In the world of PR, launching a product into a zero awareness market can seem like an impossible challenge – unless you turn that to your advantage.
On a shoestring budget and facing plummeting consumer trust in their industry, global technology company Double Robotics needed an extraordinary solution to introduce their new telepresence robot to the Australian and Asian markets.
And they found one. According to Marketing Mag, the campaign they executed resulted in 4,000 pieces of coverage across print and broadcast media, translated in 32 languages, with approximately 123 million people reached across the globe.
This equated to a media value worth tens of millions of dollars. Recall in the local market went up 780 per cent and brand favourability rose by 1,200 per cent.
So, how did they pull it off?
For those unfamiliar with the term, a telepresence robot is a device that looks like an iPad on a stick. It sits atop a Segway-like base, and allows its user to remotely manoeuvre the robot; providing a practical – albeit slightly unusual – solution for maintaining a physical presence in an area you otherwise may not be able to access.
Check it out:
It might seem like somewhat of a paradox to assume the most effective way to launch a telepresence robot to market would be through a uniquely human approach, but that’s exactly what the team at Double Robotics elected to do through their ‘Lucy the Robot’ PR stunt supported by Atomic 212°.
The objectives of the campaign were simple: to create buzz and recognition around the brand and generate sales leads for the product.
To achieve these goals, Double Robotics recognised the need to give the robot a human story so that people could perceive the product as a useful, functional being that they could relate to, rather than conjure up any residual trauma that may have been caused by watching Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
The idea of Lucy was born – a young, energetic and innovative young woman who, like many people around the world, was excited to get her hands on a brand new iPhone 6s the moment it was released.
To avoid taking time out of her busy schedule waiting in line for days to be the first to buy the new model, Double Robotics sent the Lucy-controlled telepresence robot to Sydney’s Apple store on George Street to hold her place in the queue.
In doing this, Double Robotic were able annex the mass hype that surrounds the launch of a new iPhone, and provide fellow Apple die-hards and passers-by with a quirky and memorable introduction to Double Robotics’ latest device.
For two days, Lucy was on hand to interact with the public and provide the quintessential human foundation the campaign needed to be a success.
The added advantage of Australia’s time zone meant that one of the first people in the world to buy the iPhone 6s was in fact going to be – a robot!
Headlines like that are hard for media to resist. Harnessing the power of PR, media outreach, social media engagement and branded content marketing, Double Robotics were able to create a snowball effect of publicity that would ricochet throughout the world.
Not bad for a marketing budget of next to nothing.