Waterford takes a youthful approach to revive its brand

After being pushed to the brink of bankruptcy early last year, Waterford Crystal desperately needed to reinvigorate its brand. It launched its first campaign last fall after WWRD Holdings purchased it in April.

Company: Waterford Crystal (WWRD Holdings)
Agency mix: Gotham (advertising), Current Lifestyle Marketing (PR), Beam Interactive (digital)
In-house team: Michael Craig, group VP for the Americas; Regan Iglesia, marketing director; Michelle Westcott-Richards, director of PR, special events, WWRD USA
Lead agency: Gotham
Campaign: The sparkle of a new beginning
Budget: $2.5 million

After being pushed to the brink of bankruptcy early last year, Waterford Crystal desperately needed to reinvigorate its brand. It launched its first campaign last fall after WWRD Holdings purchased it in April.

"The sparkle of a new beginning" was developed to contemporize the brand for younger consumers - especially women, says Regan Iglesia, marketing director for Waterford. "Our business has always been very bridal based."

During the summer, Gotham led the winning pitch for the Waterford brand campaign, enlisting its fellow IPG agencies Current and Beam for the integrated bid, Iglesia adds.

Research indicated that people respected the Waterford brand, but didn't recognize its relevance. So the team targeted youth-oriented channels, such as a new partnership with the 2010 People's Choice Awards, for which Waterford designed the trophy.

The crystal ball at the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration has long been made by Waterford, but the team expanded the partnership - adding more visibility for the brand. It designed a free iPhone app that will allow people to virtually clink Waterford glasses on New Year's Eve.

"There's also a social networking aspect to the application so people can connect with friends while making the toast," Iglesia says. The ad push targeted Elle Decor, House Beautiful,Out, The New York Times, and Metropolitan Home.

This month, the focus shifts to the spring bridal season. With the bridal push, wedding magazines will become a major advertising target. Both campaign phases also involve online advertising.

Virginia Devlin, Current GM, says PR efforts included reintroducing the 200-plus-year-old brand to traditional journalists and bloggers to raise awareness among a younger audience. The key messages were spun from the "sparkle of a new beginning" theme.

"We want to retain brand loyalists, but also appeal to younger consumers," she explains.

Iglesia says future plans include using the "new beginning" theme in other ways. "Whenever there's a new beginning - a new baby or a new job or promotion - we want people to keep us in mind."

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