The travel and hospitality industry faced an array of challenges due to the global pandemic. For Louisiana in particular, COVID-19 altered travel plans to the bayou state, specifically New Orleans, whose usual hub for international and national tourists hit a significant COVID-related decline.
To reignite tourism, the Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) and strategic marketing agency Miles Partnership tasked The Pollack Group (TPG) with media relations for their first-ever appearance in the 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®.
In true Louisiana fashion, the state’s colorful float embodied jazz and Mardi Gras with a 60-foot-long alligator and a vibrant street view of the New Orleans French Quarter. In addition to celebrating the state’s unique fusion of European, Caribbean, African, and Native American cultures, the float included participants dressed in lavish baby gator costumes, as well as a team of stilt walkers, all done in an elaborate celebration of Louisiana traditions for millions of spectators in New York City and TV viewers across the nation. Lastly, Louisiana native and Grammy winner Jon Batiste performed the hit single “FREEDOM” live from his eighth studio album, WE ARE.
TPG handled the announcement media relations showcasing LOT’s participation in the 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® and successfully secured coverage and interest among top-tier media, including live interviews with Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser on Cheddar News and Yahoo Finance. The agency attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® onsite to assist with onsite media interviews and act as a liaison for Miles Partnership, LOT, and Macy’s.
In the days after the parade, TPG monitored all media coverage and provided extensive social listening metrics to LOT and Miles Partnership, detailing impressions, reach, Share of Voice, and sentiment among parade viewers.
When Tin Drum, the world’s leading Mixed Reality studio, reached out to the agency, it faced an all-too-common problem. It employed some of the world’s most talented artists, designers, and technologists to produce content for wearable/mixed reality devices – but no one knew who they were.
Led by visionary founder Todd Eckert, Tin Drum produces Mixed Reality content, a similar experience to what Augmented Reality delivers, but through an emerging class of see-through display devices, blending a uniquely dimensional form with the real world. The audience member dons a headset to view content that is presented seamlessly in their space. Tin Drum performances connect people and stories in ways that go beyond anything that has ever been possible in traditional mediums, enabling richer and more profound experiences.
By fall 2021, live events, performances, and art exhibits had slowly started coming back. Notably, the famed annual London Design Festival (LDF) announced its plans to return in September as well. Tin Drum seized on the opportunity to announce it would debut a groundbreaking new installation, Medusa, in The Raphael Court at the Victoria & Albert Museum, as part of the LDF. Produced in collaboration with acclaimed Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, Medusa is an eminent visualization of architecture in a Mixed Reality medium, examining the interrelation of nature and art.
For The Pollack Group, this presented a wonderful opportunity to reposition Tin Drum through strategic messaging and media relations. As with all companies seeking to become a brand and amplify their values, they first had to identify their value proposition. The agency also had to consider audience biases and mainstream consumers’ misunderstandings of the difference between Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality.
In partnership with our London-based Worldcom Public Relations Group partner, JBP, we executed a media relations campaign that not only brought global attention to Tin Drum’s transcendent performance at the LDF, but strategically rebranded and repositioned them across earned and social media.
Apollo Information Systems hired the agency for an integrated marketing and communications program to solve a lead generation problem. As a cybersecurity VAR they were having challenges competing with much larger companies in the same space.
Our initial research revealed that competitors were creating content around products and services but there was a significant thought leadership gap. We engineered a program that would promote the expertise of Apollo’s cybersecurity professionals. The program was built around a heavy expert content strategy involving many of Apollo’s industry partners to expand their reach. We deployed video series, streams, and information products that brought their cybersecurity expertise to the fore.
The program continues to expand and increase in cadence and as a result Apollo has taken significant market share from the competition and is in its most dramatic growth phase in its 20-year history.
Happy Wax, the leading manufacturer of wax warmers and scented wax melts, had a goal of increasing national brand awareness through top-of-funnel activities and reducing dependency on Facebook advertising. The North Carolina-based company also needed to develop corporate messaging to ensure that its communications, from the website copy to creative campaigns, would be aligned and consistent.
Companies frequently tout the features and benefits of their products but tend to skip doing the hard work to ‘find their why’, which helps build a brand and create a lasting value philosophy. Happy Wax is a flame-free, trouble-free way to set your mood free. Now, the agency could weave those messages into its media pitching. We secured coverage in national outlets like Buzzfeed, Country Living, Apartment Therapy, and others. We also proudly directed and produced Happy Wax’s first-ever commercial, which will be able to be seen on connected TV nationwide.
The plus-size community has long been “leveraged” for performative allyship in an effort for brands to grow potential revenue. As such, Big Fig Mattress, creators of the first mattress built specifically to meet the needs of the plus-size sleeper, tapped The Pollack Group (TPG) to boost awareness of Big Fig and run its influencer and affiliate relations program to build trust among this inherently distrustful niche demographic.
To highlight product attributes and features, the agency rolled out drumbeat media relations in support of influencer and affiliate relations. We worked with Big Fig Mattress to launch #SeeAllOfMe, a new platform dedicated to advocacy, community service, and heightened visibility for the plus-size demographic through activism, increased allyship, and authenticity, as well as to encourage other brands to take the plus-size community’s interests to heart. The agency also invited and onboarded eight plus-size personalities to join the Big Fig Collective, an advisory panel consisting of prominent voices within the plus-size community to provide insight, expertise, and perspective.
Our combined efforts helped Big Fig take its rightful ownership as the #1 niche mattress brand for the share of voice term ‘Plus Size,’ the #2 share of voice position for ‘Back Pain,’ the #2 share of voice position for ‘Cooling,’ the #3 share of voice position for ‘Side Sleeper,’ and the #1 share of voice position for ‘Sagging’ in over 425+ articles secured in 2021.
Over TPG’s 18-month relationship with Big Fig, sales grew 35% a year. The company doubled its business during COVID-19 and increased sales by 40% in 2021. The agency secured 508 pieces of earned media coverage, totaling 14.63 billion impressions. This coverage had an ad equivalency of $27.5 million. In addition, the affiliate relations program netted in 1,045 sales, totaling more than $1.97 million in gross sales. Additionally, TPG managed more than 75 individual influencer relationships, whose postings across multiple campaigns resulted in a reach of more than 2.3 million with an earned value of $871,100.
As Opy, an Australian ground-breaking Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solution, was getting ready to launch in the U.S., it retained The Pollack Group to bolster its visibility and credibility in the market. Further, the agency was tasked with mapping out how to differentiate Opy’s BNPL offering from the mainstream “Pay in 4” products dominating the market.
The Pollack Group planned and created a multi-pronged, dynamic communications program that effectively communicated Opy’s offerings and differentiated itself from a crowded BNPL market, establishing itself and key executives as thought leaders in the industry. The program would leverage data to tell stories.
Recognizing that brand messaging must be clear, concise, and consistent to resonate with target audiences effectively, the agency developed a messaging matrix that encompassed how we would communicate with Opy’s various stakeholders on its different platforms. In so doing, we were able to ensure that there was nuanced messaging to all its different verticals. Additionally, since content is essential to deliver key messages successfully, we helped Opy create and upgrade its existing content to support this newly developed messaging.
At this stage, developing a cadence of news announcements, owned content, and social media content was critical in showing credibility and value. The agency developed a wide breadth of press materials and worked to establish momentum with a steady drumbeat of key milestones and announcements. The Pollack Group drove PR efforts by announcing several partnerships, such as the partnership with American Express, Goldman Sachs, Cross River Bank, Patient Now, Experian, ezyVet, as well as Opy’s launch into the automotive vertical. In 2021 alone, The Pollack Group secured dozens of placements in a host of trade publications with solid placements in the top-tier media. These outlets included the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, TechCrunch, FinTech Magazine, The FinTech Times, American Banker, PYMNTS, Payments Dive, WWD, AdWeek, Chain Store Age, and Financial Brand. The agency also drafted and placed several opinion pieces in outlets that included Automotive News and Today’s Veterinary Business.
In addition to these placements, The Pollack Group worked hand-in-hand with key Opy executives to help bolster its profile in the marketplace. In establishing and managing their social media profiles, arranging media interviews, and securing speaking opportunities, we created a halo effect, portraying the company as credible and rooted in a solid vision, mission strategy, and plan. We were cognizant that Opy’s PR and communications strategy needed to do more than raise awareness; it needed to stand out in an overly crowded market and deliver a message of compliance and credibility.
While managing the social profiles of Opy leadership, The Pollack Group also handled the brand’s social media presence. The agency performed a comprehensive audit of Opy’s social channels, reviewing the copy and content against its competitors, to report back on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and what else was needed. The agency developed a posting schedule to complement the overall editorial calendar. In addition, the agency developed graphics and copy and managed community engagement, and analytics monitoring. We also led social media campaigns, such as Opy’s partnership with ezyVet during national pet appreciation week.
In 2022, the agency deployed a consumer survey. The results provided interesting trends regarding budgeting practices for high-cost dental and veterinarian care, the sustainability of paying off high-balance bills, and how COVID-19 changed the perception of BNP for Americans. Not only was the survey and its infographic an exciting piece of content to leverage from a media relations perspective, it also proved to be a business development angle.
From messaging, brand positioning, and media relations to content creation and social media management, Opy’s communications program has helped drive success for the brand in the U.S.
As unhappy as Americans were about wearing face masks altogether in the time of Covid, they were even more unhappy with wearing ill-fitting and uncomfortable ones, whether made from cloths or disposables. Something had to give for the safety of all.
And just in time, Medicevo, entered the market with its revolutionary Graphene Face Mask. What it needed most was to build awareness of its Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (B.F.E.) of 98% -- better than N95 respirators – and is reusable up to 15 wears. Medicevo sought out The Pollack Group to support its goal of becoming a true lifestyle brand, while prioritizing rapid brand awareness and sales conversions. To promote widespread adoption, The Pollack Group implemented a mask sampling and education campaign, sending masks to journalists and influencers, and leveraging a national MAT release.
Over the course of several months, the agency’s LAB186 digital marketing and content production studio worked through the challenges of maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols to develop high-quality, engaging content for digital marketing and advertising. While Google and Facebook heavily regulated face mask commerce, the agency was able to circumvent this, launching several successful campaigns, showcasing diverse models and trendsetters who possess enviable style to make the masks look cool, different, and fashionable. The collective efforts successfully increased brand awareness, interest, and website traffic.
When the world retreated inside in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency helped Chicago-based NuWave, a leader in innovative consumer home appliances to launch and promote its OxyPure Smart Air Purifier, the first air purifier proven to remove 99.999% of coronavirus particles from the air in 6 hours.
The Pollack Group’s outreach secured hundreds of millions of media impressions for the brand, with placements in Business Insider, TechHive, The Spruce, and MarketWatch. In addition, the agency arranged for the OxyPure to be tested by LA Parent, which later awarded the product with its National Parenting Product Award.
The agency complemented this work with drumbeat media relations for another NuWave product, the NuWave Brio Air Fryer, for which it secured placements in Forbes, Elite Daily, MSN, and NBC News.
As the COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted the rental car economy, the agency helped Avis Budget Group launch an exciting and forward-thinking coalition designed to enhance the cleanliness and disinfection of its rental facilities and vehicles. ABG in partnership with the coalition announced the Avis Safety Pledge and the Budget Worry-Free Promise, raising the bar for cleanliness, disinfection and safety in the rental car industry.
The Pollack Group helped execute and drive awareness of this first-of-its-kind partnership. In addition to crafting and coordinating the announcement strategy, TPG’s team provided counsel on social media content, and TPG's LAB186 edited together a B-roll package to offer media outlets reporting on the safety partnership. The Pollack Group’s press outreach included strategic media placements securing more than 137 million earned media impressions for the Avis Budget COVID-19 Safety Coalition, including interviews with CNBC’s Power Lunch, Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance, LA Times and AdWeek, with syndication across MSN, Business Travel News, and major US market newspapers highlighting ABG as deploying innovative solutions in response to the global pandemic.
Pocketmath, the world's largest mobile audience network, tasked the agency with helping tell its story and vision, as well as positioning the company as an innovator and leader in the industry. We identified and quantified audiences and developed a messaging infrastructure designed to align brand voice and value proposition with specific audiences. We expanded marketplace awareness of the brand, as well as its value proposition in the trade markets. In the specific verticals that Pocketmath services, we implemented a long-term drumbeat for company milestones, announcements and features in trade and industry outlets. We also expanded awareness of the company’s CEO as an entrepreneurial leader in innovation in the adtech space and established her as a resource to industry journalists. As a result of our work, Pocketmath transitioned from being relegated as a DSP, to being recognized as a pioneer in audience networking, thereby broadening its strength in the global marketplace.
For more than 90 years, Barco Uniforms, a leader of design innovation in the premium professional apparel industry, has been true to its mission -- to honor and serve those who serve others.
Barco initially retained the agency to increase its earned media coverage. However, our relationship has evolved into a true partnership. We have been instrumental in developing consumer and influencer campaigns to increase brand awareness – specifically, for Barco’s popular “Grey’s Anatomy” and Barco One sub-brands – and tell the company’s story in a compelling way. The agency also filmed and produced a video series to highlight Barco’s partnership with The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens. And most recently, in the age of COVID-19, we launched a media relations campaign to promote Barco’s scrub donation program, in which the company pledged to donate 10,000 scrubs for each month of the pandemic. The agency’s efforts have resulted in more than 3.6 billion media impressions worldwide.
LEO, a U.K.-based entrepreneurship and leadership marketing company, leads thousands of members from all over the globe toward personal and professional success. The immense, but tightly-knit, community meets online to share resources and grow with one another. It takes a village to manage all of the social media properties and disseminate information to members while at the same time attract other entrepreneurs to become members. The agency serves as that village, managing all levels of the many social media properties that support LEO’s many organizations and companies including digital currency organization LEOcoin and crowdfunding platform LEOcrowd. A healthy mix of organic and paid social with concurrent influencer marketing creates a broad ecosystem of touchpoints and interactions for members and prospects alike.
As it transitioned from corporate housing provider to global hospitality brand, leading hotel and serviced apartment provider Oakwood looked to the agency to manage its social media presence and engage its followers worldwide. Oakwood’s global communications team needed a social media strategy that engaged Oakwood’s guests, associates, partners, and leaders in the travel and hospitality industries.
The agency focused on three objectives: building brand awareness and community engagement; generating conversations around industry trends and advice; and sharing brand and property initiatives to drive business leads and bookings. The social strategy also included thought leadership, specifically managing the LinkedIn presence for Oakwood’s CEO, ideating and creating content highlighting property signings, openings and employee initiatives, and offering a C-Suite perspective on travel trends and news throughout the pandemic. The agency consistently grew Oakwood’s social media presence on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, executing a content strategy highlighting the brand’s 80+ global properties across 12 countries. In 2022, Oakwood was acquired by The Ascott Limited.
The second-oldest U.S. Navy museum, the United States Navy Seabee Museum, turned to the agency to create brand-new, high-quality informational videos as an added new element for its visitors, as well as to launch new social media campaigns and build an enhanced digital curriculum for students. To support the museum’s mission, namely to “select, collect, preserve and display” historic material of the Naval Construction Force (known as the Seabees), the agency created five videos featuring interviews and 3D-animated graphics as a showcase for guests and servicemen, alike. From showcasing the Seabees’ humanitarian work, to a deep-dive showcasing one of the museum’s specialty vehicles on display, these videos combined creative storytelling with video production capabilities to share with the general public today and for generations to come, the stories behind an impactful military organization.
In anticipation of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, USA Triathlon became the first sport to begin preparations and training for the Games. As such, the team sought out the agency to build enthusiasm for their first Los Angeles-area race, the Legacy Triathlon. The agency promoted USA Triathlon’s news that it will launch a series of annual races in Long Beach on the very site of the future Olympic course – where the next generation of Olympians will be presented.
The agency facilitated several partners and supporters, including the City of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach, and brought local, national and international media attention to the unveiling of the Legacy Triathlon, while also streaming to an online audience through Facebook Live.
As LAX and the City of Los Angeles began work on a massive multi-year capital renovation project, it was uncertain what would become of the Bob Hope USO LAX center. Servicing more than 100,000 members of the military a year, the center has become a flagship of Bob Hope USO and an important place for service members to rest and eat while traveling.
Working on behalf of Bob Hope USO, the agency initiated a long-term community-awareness campaign to build grassroots support for the center and to attract volunteers to help with its 24-7 operation. The agency coordinated media days around news cycles that focus on the military, such as Veteran’s Day, Military Appreciation Week, and Memorial Day with in-depth feature broadcasts touring the facility and driving interest in volunteering for the center.
An Earned Media Relations Campaign That Paid Off The Community Water and Power Community Credit Union (WPCCU), originally established for employees of a utility company, needed enhanced community brand awareness and visibility in order to expand its customer base. We conceptualized and executed creative experiential events: “Moolah Madness” was timed around tax day on April 15, and contestants could win all the cash they could catch in a minute inside a money machine; “Cold Hard Cash” was timed around the hottest days in the San Fernando Valley – Labor Day weekend – and contestants had to melt ice sculptures with their hands to find the cash frozen inside. And because new members can include those who need an adult co-signer, we also organized job fairs for high school students scheduled around graduation and “Homeruns-4-College,” a Little League home run derby that awarded scholarship money for 21 local students.
The City of Santa Monica needed to better understand the community for more informed policies and community initiatives, but realized that it lacked the right type of data. So it set out to do something that had never been done before: integrate the science of wellbeing into the foundation of the local government. The core of the Wellbeing Project, the city’s winning entry in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor’s Challenge, is a comprehensive index of analysis developed in partnership with renowned research firm RAND Corporation and New Economics Foundation. The agency worked closely with the project to distill and communicate the data for public consumption, consulted on website development and to assist in strategically implementing change within the city based upon findings. The launch of the index solidified the city’s thought leadership platform in sustainability and health and wellness.
The American public has a love affair with speed. We leveraged that “love” to engage consumers, and spark interest and demand for the one-of-a-kind speed measurement device Pocket Radar: the world’s only palm-sized, full-performance speed radar device. When it launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the dual messaging platform that we created had to resonate with two sets of audiences — professionals and everyday consumers. Pre-show, we sent creative media mailers to pique curiosity and generate word-of-mouth buzz. The product’s innovative technology, a break-through Doppler radar sensing and processing system, earned it a CES Innovations Honoree award, which was highlighted and leveraged to secure one-on-one interviews and post-show product reviews. The resulting coverage totaled 202,722,673 media impressions.
The opportunity to work closely with a new business to develop all of their brand communications and marketing materials from scratch was an exciting one, but certainly not without its challenges. While the top executives at The Sage Group, an investment bank, were all highly successful in their previous positions, the new company was still a virtual unknown. The agency was tasked with positioning the company as a niche leader for middle market investment banks and a “go-to” source in a variety of markets for transactions ranging from $50-$500 million — right in the middle of one of the weakest merger and acquisition markets in history. Through proactive media relations, Sage has been featured nationally as a thought leader and continues to be successful.
Before the global water scarcity and drought crisis reached its present fever pitch, the 75-year-old irrigation manufacturer understood that it faced a potential environmental crisis perception — simply for being an irrigation company, which carried an implication of wasting water. The agency positioned the company as a thought leader in water conservation as it relates to the lawn and garden industry, and created a new campaign coined “The Intelligent Use of Water.” We developed a roadmap for a sustainable, multi-pronged program with multiple touch points that included industry white papers, bi-annual Intelligent Use of Water global summits, film competitions, awards programs, partnerships, grade school curriculums, Tournament of Roses Parade participation and more. Its position as an industry leader in landscape water conservation insights, was solidified.
Developing a corporate image program for Oversee.net, a marketing network company, presented two unique challenges. First, we needed to manage its reputation as it moved from small startup to the next level of expansion. Second, we needed to position the company as a leader in the emerging, yet little understood, domain industry. We developed an industry white paper that established Oversee as a thought leader and the company with which “domainers” want to do business. A media campaign targeted influencers, investors and customers, highlighting Oversee’s proprietary technology prowess and establishing it as a “go to” marketing tool to monetize sites. Oversee was named to the Inc. 500 and also named “Internet and New Media Company of the Year” by the Technology Council of Southern California.
The face of advertising fundamentally shifted with the success of native advertising, but not without kickback from the industry. Native advertising pioneer, MGID, although globally successful, needed better access to the competitive US marketplace. MGID had to first deliver the message that it drives authentic traffic to websites, ethically. The agency introduced them to the trade group IAB, where they worked with industry leaders on developing ethical and technical standards for native advertising. Subsequently, we placed op-eds and articles in high profile advertising trades, to persistently combat negative stigma as well as position MGID as an expert on profitable advertising. We also leveraged MGID published data and survey results that keyed into entertainment trends for placements in that industry trades. MGID has grown to be a force of influence in the advertising marketplace and a thought leader on native advertising for advertisers, publishers, and consumers.
Recognizing that in today’s marketplace, a global reach in sales, marketing and distribution is essential for any property’s success and growth. L.E. Hotels, a hospitality brand that represents a “limited edition” collection of independently owned and operated properties, reached out to the agency to create a program that would link all of its properties across 18 countries through a global marketing program, and support each individual property’s particular needs and challenges. The program included quarterly regional promotions, trade and local media relations, blogs, newsletters brimming with company and member news and travel/tourism trade shows, as well as social media and native advertising. We also sought out Millennial-focused media outlets and scheduled editorial desk side briefings as a way of maximizing the individual property’s visibility.
Guidon Performance Solutions (now Peppers & Rogers Group) tasked us with raising the brand’s mind and market share by leading the conversation around the insights that healthcare payers and providers needed in order to survive the tsunami of challenges from The Affordable Care Act. Our campaign positioned CEO Ron Wince as one of the foremost healthcare thought leaders on the patient-provider relationship, organizational change and agility. We targeted healthcare influencer media to create educational articles that could be leveraged on social media, and with clients and prospects. Wince was featured in USA Today, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The media coverage and ensuing speaking opportunities led to new business leads and the market perception of category leadership.
When the nation’s leading supplier of massage chairs looked to us for a strategy to showcase the company’s newly re-branded consumer product division, we started by maximizing visibility of Human Touch and its award-winning HT-7450 Zero-Gravity Massage Chair at key technology and design trade shows that focused on wellness, design and technology. At CES and Las Vegas Market, we played into the weariness of trade show participants and attending media, and engaged national broadcast media outlets to take a moment to “experience” the H-7450 massage chair themselves. Our national public relations campaign completely re-focused media perception of the product category itself — massage chairs — from just “simple comfort/luxury indulgence” to essential lifestyle,health and wellness.
When then-startup company, Equipois, launched the x-AR, the world’s first exoskeletal arm using zeroG technology best known from the Steadicam camera, we knew this could be revolutionary. It allowed users to maneuver heavy equipment as if weightless, thus minimizing workers’ fatigue and reducing injuries. At the Applied Ergonomics Conference, we positioned the Equipois brand as a leader in American innovation alongside established companies such as IBM and its superhuman computer “Watson.” We engaged media with real-world examples where the x-Ar would boost efficiency and productivity, such as surgeons who would operate for hours without experiencing arm weakness; assembly workers in manufacturing plants who could speed up the process; and women who would now challenge muscular men in the handling of heavy tools with ease.
When WHAM-O, makers of the beloved and universally popular Frisbee, wanted to move it from the toy category into a new Frisbee Sport line of products, the challenge was to reconnect with the hard-core Frisbee enthusiasts and create a brand new generation of loyalists eager to experience the spirit of the brand’s competitive roots. Rather than focus on athletes, the agency targeted parents and their young children and teenagers. We developed a family-focused media relations program, timed to peak during the key spring and summer selling seasons, and implemented a junior high school physical education Frisbee sport teaching curriculum, coordinated with the Ultimate Players Association. Midway through the campaign, the Association officially approved the Frisbee Sport Disc for match play.
Years before the “cloud” was even conceived, an ambitious entrepreneurial duo came up with a then-new online file sharing system and, in the process, practically launched the category. drop.io needed us to get word out in the marketplace — that online sharing was not only possible but that it would catapult change in the business landscape.
We sought out partnerships, business development and earned media opportunities that would fast track drop.io’s executive leadership team as industry thought leaders. The focus of our national media campaign was on trends in online file sharing and privacy issues. The ultimate indicator of the company’s success was when drop.io announced in October 2010 that it had been acquired by Facebook.
High school students have traditionally relied on college counselors to guide their futures. Enter Destination-U (D-U), an online higher education-matching service aimed at the mass college-bound Millennial audience that analyzed students’ unique needs and attributes. We needed to establish credibility for the developer and CEO, Toby Waldorf, a certified college consultant, as well as tout D-U’s innovative research and proprietary algorithms that made it a valuable tool. So we “piggybacked” onto national news about declining college graduation rates and conducted a satellite media tour, and developed a content strategy that included social media, digital and word-of-mouth communications and a mat release program focused on matching students’ personal college satisfaction metrics vs. searching just for traditional college attributes. We also penned several op-eds under Waldorf’s byline.
Shopping for healthy food products at the grocery store can be challenging, due to the overwhelming choices and often conflicting nutritional information. With the introduction of Eaturna’s chef-created, prepared food products, the agency was challenged to cut through the clutter of the competition, and create rapid brand awareness for Eaturna foods in one neighborhood as a trial. The “Eaturnalize your Neighborhood” experiential product launch focused on word-of-mouth marketing, signed pledges committing to healthy eating habits, “Partnership for Healthy Neighborhoods” street teams driving consumer trial, family-focused community events and partnerships where Eaturna food got tasted. Within 60 days, the entire neighborhood had been reached one-on-one and pledged to eating healthy.
Considering that most individuals today spend more time on digital entertainment than on family conversations, the agency developed a kid-focused family lifestyle campaign to ignite renewed interest in backyard astronomy as a “well-spent family pastime.” With the launch of Celestron’s innovative SkyScout Personal Planetarium at CES, instead of just sending media new product pitches, we keyed into the mystique of the age-old question “what is that object in the sky?” while noting that this product could take the “mystery” out of the sky. The agency also leveraged national celestial events to generate curiosity in astronomy, as well as a Boy Scouts of America partnership to attract that particular demographic.
More than 40,000 commuters drive through Century City every day, causing tremendous traffic congestion in Los Angeles. The Century City Transportation Management Organization (CCTMO) was organized by area business leaders looking to increase awareness of the benefits of alternative transportation.
We created a commuter’s resource platform, Commute 90067, and launched an awareness campaign about the benefits of alternative transportation for commuting. The platform efficiently charted out bus routes, paired carpoolers and organized vanpools.
The Commute 90067 campaign included traditional and digital advertising, transit and street pole advertising, street team marketing, incentives, and events. Additionally, we developed partnerships with commercial real estate companies and their business tenets to communicate Commute 90067 to their staff through meetings and incentive programs. The extensive awareness program enabled CCTMO to reach its goal of reducing traffic into and out of Century City by 12,000 cars.
When the city of Beverly Hills, renowned for its special glitz worldwide, turned 100 in 2014, it wanted to celebrate in a big way. A block party was staged on Rodeo Drive, creating a family-focused experiential event replete with a commissioned birthday cake by agency client Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel, created in partnership with famed pastry chef Donald Wressell of the Guittard Chocolate Company. The staggering 4,000-pound chocolate cake that depicted Beverly Hills City Hall and Rodeo Drive served 15,000 people, which generated hundreds of millions of earned media impressions as well as social media mentions. To build up momentum to that day, we “seeded” media stories, planned mini events, held a cake-tasting preview for media, showed off with a 3-D model of the cake design and shot a video of the “making-of-the-cake” — a time-lapse video that wowed viewers around the world when released.
The Brita Water Filter System, a portable water filter system from The Clorox Company, is a household name today. But back when it first entered the market, public confidence in tap water was at an all time low. Clorox retained the agency to pilot test the product in Southern California, with the goal of changing the behavior of bottled-water-obsessed consumers. Through an experiential sampling program and a specially designed “Brita Water Cart,” managed by a “Brita Water Patrol” that showed up where bottled waters did — at sports events, marathons, home shows, trade shows, etc. — coupled with our national media campaign focused on health and wellness, sales increased by 26 percent in nine months. Our product launch campaign had unleashed the powerful “word-of-mouth” tool.
Setting their sights on redefining backyard water fun, a category that had become mostly stale in regards to innovation, Bestway North America’s new H2OGO! brand of backyard water slides was poised to transform the industry. Their slides, equipped with an inflatable speed ramp that propelled riders on an 18-foot track ending in a super soaking in the splash zone and could also eliminate the “bellyflop ouch,” were the perfect trigger to generate the desired media campaign buzz. Targeting mom bloggers, national print, and broadcast media, as well social media influencers, the agency bombarded all with imaginative and inventive story angles and contests. The campaign triggered TV broadcast airings and radio segments, and increased engagement on social media properties and print and blog stories — generating over 104, 268, 341 media impressions in a period of 4 months.
When Bel Air Investment Advisors, an industry leader in providing investment advice exclusively to high net worth individuals, families and foundations first came to the agency, their major concern was about controlling PR messages. A thought leadership platform was established that would allow for Bel Air Advisors to be viewed as a media resource. As such, through quotes, there would be more consideration for controlled coverage. The challenge was to identify what was the particular “own-able” expertise of each portfolio manager and match it with targeted media sectors; and then leverage it to the financial and business news cycle, building in the process, a base for long-term media relationships. The strategy worked. As breaking news in Bel Air’s sector’s crossed the wire and we were able to leverage Bel Air’s media reputation to present them as “the expert you want to quote.”
To broaden Al & Ed’s, California’s largest mobile electronic retailer, past that of a specialty retailer, we sought out cooperative brand partnerships that offered a new distribution channel for visibility. We designed multi-channel marketing programs that would reach audiences of both entities, and focused on raising awareness for high profile vehicle customization to support both new franchisees and customers. We secured a 2-year “Back-up to School Safely” program, where Ralphs shoppers who purchased 7UP products were automatically entered to win one of 50 Back-up Safety Cameras. As part of the promotion, Al & Ed’s ran safety clinics and displayed vehicles at prominent Ralphs locations. We also partnered with the California Highway Patrol, FREE-FM’s Adam Carolla Show, Santa Monica Subaru, Raging Waters and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Crucial.com, a division of Micron Consumer Products and a leading online retailer specializing in computer memory upgrades, needed to increase awareness of their do-it-yourself memory upgrade as an easy solution for computer problems that plague consumers on a daily basis. In Phase 1, we utilized consumer survey research, satellite and ground media tours, media mailers, infographics and aggressive media relations strategies, to speak to the computer-induced frustration and stress that results from an underperforming computer, with the easy solution, of course, offered by Crucial.com. In Phase 2, the agency commanded audience attention through creative campaigns such as “Love Your Computer”, “Get Tough on Your Computer”, and the nationwide search for the “Official, Unofficial Office Computer Go-to Superstar” – and resulted in over 100 million media impressions.
National Public Gardens Day was all about fostering public programs, resources and educational initiatives to instill the importance of environmental preservation and landscape water conservation. In partnership with American Public Gardens Association (APGA), the agency created an annual National Public Gardens Day to inform of the vital role of APGA’s more than 500 gardens and arboreta in promoting environmental stewardship, plant and water conservation and education. On-the-ground agency partners were tapped in five markets to stimulate local interest and support a national media outreach program. On the pre-celebration day a Satellite Media Tour was launched together with a government outreach program and an expansive social media component. The result was a staggering. The 782 million media impressions promoted ecosystem management and the efficient use of water.
Strict regulations, required compliance and data security concerns have kept financial services technology in the stone age, for innovation is very risky and costly. Docupace’s turn-key Straight-Through Processing product eliminates those challenges. The company needed to raise awareness with a very niche audience and tapped the agency to develop a long-term comprehensive public relations and digital marketing strategy that would rebrand it as a cyber secure and compliant financial tech firm. We redesigned and implemented a new website, coordinated an advertising campaign, built content marketing, including strategic native advertising, and launched a thought leadership platform — all targeting the C-suite of financial services. Docupace entered the marketplace en force and saw strong growth in the marketplace. Docupace became a trusted FinTech leader for financial services firms.
With more than 2.5 million men and women serving in the armed forces and more than 4 million family members, the troops and their families depend upon the USO for critical programs and support. While the USO thrives through donations from major corporations and strategic partners, the agency, as their agency of record, saw an opportunity to tap an under-represented source of income through grassroots individual fundraising. Events such as Barbecue for the Troops, (leveraging the quintessential summer backyard barbecue), and Dance for the Troops, targeting school dances and New Year’s galas, were designed to mobilize individuals into throwing fundraisers in their local communities. Each campaign was supported with media relations, strategic partnerships, and organizational outreach.
When Sanyo Corporation tapped the agency to introduce their new Xacti Sound Recorder, we recognized that adoption without trial first would be near impossible; after all, the market was already flooded with recorders that claimed to be the best. So we targeted musical influencers to review the product and encouraged them to spread the word within their own networks to advocate for the product and brand organically. We reached out to musicians across all music genres, from rock to classical, music educators, songwriters and performers. After that, we engaged music fans and consumers through an agency-designed microsite and online contest. In just four months, 50 media outlets requested the unit for review well before the product even rolled out to market.
The Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) wanted to brand its city’s as California’s quintessential beach city as well as a world-class travel destination. Moreover, it wanted to entice worldwide tourists to visit Santa Monica, and have them increase their visitors’ stay, thereby promoting expenditures and supporting local establishments. Specific programming for specific audiences was created, such as the “Fun in the Sun” and the “Endless Summer” as travel and tourism promotions; “Sandy Monica” Mannequin promotion, in support of the new Santa Monica Place opening; the “Surfing Santas” promotion in support of the holiday season; a “Blogger Beach Contest,” as well as group FAM Trips for culinary media, bloggers, among others. A media outreach blitz triggered 400 million national and international.
As a company, SodaStream is synonymous with innovation. The agency focused on this innovative trait to rebrand SodaStream -- away from soda and toward sparkling water. Moreover, it keyed into the global environmental concern of pollution to push the company to the front and center of the news, and also created the news through creative campaigns and by partnering with celebrities.
Based on environmental research that noted that each SodaStream prevents 3,700 disposable plastic bottles from polluting the environment, SodaStream took a public stance against plastic bottle pollution with its unifying environmental message to encourage consumers to reduce their single-use plastic consumption.
The agency worked to hijack news cycles and insert SodaStream into the global pollution discussion, all while highlighting SodaStream’s health and wellness and environmental benefits. Leveraging “competitor blasting” commentary such as, “Bottled water is the biggest marketing scam of all time,” the agency secured CEO interviews with top tier business outlets.
In creating the news, the agency invited journalists and influencers to a global environmental clean-up where SodaStream debuted “the Holy Turtle,” a 1,000-foot contraption that cleaned pollution on the ocean’s surface. Additionally, SodaStream and Oceanic Society created a 20-foot art installation of the Statue of Liberty, trapped on top of a 40-foot x 20-foot steel structure and packed with single-use plastic bottles, displayed in Flatiron Plaza in Manhattan, NY.
SodaStream partnered with celebrities including Paris Hilton, Reza Farahan, Mayim Bialik, Thor “The Mountain” Bjornsson, Jillian Michaels, and Rod Stewart to craft viral content highlighting the plastic pollution problem. The Pollack Group team played an integral role in the development, logistics, coordination, and earned media of these campaigns, all of which highlighted SodaStream’s ability to carbonate tap water without contributing to the plastic pollution epidemic.
Throughout the agency’s tenure as SodaStream’s agency of record, the agency secured multiple trillions of impressions in consumer, lifestyle, business, health and wellness, and marketing coverage for the brand, culminating in its four-dollar billion sale to Pepsi.
Carrington Holding Companies, a B2B real estate and mortgage company, asked the agency for help in transforming their business model in order to reach an underserved market of home buyers — namely, those with credit challenges. We first created perception surveys to gain a greater pulse on this market segment. Based on reaped results, we broadened their Internet storefront to meet the needs of this new customer, which included instant prequalification, affordable payment methodology, engaging digital communications and a chat room for local insights and advice. Tapping their rich database of facts and figures, we developed an infographic that honed in on trends affecting the real estate and mortgage markets. Following a multi-media campaign in which Carrington was positioned as a thought leader for this market, the company achieved wide penetration into the underserved market.
The company that first introduced drip irrigation technology to the world over 50 years ago, needed to expand its presence in both traditional and new crop markets as farmers were increasingly faced with drought conditions and decreased access to water. Netafim looked to the agency not only to bolster its media relations and marketing programs, but also to pave the way for a transformation of the way the company positions itself and its product offerings. The agency has been instrumental in helping Netafim restructure its dealer incentive and marketing program, forge relationships with key agricultural and environmental influentials and academics, develop sales and marketing tools, as well as conceptualize and execute marketing and advertising campaigns for the landscape and agriculture divisions.
Bob Evans Farms (BEF), a leading producer and distributor of refrigerated breakfast and dinner convenience food items, retained The Pollack Group (TPG) in 2016, initially to leverage the brand's philanthropic "Our Farm Salutes" (OFS) campaign, which entailed providing meals and donations to programs that support the military, active-duty veterans, and their families. In addition, TPG secured a partnership with The Gary Sinise Foundation, producing a variety of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) featuring actor, activist, and director of the Foundation, Gary Sinise.
In support of OFS, TPG conceived the idea to paint the original Bob Evans Farms barn, an iconic symbol in Rio Grande, Ohio – purple, representing the color of all military branches. The purple barn visual, attracted significant media attention from regional news, military media, and food trade outlets. Results from data indicated an uptick in favorability perceptions for the BEF brand.
Following the media success of OFS, BEF expanded the program in 2021, utilizing TPG for its Heroes to CEOs (H2C) program. TPG focused on the H2C’s 2021 and 2022 winners to garner regional and national media relations. The agency booked The Today Show in November 2021, highlighting Ryan Onda, winner of H2C, among numerous podcast interviews, local segment appearances, and more. In addition, TPG penned a MAT release on how military service prepares veterans for leadership business roles, which resulted in over 180 million impressions.
The OFS program laid the groundwork for a broader FY22 Breakfast Innovations public relations campaign. TPG leveraged editorial media interviews to encourage Life Hackers and Young Achievers to try BEF new breakfast solutions and encourage repeat purchases of BEF grocery food items. Creative concepts were crafted and implemented for BEF news hook creation, disruptive event(s), and strategic influencer partnerships.
TPG also developed and implemented an “always on” PR plan that increased household penetration for BEF grocery items. To further engage with consumers interested in BEF refrigerated breakfast items, TPG conducted a survey that polled over 1,000 working Americans to better understand their breakfast preferences, before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings were favorable to BEF and the success of their heat-and-eat products were distributed in a MAT release, securing over one million impressions.
TPG arranged for BEF and the Gary Sinise Foundation to join forces again, released a series of new PSAs, and offered Gary Sinise as a source on various national news segments. Sinise detailed the hardships veterans have as they acclimatize back into civilian life after service, and how the Gary Sinise Foundation, as well as BEF, were working to improve their conditions upon returning home. In addition, Gary Sinise was invited to speak on top-tier media outlets such as FOX News, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Yahoo Finance, and KTLA.
TPG played an integral role in increasing BEF’s overall brand awareness and household penetration by leveraging elevated earned media impressions, resulting in an ROI of 2.40 for BEF’s Q1 and Q2 in 2022 alone, as well as a netted a $1.79 contribution per dollar spent on PR efforts.