REVvving Up Vintage With vvVROOM
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Holmes Report
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REVvving Up Vintage With vvVROOM

In January 2001, Potlatch Corporation’s Minnesota Pulp and Paper Division, the manufacturer of premium paper used in advertising and marketing materials, wanted to reinvigorate its Vintage line of coated paper.

Paul Holmes

In January 2001, Potlatch Corporation’s Minnesota Pulp and Paper Division, the manufacturer of premium paper used in advertising and marketing materials, wanted to reinvigorate its Vintage line of coated paper, a number one grade sheet (highest quality) that had lost some of its brand lustre since its introduction in 1980. 
 
As part of its revitalization efforts, Potlatch planned to introduce a new silk finish to the Vintage line that would complement its existing gloss and velvet finishes.
 
Carmichael Lynch Spong (CLS) Public Relations and Carmichael Lynch Thorburn Design Group (CLT) were hired to conduct an integrated, business-to-business campaign to re-launch the Vintage line and to introduce new Vintage Silk.
 
RESEARCH
 
A confidential 1999 survey of designers and printers confirmed that almost nine out of ten respondents were aware of Potlatch and that designers were more aware of the brand than printers. 
Potlatch’s confidential August 2000 quarterly market analysis report noted that the coated paper industry was experiencing limited growth with number one grade sheet sales holding steady.
 
AUDIENCE ANALYSIS
Target Audiences
  • Potlatch sales force
  • Creative directors, designers and production managers
  • Printers
  • Paper merchants
 
Target Media
  • Top designer and printer trade publications
 
PLANNING
 
Objectives
 
  • Build awareness of the entire Vintage product line including new Vintage Silk
  • Stimulate trial of Vintage and new Vintage Silk
 
Strategies
 
  • Create a unified theme for an integrated, business-to-business campaign that captures the essence of the Vintage brand and serves as a platform for launching Vintage Silk.
  • Generate sales through incentive programs for key target audiences.
  • Leverage appearances at two key trade shows to establish the revitalized brand and to launch new Vintage Silk.
 
Challenges
 
  • According to recent trends, graphic designers favor an ultra-blue white shade, rather than Vintage’s neutral white shade.
 

EXECUTION/TACTICS
 
Strategy One: Create a unified theme for an integrated, business-to-business campaign that captures the essence of the Vintage brand and serves as a platform for launching Vintage Silk.
 
THEME
 
Selected “Vintage vvVROOM,” using vintage automotive icons as the integrated campaign theme, designed to relate to both the younger, hip and the older, more “vintage” audiences.
Commissioned Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, the “Kar Kulture” monster cartoonist and creator of the print comic character Rat Fink, to create Silk Fink to launch Vintage Silk.
 
LAUNCH COMPONENTS
 
Developed interactive presentation of Vintage vvVROOM campaign for use at sales force “rally.”
Produced humorous video introducing Silk Fink and Vintage Silk for use at sales force meeting and as a sales tool.
 
Produced a “pre-sell” promotional piece designed to give paper merchants a “sneak peek” at the campaign.
 
Designed promotional brochure that was distributed to all target audiences highlighting Roth’s Silk Fink, the new Vintage Silk and the entire Vintage product line.
 
Created custom patches that were sewn on jackets and worn during trade shows and sales calls.
 
Conducted media relations campaign, announcing the new Vintage Silk and honoring the recently-deceased Big Daddy Roth and his Silk Fink design.
 
Strategy Two: Generate sales through incentive programs for key target audiences.
 
Created and designed materials for REV – Reward Enhancement Vehicle, a frequent buyer program that rewards creative directors, designers and production managers with $30 per ton of Vintage purchased.
 
Developed and coordinated the REV Sweepstakes, which awarded a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and other automotive-theme prizes if participants enrolled and submitted a REV claim form by Sept. 1, 2001.  Early incentive was designed to build momentum during a traditionally slow paper-purchasing period.
 
Promoted REV program and sweepstakes through advertising, outbound e-mail reminders to REV enrollees and a media relations campaign that targeted designer trade publications.
 
Developed and created promotional materials for RPM – Rewards for Printer Momentum, an incentive program that gives printers a chance to win a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for each project they print on Vintage paper.
 
Conducted media relations campaign with printer publications to drive enrollment and entries.
 
Developed VRM – Vintage Rewards for Merchants, an incentive program that rewards paper merchants for every 50 tons of Vintage sold and submitted by their location.
 
Designed two posters announcing the VRM program that were distributed to the merchants.
 
Strategy Three: Leverage appearances at two key trade shows to establish the revitalized brand and to launch new Vintage Silk.
 
Introduced campaign at HOW Magazine’s design conference in June 2001 with a new Vintage vvVROOM-theme booth complete with shopping bags, buttons, slot car races and a Vintage automobile.
 
Scheduled REV Harley sweepstakes drawing to be held at AIGA’s conference to generate increased awareness and buzz surrounding Vintage and the incentive programs.
 
Leveraged Potlatch’s sponsorship of American Institute of Graphic Arts’ (AIGA) National Design Conference and sent REV promotional materials to AIGA members with a letter introducing the program, announcing Potlatch’s sponsorship of AIGA, and explaining the option of donating their REV awards to AIGA.
 
Mailed an oil can containing a Vintage vvVROOM T-shirt to select group of designers and media members inviting them to wear the T-shirt and stop by the booth at AIGA.
 
Due to the tragic events of September 11, the conference was cancelled.  As a result, the drawing was held at local offices; a mailing was sent to all conference registrants containing materials they would have received at the booth and an announcement of the REV sweepstakes winners.
 
EVALUATION OF SUCCESS
 
Objective One: Build awareness of the entire Vintage product line including new Vintage Silk
 
Coverage of Vintage Silk, REV and RPM has appeared 14 times in designer and printer trade publications, online newsletters and e-zines, generating over 720,000 gross impressions.  
Hits include a weekly messaging program sent to 9,500 print executives, National Association for Printing Leadership’s (NAPL) electronic print newswire, Quick Printing and Graphic Arts Monthly.
A total of 12 images of Silk Fink, Vintage vvVROOM and REV have been included in the coverage.
 
Objective Two: Stimulate trial of Vintage and new Vintage Silk
 
Since June 2001, 143 creative directors, designers and production managers have enrolled in REV. 
REV sweepstakes participants purchased nearly 45 tons of Vintage in three months.
Over 180 tons of Vintage and 25 tons of Vintage Silk have been purchased by REV participants since June 2001.
 
The REV sweepstakes grand-prize winner is printing 15,000 additional copies of her REV entry, equaling another two-plus tons of Vintage.   
 
Since June 2001, over 35 submissions to RPM have been received.
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