EP Barras decided, for the first time, to use a PR agency to promote its lawnmower range at the Chelsea Flower Show. Given the remit, Brooks Randall used a newly customised lawnmower, made to look like a ladybird, as part of its media campaign and to generate general interest among delegates.
To secure TV exposure, particularly on the BBC's nightly coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. To drive visitors to its stand amid competing manufacturers. To sell lawnmowers straight off the stand.
Strategy and Plan
The publicity was built around the black and red LawnFlite 503 mower, which had been kitted out to resemble a ladybird. An employee of EP Barras was persuaded to wear a specially designed flamboyant hat and become the Ladybird Lady.
She wandered around the exhibition handing out baskets of fluffy stickers that gave the stand number and offered the chance to enter a free prize draw to win a LawnFlite lawnmower. The agency used an approach designed for maximum visibility rather than pursuing a certain section of the crowd.
According to the agency, Cilla Black and Leslie Joseph both commented on the butterfly hat and model Jodie Kidd wore one of the stickers.
Measurement and Evaluation
Out of eight BBC TV programmes covering the Chelsea Flower Show, the product received six mentions - fulfilling the company's primary aim.
The mower was also featured on Sarah Kennedy's Radio 2 programme the week of the show. The Oxford Times ran a picture caption featuring the customised lawnmower.
Despite being a fairly mundane piece of gardening kit, Brooks Randall's campaign generated 25 per cent more visitors compared to last year, bringing the number to around 2,500, and EP Barras sold three of the £1,200 machines during the show, which it had never achieved at previous Chelsea Flower Shows.
Horticulture Week news editor Amy Jenkins said: 'The Ladybird Lady was very striking, which is important as Chelsea is such a visual experience.'