It's a Jungle Out There
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

It's a Jungle Out There

3M Commercial Graphics Division, a leader in the large-format graphics industry, challenged Karwoski & Courage Public Relations to devise a way to revitalize its Scotchprint Graphics brand.

Paul Holmes

  3M Commercial Graphics Division, a leader in the large-format graphics industry, challenged Karwoski & Courage Public Relations to devise a way to revitalize its Scotchprint Graphics brand, and help introduce a new program that would combine 3M’s graphics materials with best-in-class printing technologies of other industry magnates.  In the process, the new program was to garner trade media attention on a mass scale and give birth to sales tools that would help the sales force explain the new program and sell the Scotchprint Graphics brand name.  Working with Martin/Williams Advertising, Karwoski & Courage put together a public relations plan surrounding an advertising program called “Station Domination.”  
Trade media in town for a strategically timed visit to a graphics trade show were invited to “go on safari” at the Powell Street station.  Editors at each graphics industry trade magazine were sent a safari backpack, complete with binoculars, canteen, compass, flashlight, invitation to a 3M trade show party and a safari journal to help them navigate the jungle scene.
3M Commercial Graphics put Scotchprint Graphics to the test by transforming the Powell Street Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in San Francisco into a Scotchprint Graphics Safari.  3M used Transportation Displays Inc.’s (TDI) “Station Domination” program, a traditional advertising program in which a sole advertiser places its ads in all available signage locations.  The project showed the versatility of 3M’s Scotchprint Graphics by creating a complete graphics environment, modeled after its “jungle” magazine ad created to reintroduce the super/power brand.  Graphics covered the traditional and, for the first time ever, the non-traditional spaces – including the floor, ceiling, walls, columns and even trash cans – immersing nearly 26,000 commuters each day in the jungle experience.
The biggest challenge of the program was creating something that would draw the attention of the trade magazines and keep them interested in Scotchprint Graphics.  The press on Scotchprint Graphics had been limited to small mentions in the corner of pages.  We were looking to create something that would put some meat into their coverage of 3M and mainly Scotchprint Graphics. 
Another challenge Karwoski & Courage was charged with was to create a buzz in the industry about Scotchprint Graphics that would cause graphic manufacturers to enroll in the Scotchprint Graphics Authorized Manufacturer program.  A difficult task considering the program had not succeeded as well as 3M had hoped to this point. 
In the months preceding the event, Karwoski & Courage also researched the “Station Domination” program and found several articles in local San Francisco newspapers which condemned the advertising program’s of previous advertisers (not 3M), siting the lack of creativity in the ads and the intrusiveness of the advertising into people’s everyday lives. 
Another concern pertained to the problems that other advertiser’s previous campaigns encountered, namely graffiti and vandalism to the graphics.  With little security protection on certain levels of the transit station, the graphics could be easy prey for would-be vandals. 
The jungle theme was meant to be a unique, appealing display of the graphics’ capabilities and create a favorable environment for commuters.  Other advertiser’s previous campaigns simply had used the available spaces to plaster their existing print ads on the walls and floors, in an effort to saturate their audience with their brand name.  For large-format graphics to gain favorable media attention, they need to be applied in creative and large-scale ways.  In order to meet 3M’s needs, it had to be taken into account that on average, each person, each day is subjected to 150 ads and more than 3,000 marketing messages.  An out-of-the-box idea was needed to position Scotchprint Graphics as THE way to cut through the clutter in today’s competitive business environment.  
The program was the perfect opportunity to create several sales tools including a case study, CD-ROM and video of the event.  Representatives of 3M’s alliance partners were involved with the creation of the CD-ROM and video, which detail the making of the jungle scene and describe the effectiveness of Scotchprint Graphics.  Included in the video was a time-lapse segment that showed the transformation of several days in one minute.  The sales force has access to this CD-ROM and video and are using them to sell the Scotchprint Graphics brand.  
Therefore, we helped them create an environment with their graphics, not just an advertising program. 
The campaign was scheduled to run the entire month of August, after which the graphics were to be removed.  Personnel from 3M Commercial Graphics, Karwoski & Courage Public Relations, TDI, BART, Martin/Williams Advertising and numerous graphic manufacturers and installers were needed to put the program together during a six-month span.  The climax came when the graphics – more than 6,000 square feet – were installed within three days throughout the entire station. 
The program had enormous impact with the trade media.  Every major graphics industry trade magazine picked up the story and ran with it.  Included in that list are: The Big Picture, Southern Graphics, Digital Graphics, Printing Views, Sign Business, Screen Printing, Modern Reprographics, Architecture Magazine, Graphic Design: USA, Printing Journal, Screen & Display Graphics and the Seybold San Francisco Daily.
The success of this program also helped deliver a boost to the Scotchprint Graphics Authorized Manufacturer program.  Thirty-three new companies have joined the program in order to be approved to create Scotchprint Graphics.
An additional benefit of the campaign was the programs appearance in local San Francisco media [KGO-TV (ABC), Channel 7 News at 5 p.m.] and St. Paul, MN media (St. Paul Pioneer Press) where 3M is based.
When the installation was finished and the jungle was completed, commuters began talking about the new graphics in such a positive manner that BART officials wanted to keep the display up for an additional month.  People passing through the station would pause to take snapshots of the graphics and numerous comments were received regarding the creativity allowed by the Scotchprint Graphics.  No vandalism or graffiti was experienced during 3M’s program.  
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