The Launch of the Pronto Universal Remote
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

The Launch of the Pronto Universal Remote

. MS&L worked with Harris Interactive, a renowed research firm, to create the survey that would measure what people’s feelings about their remote controls. MS&L also produced and distributed supporting b-roll to target television media.

Paul Holmes

  In August 2000, Manning, Selvage & Lee conducted a media outreach program to launch and raise the awareness for the new Pronto, the Pronto Universal Remote TSU 2000.  The Philips Pronto TSU 2000 allows consumers to control and customize their entire home theater experience with one remote that fits in the palm of their hand.  A survey was conducted to demonstrate the significant need for a “do it all remote control” by uncovering consumers reliance on the remote control and actually how many remotes consumers own.  MS&L worked with Harris Interactive, a renowed research firm, to create the survey that would measure what people’s feelings about their remote controls.  MS&L also produced and distributed supporting b-roll to target television media.
The survey presented MS&L with the challenge of taking something not considered “news” and making it interesting for public consumption.  The Pronto remote was already popular within the trade and online press and the survey was designed to take the Pronto’s popularity to the mainstream media.    
The objectives of the survey were to raise awareness of the Pronto and visually brand it in the mainstream media, as well as increase name recognition of the Pronto as part of the Philips brand.
MS&L worked with a research expert to determine questions that yield answers on how people relate to their remotes. The questions and responses were developed with the Pronto’s features in mind.  For example, responses to the question “Have you ever fumbled with your remote in the dark” were used in conjunction with highlighting the Pronto’s backlit LCD screen.  A panel of consumers were consulted about what their feelings about their remotes to ensure the questions were on target.  A few offbeat lifestyle questions were inserted to produce results that would appeal to more alternative consumer press.   The majority of the questions focused on how consumer used their remotes in their home and what they love and hate about their remotes.  The goal of the survey was to uncover how many remotes consumers actually owned in order to demonstrate a significant need for the Pronto.
Harris Interactive helped develop a timeline for the execution of the consumer survey regarding Pronto.  The guidelines for the survey were as follows:  A sample size of at least 2,000, 25 percent of respondents would be females and 75 percent would be male with an age range of 25-40.  In addition, MS&L worked with KEF Media to develop and product a package of compelling, newsworthy B-roll based on the survey results to be aired in TV newscasts.
The survey allowed MS&L to take an already popular product in the trade and online press and make it interesting to the mainstream media.  The consumer response survey was designed to elicit responses that would be intentionally provocative and generate attention for this high-end universal remote control.
The program revolved around tapping into consumers’ remote control behaviors and their relations ship with their remotes.  The survey aimed to grab the attention of the mainstream media including the top 100 ADI newspapers, trade publications, and local/network television news programs.
The Pronto program was focused on three elements:
The survey commissioned by Philips was administered online to more than 2,000 men and women ages 25-55 from across the nation.  The survey consisted of 25 questions designed by MS&L and Philips that covered everything from remote functions to odd remote behaviors.  The results of the survey were then segmented and incorporated into a press release about the product with the highlight being the “Pronto Index.”  The “Pronto Index” demonstrated on average how many remotes the average American owns.  A highlight page of the key survey findings was developed as a quick point of reference for reporters.  The release and highlights page were released on the national news wire on September 6, 2000.
MS&L produced a B-roll package that highlighted the Pronto TSU2000 visually and incorporated key survey statistics.  This package included comments on the products features from spokesperson Marc Harmsen, shots of the product in a retail environment and several lifestyle shots showing the Pronto being used by adults and children to demonstrate the ease of use.  The B-roll was distributed via national satellite feed on September 6, 2000 at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Led by MS&L, the media outreach consisted of a national media campaign promoting coverage through a press release and proactive pitch calls.  In addition to the Philips top industry publications, MS&L targeted consumer and news publications as well as the top 25 ADI daily newspapers.  The B-roll was pitched to a wide variety of national news outlets.
MS&L successfully secured print and electronic placements in such outlets as New York Times, Knight Ridder Newswire Syndicate, and many local television news programs on every network (CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.)  In addition, USA Today has featured results from the survey multiple times in its front page “Snapshots” section. 
To date, the Pronto Survey has produced more than 30 million print impressions and the survey B-roll has generated more than 32 broadcast segments in key media markets reaching more than four million viewers.
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus