Elizabeth Arden wanted a fresh, outside-the-box public relations initiative to keep the buzz alive about its new skincare line, skinsimple, which was being sold exclusively through Wal-Mart stores nationwide. A successful launch PR campaign garnered skinsimple mentions in national beauty magazines and major daily newspapers, but a few months after the launch, without new news to distribute, publicity dwindled, awareness dropped and sales began to falter.
Elizabeth Arden wanted a cost-effective, turnkey PR initiative that would reach millions of potential consumers quickly. And because the products were exclusive to Wal-Mart, the cosmetics giant would be able to specifically monitor how the marketing program would – or would not – affect sales.
PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGIES & TACTICS
- Clearly, Elizabeth Arden required a non-traditional marketing approach for re-building awareness and stimulating sales of the new-ish product line. Similarly, the necessity to reach a mass number of consumers…quickly and efficiently…would determine the tactic ultimately chosen.
- To accomplish the challenge, TMA developed a creative, yet strategically targeted, radio promotion campaign, aimed at cities where Wal-Marts traditionally enjoyed the highest skincare sales.
- Forty such cities were identified; 30 were targeted as primary markets and 10 as secondary markets. The 30 primary markets were pitched week-long radio promotions; the 10 secondary markets were sent DJ Direct mailings.
- For the 30 radio promotion markets, the Agency developed four creative executions from which the stations could select the one that best mirrored their station’s personality. The two most popular promotions were centered on “Things you do to simplify your life” and a “kiss” sound-of-the-day (Keep It SkinSimple).
- The agency then pitched promotions directors at demographically correct, top-rated stations in the identified markets. Pitching promotions directors circumvented the advertising department and proved successful in getting the week-long promotions on the air and without an ad buy.
- Instead of ad dollars, the Agency developed an appealing “daily prize pack,” filled with skinsimple products, logoed premiums and Wal-Mart gift certificates. To round out the promotion, a weekly grand prize winner would receive a $250 Wal-Mart gift certificates which, hopefully, would be redeemed for more skinsimple products.
- In addition to the prize packs, TMA developed a list of DJ talking points so that DJs could broadcast skinsimple’s key marketing message throughout the week the contests aired.
- Sales of skinsimple products increased an average of 18 percent in the month following the promotions in markets where TMA successfully secured radio promotions. Unit sales, per store, averaged an increase of 150 pieces.
- The value of the “free” airtime garnered through the promotions equaled more than $272,000.
- This value represented a 4-to-1 return-on-investment for Elizabeth Arden.
- In addition to the airtime generated through the 30, week-long radio contests, skinsimple received value-added benefits from several radio station partners, including: logos and click-through links on several station websites, event sponsorships, live radio remotes from Wal-Mart parking lots, and special sampling opportunities.
- Nearly 4.5 million consumers heard skinsimple key marketing messages as a result of the promotions.
- Audio airchecks from the promotion provided Elizabeth Arden with additional, tangible results from the campaign, and allowed the company to share the excitement of these promotions with key executives at Wal-Mart, their largest customer.
- From final client approval of the creative themes and the marketing materials, radio promotions began airing within four weeks and continued airing for the next 12 weeks.