July 11, 2011
Coyne PR-Sealed Air Corporation Campaign for Bubble Wrap's 50th Birthday Creates Pop of National InterestBy: Jim Bucci
The maker of Bubble Wrap, Sealed Air Corporation, sought to celebrate the 50th birthday of the product with a widespread pop of national consumer media exposure. The iconic brand is best known for protecting and providing fun and stress release to millions of people each day. But, with no "new" news other than the commemorative milestone, Coyne PR would have to be creative in developing a strategy to celebrate the golden anniversary.
Coyne set out to raise awareness by reinforcing that Bubble Wrap is a brand trademarked by Sealed Air Corporation because many consumers see all cellular cushioning material as bubble wrap. To separate from the rest, Coyne developed a limited run of special gold Bubble Wrap for the birthday, deviating from the well-known clear bubble wrap, which created a great visual and compelling story to tell.
"For Bubble Wrap's 50th Anniversary, we wanted to celebrate the fun-loving aspects of this great cushioning product and help promote the innovative spirit that is still the culture of Sealed Air Corporation's growth today," explains Coyne PR vice president Joe Gargiulo.
To celebrate during the day of the birthday, the Coyne PR team sent out a mailer to top media outlets, consisting of a two-tiered Bubble Wrap cake and gold colored Bubble Wrap with a birthday card that highlighted 50 different popular uses.
With this, Coyne PR had achieved its goal, celebrating Bubble Wrap's 50th birthday, while also focusing attention upon the brand, making the moment not just another company birthday, but a newsworthy event.
The Strategy: A Standout Birthday Celebration for Bubble Wrap's 50th: The purpose of Coyne's efforts were to share the celebratory news through all media to create huge and far-reaching buzz. "Knowing that Bubble Wrap is truly a pop-culture icon, our strategy was to truly make this a celebration," says Gargiulo. "We leveraged the official, annual Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day—the last Monday of January—as the point in time for activating our efforts. We also created a 'golden moment' by developing and producing a limited run of 'gold' Bubble Wrap and elevated a true packaging expert as the 'pop'ular voice for the Bubble Wrap story through the 'Professor of Popology' serving as our spokesperson."
Serving as the "Professor" was Bill Gray, a senior member of the Sealed Air Corp.'s marketing team, who told the brand's story through media interviews via satellite to stations across the country from the Sealed Air Corporation factory in Saddle Brook, New Jersey in front of a 14-foot tall Bubble Wrap cake. Sporting a Bubble Wrap man purse, the "Professor" fielded questions and spoke about the pop culture icon's unique history, while discussing the many interesting uses of Bubble Wrap.
Lastly, the celebration concluded with a birthday cake—a two-tiered 50th birthday cake made out of Bubble Wrap. A layer of special run gold Bubble Wrap was created and distributed to media across the country. Hundreds of these cakes were made up and sent out to all media outlets with the messaging highlighting 50 years of Bubble Wrap fun.
"In addition to the use of our creative mailer, which included the Birthday Cake and a birthday card containing press materials, a full media blitz was implemented to help drive widespread buzz for the brand," says Gargiulo.
The Challenge: Make Bubble Wrap's Birthday Standout From the Masses: A media audit of anniversaries resulted in the discovery that while a commemorative momont was an interesting hook, the news was typically aligned with additional company announcements.
"Each day many brands celebrate anniversaries or birthdays," says Gargiulo. "So, our challenge was to standout and gain the attention of the media to create widespread buzz."
Without any "new" news, the Coyne team worked with Sealed Air Corp. to develop a fun and compelling strategy to celebrate Bubble Wrap's golden anniversary. Coyne not only capitalized on Bubble Wrap's birthday, generating widespread and nationwide awareness to celebrate the day, but also reinforced the brand's presence and logo to consumers, retailers and distributors to increase purchase over other generic products.
By using Bubble Wrap's 50th birthday celebration as a jumping off point to highlight the brand, reestablish its place among consumers and separate the product from other generics, Coyne PR turned the golden anniversary into a newsworthy happening.
The Results: Bubble Wrap's Birthday Celebration Garners Top Print and Broadcast Coverage: Print stories appeared in outlets such as The New York Times, The Star-Leger and Detroit News and online at USAToday.com, Pop Candy, The Huffington Post and NYTimes.com. "Bubble Wrap" also became a top-five search term on Yahoo!
B-roll generated more than 400 broadcast stories on top-tier, national shows such as "NBC Nightly News," "Good Morning America," "Early Today," "Fox and Friends" and "ABC World News."
"This campaign delivered huge impressions worldwide," says Gargiulo. "This along with the simple, creative components certainly helped this campaign succeed."
Secrets of Success: Read on as Gargiulo offers more tips and explains why this campaign won Gold in "Best Use of Broadcast Video/Internet—Business/Consumer" at the 2011 Bulldog Awards for Excellence in Media Relations and Publicity.
- Build your campaign foundation on a solid story. "It all starts with a good story," he says. "Don't forget the fundamentals."
- Think about how to separate from the pack. "Be creative and think about ways to standout," he offers.
- Utilize social media to extend the life of your campaign. "Leverage social media to extend the buzz," he says.
- Help your story by including visuals. "Don't forget to include a strong visual to help tell the story," he suggests.
Winner's Profile: Coyne PR offers public relations services for several industries, including food and beverage, healthcare, fashion and more. The agency represents some of the world's most prominent brands including The Walt Disney Company, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Shell Lubricants, Medco Health Solutions, Inc., Mary Kay, The Campbell Soup Company, Kraft Foods, General Mills, and Hard Rock International.