When you're trying to literally create a new consumer category, a traditional product introduction focused on sampling and reviews simply won't do.
So when startup Saphia Lifestyle Beverages rolled out its line of vitamin-enriched bottled water for pregnant woman, it turned to The Bender-Hammerling Group to craft a campaign that delivered a health message first and then noted the product launch.
Because PR accounted for virtually all of Saphia's marketing efforts, Bender-Hammerling president Stacey Bender worked with Saphia CEO Gretchen Cook-Anderson to create themes that appealed to a variety of media outlets. "We targeted places that covered pregnancies like ipregnancy. com," explains Bender. "But we also went after the mainstream by stressing the importance of hydration and the right vitamins during pregnancy and nursing. These were really medical stories, but they noted Saphia Water could help ensure healthy pregnancies and babies."
Saphia Water launched in July with a baby shower-themed event. Bender-Hammerling developed a media kit to help pitch the product story, but also leveraged Saphia's cofounders, Cook-Anderson and neonatologist/perinatologist Dr. Angela Patterson, as interview sources. "[Patterson] could talk from the medical perspective," explains Cook-Anderson, "while I spoke not only about the business side, but also about how the concept was developed since I'm the one who originally came up with the idea."
Coverage included The Washington Post, Black Enterprise, MSNBC. com, and Today. The hits not only drove awareness, but helped Saphia get retail distribution in maternity/baby chains and other stores.
Bender-Hammerling continues to work with Saphia, which has other pregnancy-based products on tap.
PR team: Saphia Lifestyle Beverages (Silver Spring, MD) and The Bender-Hammerling Group (Upper Montclair, NJ)
Campaign: Saphia Water launch
Duration: April to October 2006
Budget: Less than $100,000