Quite often, PR stunts employ little more than shock tactics to get people to notice a product or a service. This was seen locally when Xbox dropped a console into a shark tank and it has become something of commonality in the States, where such stunts have resulted in not one but two elephant deaths.
Rather than adopting the shock-inspired approach, DraftFCB has instead chosen to use a PR stunt to show off the utility of the new Sony waterproof MP3 player.
The Auckland-based agency dropped the products into bottles of water and then placed them into vending machines located in areas where the target market would be likely to pass them.
In addition to catching the attention of the media, this novel approach also created a unique direct marketing opportunity in the sense that it put the product in front of potential buyers in places where they were most likely to use it.
“It’s quite a niche product targeted particularly at swimmers so we thought, let’s do something so we can get right in front of the target audience,” says DraftFCB executive creative director TonyClewett.
The agency targeted the top dozen swimming gyms in Auckland with the bottled walkmans, in a vending machine that has so far been in two gyms, he says. It also used decals around the pool and gym showers.
Clewett understands several dozen have been sold since the vending machine went into the first gym before Christmas. He says Sony will assess the results of the initiative before deciding to take the idea further.
This type of packaging isn’t unique however. For several years, Festina has been packaging its watches in water as indication of the faith it has in the product.
It should also be noted vending machines in the States often sell electronic goods from major corporations such as Best Buy.
So, in a sense, DraftFCB has conflated these two innovative concepts to create something that hasn’t been done before.