundational and sustainable, as the brand expanded. We implemented an overarching brand platform and specific programming per business unit, that included a Brand Share of Voice and Consumer Engagement as well as Partnerships and Quarterly Engagement, Influencer Marketing and Special Promotion programming that would be tied to seasonal happenings, news cycle or opportunistic events.
When SodaStream wanted to reposition itself from home soda maker to a wellness product that spurs healthy hydration, we got creative, looking for ways to inject the brand into news cycles throughout the year. Just a couple from our first year: a Change.org petition calling for the inclusion of cannonballs and bellyflops in Rio 2016 Olympics that garnered more than 7,000 signatures and drove great visibility through news and social media. Then, during a moment of election exhaustion, we reminded consumers, “Presidential Candidates Aren’t The Only Ones Who Need To Drink More Water,” and supplied an infographic on the poor state of hydration in the U.S.” Together with ongoing media relations that inserted SodaStream into conversations about healthy hydration, the results are staggering – with media impressions in the billions.
Carrington Holding Companies, a B2B real estate and mortgage company, asked the agency for help in transforming their business model in order to reach an underserved market of home buyers — namely, those with credit challenges. We first created perception surveys to gain a greater pulse on this market segment. Based on reaped results, we broadened their Internet storefront to meet the needs of this new customer, which included instant prequalification, affordable payment methodology, engaging digital communications and a chat room for local insights and advice. Tapping their rich database of facts and figures, we developed an infographic that honed in on trends affecting the real estate and mortgage markets. Following a multi-media campaign in which Carrington was positioned as a thought leader for this market, the company achieved wide penetration into the underserved market.
The company that first introduced drip irrigation technology to the world over 50 years ago, needed to expand its presence in both traditional and new crop markets as farmers were increasingly faced with drought conditions and decreased access to water. Netafim looked to the agency not only to bolster its media relations and marketing programs, but also to pave the way for a transformation of the way the company positions itself and its product offerings. The agency has been instrumental in helping Netafim restructure its dealer incentive and marketing program, forge relationships with key agricultural and environmental influentials and academics, develop sales and marketing tools, as well as conceptualize and execute marketing and advertising campaigns for the landscape and agriculture divisions.
Digital marketing expert and customer service guru, Jay Baer, tapped the agency for media exposure and thought leadership strategies to increase coverage of his new book Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers. Written as a response to the rise in online complaints, Hug Your Haters argues that the mindset to “pick and choose” when to respond to criticism is an incredibly costly mistake for many businesses. By leveraging the breaking news cycle of high-profile business blunders together with available data points from Jay’s research, we created a whirlwind of interest, which led to byline opportunities and the positioning of Baer as a sought-after resource to the media through his ongoing expert commentary on specific statistics within the food, hospitality, travel, retail, and airline industries.
Bob Evans Farms Inc., a leading producer and distributor of refrigerated and frozen convenience food items, was exploring ways of showing support for military members and their families while also strengthening its ties to the local community it serves. We were retained for the Bob Evans “Our Farm Salutes” program to partner with a military not-for-profit organization to further the brand’s goals of providing meals and donations to programs that support the military active duty, veterans and their families. We conceived the idea to paint its barn – an iconic symbol in Rio Grande, Ohio – purple, representing the color of all branches of the military. We also secured a partnership with The Gary Sinise Foundation and produced PSAs that featured the actor and director of the Foundation, as well as a campaign video. The purple barn visual attracted significant media attention with regional news and military media trade outlets. Results from data surveys clearly indicated an uptick in favorability perceptions for the Bob Evans brand.