Lucite celebrates 75th in style

Rose Communications, which has worked with Lucite on an ongoing project basis, helped devise and execute a May 10 New York City event for designers, architects, and media.

Client: Lucite International (Cordova, TN)
Agency: Rose Communications (Hoboken, NJ)
Campaign: Lucite Celebrates 75th Anniversary: Past, Present, and Future
Duration: November 2010 – May 2011
Budget: $60,000

This year is the 75th anniversary of Lucite International's acrylic. Rose Communications, which has worked with the company on an ongoing project basis, helped devise and execute a May 10 New York City event for designers, architects, and media.

Lucite business manager Chris Robinson explains that several acrylic products that appeal to designers were rebranded LuciteLux in 2009, and positioning the company as innovative has been a priority.

“The 75th anniversary gave us opportunity to have the event in New York and talk to designers and architects,” he adds. “We want to [communicate our] legacy and also that we're fresh and up-to-date.”

The agency secured Material ConneXion, a global materials consultancy, as the venue for the event, which featured an exhibit of vintage Lucite handbags, three modern handbags chosen from a design competition, and other LuciteLux applications across multiple industries.

Robinson says the competition idea sprung from a discovery that Caryn Scheidt, a Memphis local, owned an extensive collection of 1950s Lucite handbags. Marketing assistant Lenore Torres adds that displaying the vintage handbags, the new handbags, and product line applications, engaged audiences in Lucite's past, present, and future.

High-profile jewelry designer Alexis Bittar was recruited as a competition judge.

“Alexis was a big draw to the contest and to media, and he's worked with Lucite for 20 years,” says agency president and CEO Rosemary Ostmann.

Media relations and social media outreach also drove awareness.

Lucite's in-house team invited university students, design school students, and email subscribers to submit handbag designs early this spring.

Media and bloggers covering fashion, design, and architecture were targeted.

Bittar discussed his 20-year history designing with Lucite and his future at a breakfast briefing on May 10 for fashion and consumer media. Architects, designers, and trade media attended the event that evening. The handbags were displayed at Material ConneXion into April.

News, event videos, and photos were posted on LuciteLux's Facebook and Twitter pages. Robinson says that was the brand's first real social media effort.

More than 200 contest entries were submitted. Torres notes 25 to 50 were anticipated. Six designer projects, including retail displays, furniture, and jewelry, have resulted thus far. Robinson says PR coverage also prompted a cruise line to develop a shower door prototype.

Thirty-five stories appeared (45 million impressions) in outlets including AP, The New York Times, and Interior Design.

Facebook and Twitter traffic both increased 100% post-event.

Expanding social media engagement is a priority, and the team is considering events at additional venues.

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