Polaroid mio Wallet Personality Campaign
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Holmes Report

Polaroid mio Wallet Personality Campaign

PainePR was challenged with generating national and local consumer-oriented publicity for a Polaroid instant camera that lacked news value.

Paul Holmes

PainePR was challenged with generating national and local consumer-oriented publicity for a Polaroid instant camera that lacked news value. While this was a new Polaroid camera, one that captured instant wallet-sized prints, the camera itself used essentially the same instant film technology that Polaroid has used for decades. That reality led PainePR  to conclude early on that the strategy must be to leverage creativity as a way to attract media interest and tie the camera into something else interesting or newsworthy.
When PainePR  researched how this camera differed from other Polaroid cameras and other cameras on the market, the differentiating factor was that this camera produced wallet-sized photos. To emphasize this characteristic, PainePR bundled the product into a larger story about wallet personality profiles—“What Does Your Wallet Say About You?”—and developed a highly creative, media relations program called the mio Wallet Personality Campaign to reach targeted reporters. The campaign exceeded all expectations, generating more than 25 million impressions with an advertising equivalency of almost $200,000.
There were a number of major challenges with this product launch:  Polaroid had previously “soft-launched” the mio in November 2001 to select long-lead publications, so the product was not going to be new to these target media;  Polaroid was going through a major corporate and financial restructuring, which affected media perception of the company, causing them to question availability of Polaroid product for consumers; and  retail distribution of the mio was limited so there was going to be a lack of product in the sales channel.
 To start the project, PainePR began by taking the following research steps:  Reviewed Polaroid market research on the mio and its target audience;  Researched events, holidays, etc. surrounding the launch timeframe of the product (May 2002), as well as previous media coverage on personality profiling;  Explored consumer behavior regarding photography – how do consumers use photos?, what occasions do consumers take the most photos?; and  Researched and contacted personality experts to develop profiles on what a person’s wallet says about his or her personality (we also learned that you can in fact learn a lot about people by looking at their wallets).
 PainePR’s campaign objective was to develop a highly creative mailer as the cornerstone of the campaign that would allow the mio to rise above the clutter and get noticed by reporters, resulting in: a minimum of 15 million impressions and $100,000 in advertising equivalency and at least 20 product reviews (print/broadcast) for the camera.
To appeal to media, PainePR  developed a creative kit that included a series of personality profiles with personality cards that reflected each profile. The cards included original illustrations to represent each personality type, and a description of the profile on the back. To leverage the mio’s unique wallet-sized photos, the cards were created in wallet-sized versions and paired with a wallet in each press kit.
 To provide broadcast media with the tools for a fun, turn-key segment, PainePR included additional props in the broadcast kits that had broadcast appeal. For example, larger versions of the personality cards were included (so they were large enough to be seen by the audience) along with colorful feather boas, and the mio camera was loaded with film to capture the moment
To maximize the budget, PainePR decided to hire two separate third-party experts for the campaign – one for the development of the profiles (Dr. Paula McDonald, a licensed personality profiling expert) and one as the “front person” for the broadcast media interviews and press kit materials (Patty Fox, former fashion director for the Academy Awards and a well-seasoned spokesperson).
 The firm worked with Dr. Paula McDonald and drafted the copy for the personality profiles, including the names, description and characteristics. Identified a graphic artist that could create unique illustrations for each personality profile and worked with him to ensure that each illustration was visually appealing and accurately reflected each profile. The names of the final personality types were: Perfect Host, Class Act, Life of the Party, Great Negotiator, Tech Guru and Friend to the End.
The PR team also created extensive press materials for the press kit, including pitch letters (different versions for print and broadcast, as well as women’s/lifestyle media and men’s/tech publications), launch press release, survey fact sheet, and a wallet personality quiz for media/consumers to find out their personality type. To add additional media value to the press materials, PainePR worked with CARAVAN to conduct a survey regarding wallet photos. The survey provided several factoids that were leveraged in the press materials, such as 67 percent of people carry pictures in their wallets.    
Each wallet personality kit included: a mio camera, film, personality cards, a wallet and press kit. In addition, PainePR added unique touches to each kit to increase media appeal. The broadcast kits included props illustrating each type (i.e. boa for “Life of the Party”). And, each wallet included a personalized mio photo of a team member reading the publication that would be receiving the kit. 
To secure radio coverage, PainePR booked radio promotions with key media outlets involving product giveaways and interviews with Patty Fox.
As of June 26, 2002, the Wallet Personality Kit media outreach generated more than 25 million impressions with an advertising equivalency of $187,265.
 Media praised the wallet personality kits. An editor at Modern Bride called on April 30 (a few days after the long-lead kits were mailed) to tell  how much she loved the wallet personality kit and press materials. During a follow-up conversation, this editor remarked that “it was the best press kit they’ve seen in a long time.”
Additional media coverage highlights: print articles featuring the mio appeared in 33 daily newspapers, “Good Morning Cleveland” covered the mio as part of a Polaroid segment that lasted more than five minutes, and radio promotions were conducted in seven key markets – Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Phoenix, Denver, St. Louis and Kansas City.
  Several of the wallet personality campaign press materials were utilized and posted on radio stations’ Web sites, as well as the Polaroid Web site.
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