When OtisMed sought to boost public awareness of its new "OtisKnee" knee replacement product, which is built to be customized to individual users, it faced a market crowded with competing products, all a bit different.
The company committed to a PR-only promotional strategy and turned to Nobles Communications to get the word out to targeted consumers.
"Our messaging competition was pretty entrenched. A fairly large company was leading with an entire campaign around a gender-specific [replacement] knee," says Wilson Constantine, corporate VP of OtisMed. With a limited budget to fight back, it targeted key markets where sales potential was strong and proper infrastructure like hospital partnerships was in place. Its plan was to draw media coverage that would hook consumers in those markets.
"The CustomFit messaging was really critical, in terms of distilling the message down to a concept that the consumer can understand," explains Laura Nobles, who heads Nobles Communications. She used that branding to package the product in a simple way, and used satisfied patients as spokespeople to draw in the news media. "The patient is really who they want to focus on," she says. Some TV and print reporters even watched an actual surgery.
Constantine says that the new physician adoption rate for the product is nearly doubling month by month. Print and broadcast media coverage in key markets like LA, Sacramento, Boston, and New York has been strong, and the company has been contacted by more than 1,000 patients interested in finding out more about how to obtain the product.
The current campaign will continue through the Summer of 2008, and possibly further.
PR team: OtisMed Corporation (Hayward, CA) and Nobles Communications (Los Angeles)
Campaign: Introduction of the OtisKnee Custom Fit Knee Replacement
Duration: February 2007-ongoing
Budget: $170,000 (through June 2008)