Campaign: WAR pushes 'natural remedies' at women - Consumer Healthcare PR

Campaign: Let Your Spirits Blossom Client: Balancing Blooms PR Team: Ware Anthony Rust Timescale: November 2003-June 2004 Budget: £9,500

Balancing Blooms, a complementary medicine manufacturer of ready-mixed flower essences, hired Ware Anthony Rust (WAR) to raise its profile among professional women with a high disposable income. Objectives

To increase sales of Balancing Blooms via its main distribution channel, Boots, and its e-commerce website.

Strategy and Plan

Since the client wanted to emphasise that women with high-pressure lives could use the remedies to relax, the team decided to launch the campaign to reporters on the first working day after the New Year. Working on the assumption that the journalists would be suffering post-Christmas blues, WAR wrapped one of the products, Monday Morning, in a press release and packed it into a tube with stickers asking 'feeling blue?' and 'lost your bloom?'.

These stickers, which hinted at the contents of the tube, acted as humorous teasers to stir up interest in the packages. This was a key priority for the team, as it wanted to highlight the modernity and sophistication of the traditional medicine in a market dominated by established competitors.

Around 150 women's magazines, national and regional newspapers, alternative health correspondents and gardening supplement publications were targeted with the products and the press release. Photographs of the products surrounded by flowers were also provided.

To ensure coverage appeared in short-lead media at the same time as the long-lead press, the team picked another date - Friday the 13th - as a news hook six weeks later.

The superstitions surrounding this date meant the team could build on the idea that journalists might be feeling on edge by highlighting the Comfort and Reassure remedy.

Measurement and Evaluation

Nationally, 12 pieces of coverage appeared in titles such as OK!, Women's Health and The Independent on Sunday. Online, eight websites ran the story, including Vogue and New Woman. International coverage was achieved in the German version of Elle.

Results

Following the first two weeks of coverage, sales rose by 36 per cent.

Boots, which was set to trial the product in a limited number of stores, has expanded its distribution on an ongoing basis.

'The PR campaign was good. I received all the relevant information I needed promptly,' says Here's Health editorial and features assistant Rebecca Speechley.

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