For the past two years, the Sealed Air Corporation has offered its Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors to mark creative applications of the product. This year, the competition was jointly celebrated with Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 28, in an attempt to draw attention to Bubble Wrap as a trademarked brand.
Sealed Air enlisted its AOR Weber Shandwick to help bring the effort together.
Sealed Air created the competition as a way of promoting education in the US, one of CEO William Hickey's most important platforms. Ken Aurichio, Sealed Air director of corporate communications, noted the competition is the first and main education initiative for the company. While the competition provided students with the promise of a $10,000 US savings bond and trip to New York City, Bubble Wrap gained recognition as a brand of Sealed Air.
In May, the Bubble Wrap Competition promoted requests for student submissions, rather than in September as last year. Tai Green, account manager at Weber Shandwick, said this timeline provided students with a lengthier deadline to submit entries, as well as enabled the PR team to synchronize the competition with Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.
In this way, the event was promoted and aligned with the competition's cause initiative, powering brand recognition beside children's creative efforts.
According to Green, this year the number of entrants nearly doubled, with more than 1,400. Also, Sealed Air was recognized as the maker of Bubble Wrap in more than 80% of media coverage. Aurichio says there was also significant feedback from distributors about brand recognition.
There is the chance to globalize, but Aurichio said "we want to get it down pat in the US."
PR team: Sealed Air (Elmwood Park, NJ) and Weber Shandwick (New York)
Campaign: Second Annual Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors
Duration: May 2007-January 2008