Brand building remains one of the most prominent goals for all companies. The importance of TV and, increasingly, the Internet in promoting and protecting brands has been well-documented, with TV recognised as the world’s most impactful and credible medium and the Internet as the fastest-growing.
One of the key ways companies build brand profile is product development and launching – to demonstrate to consumer/business audiences that the company concerned is a leader in technology, innovation and other key messages they want to promote and, of course, to build sales.
In launching a product, most companies rely on advertising on TV and on other media. However, most do not take advantage of the enormous impact of editorial TV in endorsing a product and a brand.
One of the biggest problems facing companies in all industries – but especially in consumer electronics – is how to differentiate their products/services from the vast amount of competing products & services. Control of message to the media is also highly significant.
One of the most effective ways of doing so is to access international and national TV news programming and Internet news websites. Increasing numbers of companies are recognising that, as the media move closer and closer to a converged, digital and visually-led entity, broadcast and Internet consultancy, accessing editorial outlets, must be part of the marketing/communications mix.
This is what Bulletin International, managed on behalf of Philips when the company launched two products – the RF-100 digital TV and the RUSH MP-3 player. The key to Bulletin’s broadcast and Internet consultancy is editorial content management. The provision of broadcast-quality and Internet-quality content is designed to access an industry becoming hungrier and hungrier for individualised, localised editorial material.
This emphasis on content is highly effective and works not just for brand-building but for strategic communications, corporate developments, re-structuring and change programmes, crisis management and, as in the case of Bulletin’s many Government clients around the world, nation-building and showcasing a country to potential investors or other key audiences.
The brief was simple: to win coverage for the Philips Digital RF-100 TV and the Philips RUSH MP3 player and to help boost the Philips brand as industry leader in these segments for both consumer and business audiences.
However, there were several issues that had to be faced. Both products were not, in themselves, inherently newsworthy. The Philips Digital RF-100 TV – was already launched into target markets, making a news angle even harder to find. There was also the problem of removing any hint of a ‘product launch’ as many journalists find this too commercial.
Bulletin surmounted these problems by researching an industry perspective to both stories. It discovered from this research that Asians were buying digital appliances faster than any other region in the world. On the Internet side, Bulletin linked the RUSH player to the discussion of the downloading-music-from-the Internet issues and the effect on consumers/music industry – building in the fact that the RUSH was one of the few such players designed to be worn as a fashion accessory.
Both stories were illustrated with the two Philips products and Philips-led comment. This cast the two products in the context of industry-wide trends and patterns and not as product launches. The subsequent stories traversed industry trends and, with the use of Philips products to illustrate those trends, cast Philips in a cutting-edge, industry-leadership role.
To execute this strategy, Bulletin produced a broadcast quality b-roll with images of the products being manufactured, on display, people using them, interviewed Philips spokespeople and independent industry observers, plus video or stills were made available to Internet news websites. All of this was shot in a way designed to make it attractive to journalists – in terms of news angle and content to support that angle.
It was also carefully produced to make sure the client brand and key messages were included. This approach ensures that on-screen interviews, rather than just being ‘talking heads’, are accompanied by visuals with the company brand and products.
• More than two hours of broadcast coverage in 9 target countries in Asia-Pacific and international/pan-regional broadcasters
• At least 63 separate reports on terrestrial, national, cable and satellite channels
• At least 20 individual reports and content on Asia-Pacific news websites
• An estimated minimum broadcast audience reach of 53 million people
• Total advertising airtime cost equivalent (the amount of advertising airtime that would have to be bought to win similar time on air) was US$487,000 – a return of many times the original investment
• This was all coverage/exposure which would otherwise not have been obtained.
In evaluation terms, Bulletin was able to demonstrate the following:
• clear, positive delivery of key messages in all reports
• Philips positioned as an authority in consumer electronics
• Philips’ strength in design and technology innovation was reinforced
• strong visual and verbal branding were achieved in all reports
Bulletin International is a broadcast marketing and PR agency founded in London 11 years ago and is now part of the Cordiant group. They have offices in London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.