Beauty product utilizes speed dating

Purple Lab, a beauty product company founded in May 2009, held a January 29 speed dating event to launch its lip stain product called "Luvah."

Company: Purple Lab (New York)
Campaign: “Find Your Luvah” speed dating event
Duration: January 2–February 18
Budget: $15,000

Purple Lab, a beauty product company founded in May 2009, held a January 29 speed dating event to launch its lip stain product called “Luvah.” Communications director Sharon Hirsch says the aim was to generate excitement and drive traffic to Purplelabnyc.com prior to the February 18 product launch on HSN.

Hirsch explains that speed dating was a good fit because it echoed Purple Lab creator Karen Robinovitz's experience of going on 150 dates before meeting her husband, and Luvah contains a libido stimulating Chinese herb. The launch date also coincided nicely with Valentine's Day coverage.

Strategy
Robinovitz reached out to contacts at W Hotels, and a partnership with W Hoboken, which provided the event venue, ensued. The hotel's agency, Cahn Communications, helped promoted the event.

“Entertainment, nightlife, and fashion are core elements for W, so it was a natural fit,” says Cahn Communications account executive Susie Dempsey.

Hirsh recruited matchmaker Steve Ward of VH1's Tough Love to host the event, provide dating advice, and talk to media.

“If we wanted serious press we needed a celebrity,” Hirsch adds. “It was good for Tough Love too because it was gearing up for its third season launch.”

Tactics
The team targeted consumer, celebrity, relationship, and fashion print and broadcast outlets as well as bloggers. Angles included the world record attempt, Ward, the event, and dating tips.

Street teams handed out flyers in New York City and Hoboken to recruit event participants. Women participants tested and were given Luvah.

Microsite Purplelabnyc.com/findyourluvah was created to promote the event. Messaging was also posted on Purple Lab's existing Facebook (facebook.com/purplelab) and Twitter pages (twitter.com/purplelabnyc). A mock speed date video was posted on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/purplelabnyc#p/u/42/tdFcnbfC-ZA) prior to the event.

Dempsey spread the word on the hotel's Facebook page, and Ward used his personal Twitter page.

Results
The record was set with 313 participants. The event was included in the Guinness Book of World Records in July.

Hirsch reports overall traffic to Purplelabnyc.com increased 654% from 18,033 visits to 136,092 (comparing November 2, 2009 to December 18, 2009 to January 2, 2010 to February 18, 2010).

During the campaign, Facebook fans increased from 1,571 to 2,316 (currently 3,096), and Twitter followers rose from 2,943 to 3,287 (currently 5,417). Hirsch says 1,500 new names were also added to Purple Lab's email database.

Media impressions were 3,313,907 in outlets including Toda.

Future
A smaller scale (40 people) speed dating event occurred at W Hoboken on July 28. Hirsch and Dempsey say the partnership will continue with these smaller-scale events. Purple Lab is also considering going for a new record next Valentine's Day.

Links
Speed dating event picture album:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#%21/album.php?aid=154002&id=52866232580

Speed dating event Facebook invite:
http://www.facebook.com/PurpleLab?v=app_2344061033&ref=ts#%21/event.php?eid=235965653379&index=1

YouTube:
www.youtube.com/purplelabnyc#p/u/42/tdFcnbfC-ZA

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