Consumer: Sports bra shows some real panache

After three years of development, lingerie company Panache was ready to unveil its first sports bra in October 2011. It called in Instinct PR to develop a launch campaign and generate sales through a health and fitness-focused media presence.

Campaign: Panache sports bra PR launch
Client: Panache
PR team: Instinct PR
Timescale: June-November 2011
Budget: £20,000

 

Objectives

  •  To establish the Panache sports bra as the 'ultimate' sports bra and drive sales
  •  To increase brand awareness of Panache as the authoritative brand of fitness and lingerie
  •  To associate the bra with relevant celebrities and sports professionals.

Strategy and plan

The media campaign started with an event in Wimbledon for key health and fitness editors in July to create a buzz around the product. As a result, Instinct was able to confirm a calendar of media coverage by the specialist press.

A national media relations campaign was then put in place to increase stockists and drive pre-sales.

A dedicated press office was set up for the launch itself, while the agency handled a press show, journalists' fittings and gifts. It also set up one-to-one meetings with journalists in the following months to help maintain a constant media presence.

The social media element of the plan was to encourage journalists and celebrities to tweet #banishthebounce to create a conversation on Twitter.

British Olympian javelin thrower Goldie Sayers agreed to become a Panache sports bra ambassador to strengthen its celebrity and expert endorsement credentials.

The PR team managed to place six pieces featuring Sayers wearing the bra. Instinct also secured further celebrity associations by sending the bra to female Strictly Come Dancing contestants, who trained wearing the sports bra.

Measurement and evaluation

In five months, the campaign generated 40 pieces of coverage across national, regional, consumer and online titles, including BBC Radio 2, the London Evening Standard and the Daily Mail, which ran a half-page piece under the headline 'Bra-vo! "Revolutionary" sports bra has banished the bounce'.

The Sunday Mirror, OK, Take a Break, Top Sante, Star, Strictly Come Dancing contestants and others tweeted #banishthebounce.

Stylists and magazine editors at titles such as Zest, Woman's Own, Health & Fitness and Women's Fitness all endorsed the product.

Results

Since its launch in October 2011, sales of the Panache Sports Bra exceeded the original target figure by 200 per cent.

It was the number one bestseller on Figleaves.com and demonstrated strong sales within sports specialist stores such as Sweat Shop and LessBounce.com.

Panache had to increase its range of sizes to accommodate the needs of both stockists and consumers. From this year, Panache made its sports bra available from a B cup.

SECOND OPINION

EDDIE MAY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THREEPIPE

With a pretty tight budget, Instinct had to stick to the basics, which it did well.

Agency folk often like to overcomplicate things when a good, solid product PR campaign is actually all that is needed, as long as the product is good. Instinct appears to have done a good job of engaging the right media with the brand and the product, generating positive coverage at the right time to support sales.

Securing a well-known Olympian within the budget was good work and added to the sports credibility of the brand, while creating media opportunities that would otherwise have not been there.

The hashtag #banishthebounce was a nice way to instantly convey a key message about the product and tap into a core reason why women would want to buy it.

With a bigger budget, the campaign could have been extended further into other social media platforms to engage consumers, but overall the sales figures suggested a very successful launch.

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