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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.