CAMPAIGNS: A fresh image for an old toy - Product Launch

Bandai is the Japanese company that brought Power Rangers and the Tamagotchi virtual pet to the UK. At the end of last year, the company launched the Yomega X-Brain yo-yo in Japan. This proved highly popular as the yo-yo’s unique clutch-mechanism technology makes tricks easy to perform. In August, Bandai UK approached its retained agency, The Wright Partnership, to launch the product to the British market.

Bandai is the Japanese company that brought Power Rangers and the

Tamagotchi virtual pet to the UK. At the end of last year, the company

launched the Yomega X-Brain yo-yo in Japan. This proved highly popular

as the yo-yo’s unique clutch-mechanism technology makes tricks easy to

perform. In August, Bandai UK approached its retained agency, The Wright

Partnership, to launch the product to the British market.



Objectives



To make the Yomega X-Brain yo-yo the market leader and ensure sales of

the product reached 300,000 units. As many believed the yo-yo craze had

already peaked, Bandai was keen to elevate yo-yos from a playground

craze to sport performance status.



Tactics



Initially, The Wright Partnership approached opinion formers, such as

broadsheet journalists and the style press, with details of the

X-Brain’s smart technology. As the product was aimed at the

skateboarding age group, the agency was particularly keen to steer clear

of appearing to force-feed its target audience.



To help position the yo-yo among performance sports and maintain sales

in the future, The Wright Partnership brought over the Yomega X-Brain

world champion and a performance team from Hawaii. The team visited

journalists to measure them up for yo-yos and teach them a few simple

tricks. At the beginning of September, the official launch event was

held at The Castle, a climbing centre in north London, and featured a

performance by the Hawaiian team.



The Wright Partnership followed this up with a regional media tour of

cities including Manchester and Bristol. This tied in with the Bandai UK

Yo-Yo Championships which culminate this month in the BBC’s Big Bash at

Birmingham’s NEC.



Results



PR activity successfully hit the extreme sports media and extended out

of the ’toys’ ghetto into the mainstream national news. Coverage

included full page features in most of the national dailies and

broadcast interest ranged from BBC 1’s Tomorrow’s World to Channel 4’s

Big Breakfast.



The Wright Partnership estimates that to date the campaign has gained

over 750 items of media coverage with more interest expected to be

generated by the Bandai Yo-Yo championship finals later this month.



The sales target of 300,000 units has already been exceeded by 300 per

cent and Bandai predicts the one million mark will be reached well

before Christmas.



Verdict



This campaign fired the imagination of both the national and regional

media and the general public alike. It is especially impressive that, in

what was considered a waning market, the Yomega X-brain has far exceeded

its sales target and become the market leader.



Rosie Bayles, Bandai UK marketing director, says her company is

particularly pleased with the results in view of the number of other

yo-yos on the market. ’The Wright Partnership took full advantage of the

product’s new technology and explained to the media how the X-Brain is

different and will drive the yo-yo phenomenon further,’ she says.



According to Bayles, the X-Brain is only one yo-yo in the Yomega range

and the company now plans to begin promoting the more advanced

models.



Client: Bandai UK

PR Team: The Wright Partnership

Campaign: The UK launch of the Yomega X-Brain yo-yo

Timescale: August to November 1998

Budget: pounds 15,000 for the launch party



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.