“We're trying to have brand visibility and create buzz around the Smashbox brand,” said Michelle Gough, VP of direct marketing and media at Smashbox.
Online initiatives are a huge component of the PR effort, she said, which will offer the opportunity to engage Smashbox fans and provide entrants the chance to launch a career. At the contest's completion June 20, the winning contestant will be invited to design for the “Smashbox Fashion Week Makeup Palette.”
Smashbox has used Web sites like MySpace to garner visibility for its brand in the past, but it chose to partner with Brickfish for its viral edge, enabling users to propagate their submitted piece across multiple social media sites, blogs, video sites, e-mail, and IM. In addition, the Brickfish tool, Engagement, which measures and publicizes the number of active views or “engagements” in real-time, also appealed to Smashbox.
“All of the things we do from a tech perspective complement the overall PR efforts,” said Hyder Rabbani, VP of sales and business development at Brickfish. “[PR] is something to propel the campaign. It starts with the beauty enthusiasts being messaged. They promote the campaign virally after that.”
Brickfish's internal PR team reached out to trade media while Trachtenberg PR, Smashbox's AOR, conducted beauty-heavy consumer media outreach to promote the campaign, including a kick-off event in May at the Hollywood Sephora where an American Idol-style panel allowed contestants to pitch ideas in person. The event attracted media, including ABC news, E, and KNBC, among others.
PR efforts will continue at the conclusion of the contest when teams will present the wining entry along with its winner to the media.
“The actual contest is not that long…[but] the project has a long life,” said Nina Van Arsdale, senior manager of global PR and events at Smashbox.