Bethesda Skincare was faced with the PR challenge of launching and promoting an innovative product on a limited budget.
To unveil one of the first sunscreen soap products, the company embarked on a “Follow the Sun” campaign to raise awareness and subsequently generate sales and retail distribution. To assist with the campaign, the company hired New York-based The Cannon Group.
Because the effort launched in February, the team knew media outlets in the north wouldn't be ready to write about sunscreen. So it focused early outreach on regions like southern California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, as well as publications with long-lead times.
The team developed a strategy to follow weather across the US. “This way, we were able to create a very effective, efficient campaign with national results,” says Chris Krautler, account executive at The Cannon Group.
Media and product placements initially focused on areas with warm climate year-round. As summer months approached, the team moved northward, hitting states like New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, Krautler says. The PR team also developed media specific press releases targeting lifestyles and areas of consumer interest.
Following the coverage, Bethesda Skincare gained domestic distribution in more than 100 spas, as well as international distribution in the UK and Japan. Sales have consistently doubled and tripled each month since product launch, and spa and salon orders have more than quadrupled, Krautler says.
“We have had hundreds of people write to us from all over the US saying they heard about us,” says Jamie Collins Doss, owner and founder of Bethesda.
The PR team is focusing on product benefits as part of a campaign that will extend into the winter months.
PR team: Bethesda Skincare (Alcoa, TN) and The Cannon Group (New York)
Campaign: Follow the Sun – Bethesda Skincare's Sunscreen Soap Product Launch
Duration: February-August 2008