OfficeMax organizes blogcast to showcase new line to women

With the launch of [IN]Place System by Peter Walsh, a new line of products to help consumers organize their work life, OfficeMax wanted to move away from being associated with sterile, big box supplies and target women with its stylish, affordable products - without reverting to sexist stereotypes.

Campaign: OfficeMax launch INPlace by Peter Walsh
Team: OfficeMax (Naperville, IL), Elm PR (Charleston, SC), and Dig Communications (Chicago)
Duration: April 2009
Budget: less than $150,000

Overview

With the launch of [IN]Place System by Peter Walsh, a new line of products to help consumers organize their work life, OfficeMax wanted to move away from being associated with sterile, big box supplies and target women with its stylish, affordable products – without reverting to sexist stereotypes.

Strategy

When launching [IN]Place System by organizational expert Peter Walsh, OfficeMax was fighting against mundane perceptions. “That was still the dominant perspective, and yet we were moving away from a very commoditized brand perception,” says Bill Bonner, senior director of external relations at OfficeMax. “We definitely didn't want to take a ‘paint-it-pink' approach, this was more about helping women express their personality a little more.”

Tactics

OfficeMax selected 250 influential women's interest bloggers to participate in a sneak preview of Peter Walsh's new product line and attend a live online event, titled the “Work Life Organized Blogcast.” One week prior to the blogcast – and two weeks before product launch – the women's interest bloggers received product samples from the line, which includes Post-It cubes and document files.

Then, on April 2, Peter Walsh and OfficeMax's VP of marketing and advertising, Julie Krueger, met the women's interest bloggers online for a 40-minute blogcast that offered tips for addressing clutter. “It was really focusing on springtime and organizing,” adds Beth Cleveland, principal at Elm PR. The team also set up a Tweet chat room, where the bloggers could discuss the blogcast and product launch, as well as share organization tips.

After the event, the team sent the bloggers product images and links to the blogcast and [IN]Place System microsite.

Results

The campaign resulted in more than 100 blog posts and more than 2.6 million audience impressions. Additionally, it resulted in 1,000 Tweets and 152 Twitter participants. On April 2, this was most the second most-discussed topic on Twitter.

Future
“We're not looking at this as a cookie-cutter campaign to apply to 10 more campaigns,” Bonner notes. “But we're going to integrate elements of the campaign that were a success.” OfficeMax continues to work with Elm PR and Dig Communications.

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