Shapeways goes digital for grassroots campaign

AMSTERDAM: Shapeways, part of Philips Lifestyle Incubator Project, has created an Internet-based, grassroots campaign for the launch of its "PhotoShaper" this week.

AMSTERDAM: Shapeways, part of Philips Lifestyle Incubator Project, has created an Internet-based, grassroots campaign for the launch of its “PhotoShaper” this week. The new product allows consumers to turn digital photographs into 3D printed objects.

The company is reaching out to the US market through opinion leaders and communities online to “show them how Shapeways and PhotoShaper are relevant to them,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO of Shapeways. “Using their enthusiasm, we hope that they will spread the word in their communities.”

Shapeways hopes to build buzz through Web sites and blogs focusing on photography and interior design, Weijmarshausen said. Specific influencers were able to participate in the beta version of the PhotoShaper. It also used an embargo on the launch information to ensure that coverage spiked around the product's debut.

Due to the personalized nature of Shapeways products, the company will also be targeting families and mothers, said Jessica Hasson, the director of Social Radius, a division of Terpin Communications and Shapeways' US AOR.

In addition to targeting influencers online, Shapeways planned to use Twitter to announce the launch. It also reached out to gift Web sites.

“We've been on gift Web sites with our previous launches, and we hope we will be covered again,” Weijmarshausen said. Shapeways plans to measure the overall volume of traffic to its Web site, Shapeways.com, and to monitor which other sites and blogs refer consumers to it.

Traditional media outreach will also be a part of the campaign.

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