After primarily targeting the urban hip-hop community for a few years, Boost Mobile wanted to raise its brand awareness and appeal among a broader audience. The PR team decided that the launch of its unlimited prepaid mobile phone plan was a perfect time to expand outreach to individuals throughout the US.
One goal with the launch of the unlimited plan was to increase both national and regional media coverage of the brand, says John Votava, manager of corporate communications at Boost Mobile. Because it was launching the same week as the presidential inauguration, Boost Mobile decided to pre-announce it a week early to secure more buzz and build excitement with consumers.
The team held media tours and briefings in October and December to educate reporters about the company and tease the unlimited plan without disclosing its full details until a week before the launch. Once the plan was announced, messaging focused on value and the quality of the Boost Mobile network, Votava says.
The team also created an audio news release and organized events to connect with consumers on a more personal level, show its reinvigorated brand image, and drive home the relevancy of prepaid.
“Community events, which featured partnerships with local governments, career organizations, and schools... generated excitement and awareness at the local level,” says Zach Colvin, director of consumer technology at Allison & Partners. Some of those partners were The Chicago Urban League and PS47 in the Bronx.
Between the Monthly Unlimited PR launch and official advertising launch, which was February 16, Monthly Unlimited subscribers grew 188% more than forecast. The campaign also garnered coverage in blogs and the news media, including articles by the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Votava says the AP article was particularly influential because more than 80 media outlets nationwide, in both large cities and small towns, picked it up.
Boost Mobile and Allison & Partners continue to promote the monthly unlimited prepaid plan.
PR team: Boost Mobile (Irvine, CA) and Allison & Partners (Los Angeles)
Campaign: Boost Mobile's Monthly Unlimited plan
Duration: October 2008-January 2009