Superhero Day perfect fit for cape maker

TK PR president Taryn Scher was looking for a new opportunity to promote her client PowerCapes, which sells handmade customizable superhero capes for kids and adults online.

Client: PowerCapes (Livonia, MI)
Agency
: TK PR (Greenville, SC)
Campaign
: National Superhero Day
Duration
: February 28 - April 28
Budget
: about $5,000  

Early this year, TK PR president Taryn Scher was looking for a new opportunity to promote her client PowerCapes, which sells handmade customizable superhero capes for kids and adults online, when she discovered that a group of Marvel Comics' employees had gotten April 28 declared National Superhero Day in 1995, but had never really done anything with it.

“Powercapes.com was officially created two and a half yeas ago, and superhero-themed capes drive all our growth,” explains president Justin Draplin. “National Superhero Day is a perfect fit for what we do and who we are. We want to be known as the worldwide leader in authentic superhero gear.”

Strategy
By the time Scher found out about National Superhero Day, it was too late to pitch longer lead national publications, so she pitched local market TV stations nationwide and offered on-air talent custom superhero capes to wear on April 27 or April 28.

“We encouraged them to celebrate National Superhero Day on-air however they wanted while wearing their custom capes,” Scher explains. “We provided ideas for some – like recognizing a local hero in their community – and others came up with their own ideas.” 

Blogger outreach and an April 28 promotion on deal site LivingSocial.com also drove awareness.

Tactics
Capes were sent to 47 TV affiliate news stations, along with additional talking points and information about Powercapes.com and National Superhero Day. Mom bloggers were also pitched.

Stations covered the story from multiple angles, including broadcasting live from a local comic book store in Jacksonville, FL, and demonstrations of anchors' superhero powers on Good Day Sacramento.

PowerCapes alerted its Facebook and Twitter audiences to National Superhero Day in the weeks leading up to April 28. Social media audiences were also asked to nominate a local superhero for the chance to win a cape, as well as to name their favorite superhero and superpower.

Results
Draplin reports April 28 sales doubled compared to the previous Saturday, and that May was the company's biggest sales month ever.

Website traffic on April 28 was up 5,635% to 28,289 compared to April 28, 2011. Traffic on April 27 was up 25% compared to the previous Friday.

“We're ecstatic about results,” Draplin says. “Website traffic also carried forward – all of May was crazy.” 

About 30 stories ran in outlets across the country.

Future
PowerCapes continues working with TK PR. The team is preparing for the July launch of S.O.A.R., a superhero club with an educational entertainment focus that encourages children to do good deeds and become real-life superheroes.

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