Campaign: Duracell searches for a 'longer-lasting fan'

Shoppers traditionally stock up on batteries at Christmas, so the first half of the year is usually a quiet time for firms such as Duracell. This year, the company decided to use its official sponsorship of the World Cup to drive sales, and hired PR agency 360 to oversee a lifestyle consumer campaign.

Objectives
To raise awareness of Duracell's World Cup sponsorship and increase sales of the brand's batteries.

Strategy and Plan
The PR team identified a link between the enduring passion of World Cup fans for their national team and Duracell's ‘longer-lasting' advertising strapline. It commissioned a national survey comparing the relationships male fans have with football and their girlfriend.

Findings - such as ‘94 per cent of men say they would never abandon their failing football teams, but 52 per cent would happily walk away from a failing relationship' - were press-released to national and international media,
including men's and women's magazines. Regional differences in the results were tailored for local press. For example, Scots were labelled the most passionate football fans in the UK.

360 brought in psychologist Dr Aric Sigman to act as a Duracell spokesman and provide professional analysis of the findings in interviews with newspapers and broadcast media. This helped ensure the survey appeared objective and independent.

The PR team also decided to give away Duracell's allocated World Cup tickets in competitions in a bid to generate awareness of the company's sponsorship among hardcore fans.

Competitions to win tickets and branded sports merchandise were offered to national newspapers, online press and regional broadcast TV and radio stations.

The PR team also set up a full-page advertorial competition in Nuts magazine to find the UK's ‘most enduring fan', asking competition entrants to detail how far they would go to support their love of football.

A full page featuring the winner was secured in the following issue of Nuts, while interviews with the fan were
offered to mainstream press. Trade publications were also targeted with press releases announcing Duracell's sponsorship campaign.

Measurement and Evaluation
The survey achieved 40 articles; the competitions 70 pieces, and the B2B campaign 12 items. Nationally, The Times, News of the World, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star and Daily Sport covered the campaign.

Broadcast coverage included Scottish TV, TalkSport, BBC Radio Manchester and Star FM, while regional press interest came from London's Metro and Evening Standard, and the  Manchester Evening News.

Results
The campaign sparked an uplift in sales on the same period in the previous year. Around 2,500 people entered the Nuts competition - around 1,500 more than the magazine's competitions usually attract.

‘360 had a good understanding of the client's message, and knew the best people to speak to on our desk,' says News of the World sports writer Mark Gilbert.

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