A good product or even a good advertising strategy alone cannot successfully sell a brand. In today’s cutthroat competition, strategic public relations holds the answer!

Amystery cream was pitted against some well known branded antiaging creams for seven days in a “blind product-trial” campaign in China. One hundred and fifty beauty bloggers in Shanghai participated in this “blind-trial”. The results showed an overwhelming 9 out of 10 women (bloggers) said they would recommend this mystery cream to a friend and a same number said it was better than the well-known, prestige brands that they had used in the past. The surprise result created a tremendous buzz online. After seven days the name of the mystery cream was revealed – Unilever’s Pond’s Age Miracle.

When David Beckham travelled to Australia to play for LA Galaxy FC the world leading style icon was seen using the V8 Lux, the new mobile phone that Motorola was planning to launch in Australia. The world saw Beckham using the phone, what they did not see was the weeks of hard work the agency Ogilvy put into developing media partnership with some of Australia’s top radio, print & TV media to help promote the idea that Beckham too uses the V8 Lux. In a country where its people use their mobile phone as a style statement, for the brand to be perceived as stylish you needed a stylish launch. For a phone that had ensured it was designed most stylishly with its gold plated accents, smooth snakeskin-like textures and subtle details, all it needed was a stylish roll-out (who better than Beckham) and an intelligent public relations (PR) agency to help influence people’s perception!

Pond’s Age Miracle cream’s launch in China through the “blind-trial” using beauty bloggers was also another case of how intelligent public relations can launch a new brand. For a country like China, which is home to over 340 million net users who are online for an average of 16 hours per week, this strategy of using the digital medium to promote a new brand worked wonders for Ponds. The cyber-charm, charmed the Chinese definitely.


Times are tough, and more so last year when everyone was worried about jobs, pay cuts and salaries. A survey done in America by Schneider Associates, IRI and Sentient Decision Science revealed an interesting result. Almost 93% of respondents – the highest level in eight years of the survey – could not name one new product launch from a list of 50 launches in 2009. Why these results were more shocking was because the number of people watching TV, surfing the web or doing both simultaneously had increased tremendously, yet brand recall had fallen. The brand that topped the list of most recalled launches was KFC’s grilled chicken, which proved to be Yum! Brand’s biggest launch ever. Surprisingly, it’s not advertising which was responsible for making it big and memorable but a small “PR gimmick”. Oprah was roped in to distribute free coupons to viewers of her show. Yes, agreed it was a great product (healthy + great taste) and a massive campaign using traditional and modern, digital media was planned meticulously, but it was Oprah who acted as a catalyst, which is what made the launch most memorable. KFC outlets were flooded with people wanting to taste the product and they could hardly keep up with the demand. Oprah made the product noticeable and the launch highly successful. From April to December some 65 million Americans had tried the product, raising KFC’s market share of “grilled chicken” category to 25%.     Read More....

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