Quinny is well known in Europe for its high-end strollers and other baby accessories. Dorel Juvenile Group USA (DJG) owns the 30-year-old brand, and Duffy & Shanley (D&S), DJG's longtime agency, helped launch it in the US.
"We [are targeting] moms at the cutting edge of trends who want to integrate style and fashion into what they use for their kids," says Annette Maggiacomo, PR director at D&S.
The strategy was to align the brand with influencers, including celebrities, a fashion designer, moms' groups, top-tier magazines, and influential bloggers.
"The key was to promote it in places where [target moms spend time] - shopping events, programs for charity, online communities, magazines in pediatrician offices, the unveiling of spring's hottest fashions, etc.," Maggiacomo says.
To make the most of a limited budget, the team decided to focus the launch in New York.
Moreover, DJG worked to build relationships, through ads and editorial, with parenting title Cookie and with Divalysscious Moms, a local luxury lifestyle network of 10,000-plus mothers.
"Cookie's readership [has] one of the highest household incomes," says Katrina Hartwell, DJG's director of marcomms. "[And its] editorial content is sophisticated."
Hartwell adds that Cookie also "helped broker" a relationship with fashion designer Lela Rose who created a limited edition Quinny Buzz stroller.
"Lela is a mom," Maggiacomo says, "and took hold of the brand."
Rose came up with the idea to feature the stroller at her show during New York Fashion Week.
"We got a lot of interest from media that wouldn't usually cover a stroller," Hartwell notes.
DJG sponsored Cookie's "Moms on Madison," a shopping event at which Buzz strollers were filled with giveaways. Several were auctioned to benefit LA's nonprofit The Art of Elysium, which unites artists and critically ill children.
Hartwell says teaming with Rose gave DJG a "personal touch" with the stars. Ten strollers were given to celebrity moms such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Gwen Stefani.
Outreach to baby/parenting bloggers was also key, with about 40 of them receiving free strollers.
"[DJG is] extremely pleased," says Hartwell. "Aggressive 2007 sales expectations [were] exceeded by 35%. We had 90% sell-through on the Buzz stroller in the first month, and retailers were asking for it. [We expected] it would be a great brand, but the appetite for the stroller and the press we got [was unexpected]."
More than 200 specialty retailers stocked the strollers. From August to December, the blogs that mentioned Quinny averaged 11 million page views per day. Upwards of 200 million impressions came from more than 70 outlets, including Fit Pregnancy, US Weekly, LA Confidential, and Women's Wear Daily.
Based on its launch success, the Quinny line will expand in the US.
The agency will continue to launch and promote Quinny products in the US. A plan is currently being developed to introduce an additional DJG European brand - Maxi-Cosi - to the US.
PR Team: Dorel Juvenile Group (Columbus, IN) and Duffy & Shanley (Providence, RI)
Campaign: Quinny US launch
Duration: June-December 2007
The strategy was spot on here, and advertising in Cookie opened some nice doors that
the team cultivated and propelled tactically.
It was good use and development of a mutually beneficial paid media relationship. It was also a nice example of working the blogosphere in tandem with traditional exposure.
The team gave the product away to the right people - influential consumers. Forty
bloggers and 10 high-profile celebrities with free strollers proved far more beneficial
than 50 strollers in the hands of editors ever could have.
This campaign clearly demonstrates the impact smart PR can have on sales and brand development.