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Agrimarketing : June 2009
35 Best of NAMA-Valent:32 Feature Story 6/12/09 12:56 PM Page 36 PUBLIC RELATIONS/continued frompage 35 www.TourneyBelievers.com sitewith basic information on Tourney Fungicide. The videos piqued interest among superintendents ofwhat exactlywas coming andwhatmyth was to be broken. “Humor can be a very powerful, breakout tool in amarket not used to fun advertising,” Butler observes. “The videoswere a rousing success and became viral very quickly.” As interest sparked, Valent and archer>malmo knewthey had to fan the flame of this unique campaign and decided to focus on the annual Golf Industry Show(GIS) for the rollout of Big Foot. Through amulti-faceted roll- out strategy, archer>malmo built momentumfor Big Foot in theweeks leading up to the event and related follow-upwhich continued throughout the season.Activities included: • Pre-GISmedia kit: in order to drawmedia interest of the soon-tobe-brokenmyth, the agency developed a 3-dimensional teaser kit sent tomedia (fromBig Foot) prior to the GIS conference. The kit included Big Foot slippers, a link to thewww.TourneyBelievers.com sitewith introductory product information and pressmaterials and an invitation to “walk inmy shoes at GIS.” Big Foot also included awallet-sized information card offeringmedia transportation service to the showfrom the airport. The catch:mediawere prompted to use the pass phrase: “Tourney, Seeing is Believing” to activate the shuttle service. • Valent 100-ManMilitia: since Valent had a comparatively smaller sales and technical teamat the tradeshow, archer>malmo enlisted 100 extraManpower staff towear “Valent has Turf Covered” shirts and filter throughout the tradeshowfloor on Day 1. The sheer volume of “Valent” people created a stir among the tradeshow as the “team” passed out Valent giveaways and performed skits in the aislewith the promise of Big Foot sightings in the days to come. People came to the booth saying, “I had to seewhatwas going onwith somany Valent people about.” • Big Foot—themyth becomes the legend: In the afternoon of Day 36 Agri Marketing s June 2009 One, showgoerswere rewarded with an appearance by Big Foot himself. The beast started a commotionwhen hewalked through the tradeshowfloor, encouraging attendees to “followhimto the Valent booth.” Throughout the next days Big Foot visited with attendees and other exhibitors, even participating in a Club Car golf cart demonstration.At the Valent booth, customers and influencers hammed it up for photoswith Big Foot against a Tourney backdrop. Frommedia to leading researchers to customers, allwent homewith a Tourneybranded photo and Big Foot did not disappoint. Although they are undoubtedly nice people, the Valent folks (or their PR agency) are also very clever.With the slippers therewas a note from‘Big Foot’ introducing their newfungicide Tourney,which also has aweb site www.TourneyBelievers.com. In hismessage, Big Foot says that ‘seeing is An army ofManpower staffwere hired to flood theGolf IndustryShow. THAT’S A LAUNCH! In spite of post-GIS rave reviews from media and the internal sales force, one of the best comments citing the success of the launch came froma competitor executivewho said, “This show belongs to Valent.NowTHAT’S how you launch a product.” Additional results included: Nearly everymajor turfmedia outlet covered Big Foot and the launch of Tourney, using the Tourney “myth buster” verbiage.Additionally, editors fromevery turfmagazine visited the Valent booth to get a picturewith Big Foot and interview technical specialists and the Valent president. TurfNet featured the 100-Manmilitia skits and Golfdom magazine even incorporated a photo of Big Footwith the Valent President in its showrecap report. Coverage continued throughout the year as stories included Tourney as the season’s newfungicide. Themedia kits themselves gar- nered enthusiastic feedback. Editors sent photos of themselves or their childrenwearing the Big Foot slippers.Additionally, the science editor of amajor turfmagazine blogged about receiving the Big Foot slippers andmedia kit: “Iwas amazed. I couldn’t stop laughing…It justmademy day… believing’ and invitesme to ‘walk in my (his) shoes.’ Tourney Fungicide is also characterized as amythbuster. Very cute. The bestmay be in store. Big Foot justmightmake an appearance atGIS.Maybe I need to packmy slippers.” Peoplewouldmeet Big Foot in the aisles for photos. In fact,when passing by theMedia Center, editors left the booth to “interview” Big Foot for their “fromthe floor” reports. In post-event follow-upwith the key golf editors, all remembered the Big Foot campaign, Tourney fungicide and “breaking themyth”message unaided.When asked about participation in future events, one editor even said, “Oh, Valent is definitely a player now. If you have an event, everyonewill be there.No question.” www.Tourneybelievers.comwas viewed nearly 2,000 times during January and February 2008 and site trafficwas largely driven suchmedia outlets asGCI, TurfNet and Golfdom. Nearly 300 customer, researcher andmedia Tourney-branded photos were takenwith Big Footwithin a sixhour time frame at the booth.Numerous candid photoswere also taken by attendees. THEMYTH CONTINUES The teams atValent and archer>malmo continue to promote Tourney by featuring Big Foot into year two of the product.One thing is for sure:when it comes to creating excitement around a newproduct launch, an interesting and creative idea can increase interest to mythical proportions. AM
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