Varta Promo, Case study MEET THE INDESTRUCTIBLE! by The Practice

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MEET THE INDESTRUCTIBLE!

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Industry Household maintenance & pet products
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Romania
Agency The Practice
Released November 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Advertiser: VARTA RAYOVAC REMINGTON
Product/Service: INDESTRUCTIBLE FLASHLIGHT
Agency: THE PRACTICE
Managing Partner: Gabriela Lungu (The Practice)
Head Of Public Relations Department: Oana Bulexa (The Practice)
Head Of Social Media Department: Monica Jitariuc Soare (The Practice)
Junior Public Relations Manager: Raluca Buzea (The Practice)
Social Media Specialist: Magda Halus (The Practice)
Event/Production Manager: Ruxandra Avram (The Practice)
Media placement: Campaign Teasing - Twitter - 9 November 2011
Media placement: Launching Event - BTL In Bucharest - 15 November 2011
Media placement: Press Articles - Www.libertatea.ro, Www.sport.ro, Www.click.ro, Www.adevarul.ro - 16 November 2011
Media placement: Blog Articles - Www.bazavan.ro, Www.bogdandascalescu.ro - 15 November 2011
Media placement: Blogger Special Project - Www.arhiblog.ro - 15 November 2011
Media placement: Facebook Page - Facebook - 15 November 2011
Media placement: Twitter (Tweets + Hashtags) - Twitter (#theindestructible, #indestructibilavarta) - 9 November 2011

Summary of the Campaign
When Varta wanted to launch a new flashlight, we knew such an object is not very interesting for consumers. So how do you meet the objectives of raising big awareness and generating rapid sales? The answer came right from the product, since Varta flashlight was really special: It was indestructible. So in order to make a memorable launch, our strategy was to challenge the indestructibility of our product.

We did everything and encouraged everyone to destroy it: from celebrities to journalists, bloggers, key opinion leaders and, of course, consumers. We reached these targets through a complex PR and Social Media campaign, including general and niched publications, blogs, social networks (Facebook, Twitter), online communities, events.

The outcome was that the product’s relevance expanded by successfully positioning it not only as a useful tool for specialists, but also as a cool gadget for anybody.

In terms of output, we reached over 4m people. 10,000 people actively participated in our campaign. We had a 6:1 Return on Investment and thousands of indestructible flashlights sold, as client’s sales grew 10% more than initially expected.

This communication campaign was considered by journalists and bloggers 'the best and most daring product launch campaign of 2011'.

The Situation
Varta is German brand, best known for batteries and chargers. However, not its entire product range has big awareness: many consumers don’t know Varta is also a flashlight producer.
When Varta wanted to launch a new flashlight, we faced 2 challenges: Varta’s lack of notoriety regarding flashlights and the consumers’ lack of interest regarding such an insignificant product as flashlights.

But Varta flashlight was really special. It was indestructible. This turned out to be the key opportunity for us. In a world where everything can be destroyed, where nothing is forever, the appearance of something indestructible could raise the awareness we needed.

The Goal
Objectives: create awareness and big buzz around the flashlight; gain online KOL involvement; generate consumer engagement in the campaign and product trial.

Evaluation criteria: 1m people to hear/read about our campaign; earned media in at least 20 relevant publications; 10 A-rank blogs write about the campaign; actively engage at least 5,000 people.

The target received from the client was limited to 'professionals' (explorers, speleologists, rafting, hiking, climbing lovers). We extracted insights from the National Audience, conducted a qualitative research, in-depth interviews, focus groups, and a mass-media audit.

The Strategy

Based on the research, we realised this target was definitely not enough to help us reach the brief objectives. So we decided to extend the product's appeal from a simple technical tool for few, to a desirable gadget for many! After all, who doesn’t want to have something indestructible?

Sounds good, but was it indestructible for real? At the same time generous and dangerous, the indestructible attribute gave us no option but to be very brave. In order to gain awareness and big buzz around the product within a limited time and budget, our strategy was to challenge the indestructibility of our product.

We convinced sports stars - even the strongest world champions - to give clear demonstrations. Celebrities then passed the challenge to journalists, bloggers, speleologists, fishermen, and even IT&C specialists. A snowball campaign of wild, creative product demonstrates that put our flashlight 'through fire and sword' to really prove its indestructibility.

Execution

The campaign started with a 2-week teasing period. Journalists and bloggers were invited to meet 'the Indestructible', who confronted the 3 most powerful men in Romania. The teaser quickly spread online on blogs, Facebook and Twitter, where it generated tons of rumours.

The flashlight was revealed during a totally unexpected launch event, in which the warriors tried to bend it with huge tongs, passed it through fire, punched it with metal baseball bats and hit it with a hacker.

Many bloggers and journalists did wild tests on their own and shared them with consumers. The most read blogger in Romania organised a huge 'destroy' contest on his blog. Only after the word spread everywhere, we targeted the natural target: professionals or wildlife lovers in their niched communities, through product tests and contests.

We also had a strong crisis plan, in case the flashlight broke. Naturally, it didn’t.

Documented Results
Our great campaign had great results:
- 4,140,700 people were reached (triple the initial objective)
- 71 consistent, dedicated media materials - TV news, printed and online press (200% more than expected)
- 40 complex stories on blogs (300% more than expected)
- Hundreds of comments on blog posts, hundreds of tweets containing the campaign’s official hashtag #theindestructible
- Thousands of 'likes', 'shares', pictures and videos
- Over 10,000 people actively engaged with our campaign (double what was initially planned)
- Return on investment 6:1
- Exceeding 10+% client’s sales expectations: from 4,500 to 5,000 flashlights.