Campaign: Grounded Consumer
Team: Context-Based Research Group (Baltimore), Carton Donofrio Partners (Baltimore), Rose Communications (Hoboken, NJ)
Duration: October 2008 to May 2009
When the economy collapsed, Context-Based Research Group, an ethnographic research firm, teamed up with sister integrated advertising agency, Carton Donofrio Partners, to create “Grounding the American Dream: A Cultural Study on the Future of Consumerism in a Changing Economy.”
The companies created the study in anticipation that their clients, which have included Bristol-Myers Squibb and Microsoft, and prospective clients “would need this information down the road,” according to Dr. Robbie Blinkoff, principal anthropologist at Context.
Despite an initial slow pick up when the study was released in December, AOR Rose Communications continued its efforts to help the report gain traction, says Victoria Grantham, MD at Rose Communications.
The team directed outreach toward past, present, and potential clients, as well as key media to showcase the “value of [the] anthropological position and ethnography,” Blinkoff says. It also used the study to better position the sister agencies, in context of the kind of insight they could provide and their ability to serve as experts.
Grantham noted that as the recession really took hold, interest in the study began to increase, particularly in February and March.
Strategic planning and initial outreach to culture reporters for the forthcoming study started in October, and a press release and microsite announced its release in December.
Later media targets included economic and political outlets. Traffic to the site was driven via Twitter, Facebook, and blog posts on Context's “The Roots” and the agency's “PRose.” Rose Communications also assisted with the key messaging, editing, and distribution of a letter to current and prospective clients.
In addition to garnering new business leads, approximately 575 people downloaded the study. Also, Context presented findings to six prospects on their request, including Wells Fargo.
Executive experts appeared in The New York Times, as well as the Financial Times and The Baltimore Sun. Also, Blinkoff will serve as the keynote speaker at the International Sleep Products Association in November. Citibank included a reference to the study in one its internal Global Thematic Investing Reports, which came out March 27.
With the first phase of the campaign finished, Blinkoff says the agency will continue to better position the executive experts, with more appearances and media coverage, including bylined pieces.