2011 Platinum PR Awards: Product Launch

Winner: Waggener Edstrom Worldwide – Year of IE9: Launching a More Beautiful Web

Tasked with turning Internet Explorer (IE) critics into advocates, Waggener Edstrom developed a focused yearlong campaign that engaged key influencers and conveyed a single, consistent message—“Beauty of the Web.” Nine “Platform Previews” were scheduled between March 2010 and 2011 to demonstrate the redesigned IE. At these events, influencers were invited to meet with the individuals who built the product and Microsoft’s third-party partners, lending an air of credibility to the browser.

Once the beta was launched in the fall of 2010, the concept of “Beauty of the Web” was introduced, positioning Microsoft itself as an industry thought leader by challenging audiences to view the Web with new eyes. The company partnered up with 70 Web sites to display a new aesthetic in browser design coupled with increased hardware performance.  Was the effort to keep influencers involved successful in converting opinion of IE? The evidence is in the result: 2.36 million downloads of IE9 in the first 24 hours, five times the rate of IE8. —SP

Fast Fact: The launch generated 2.285 million tweets with a 16% increase in positive posts from two days before the launch to two days after the launch.

Honorable Mentions:

Cone Inc. – Purina ONE beyOnd “1 Million in ONE Day”: The social media and experiential campaign that also used celebrity spokespeople, planned in just three weeks by Cone, generated over 63 million media impressions.

The Hershey Company – Pieces Candy Launch Event: JSH&A developed a program in which customers could mail in wrappers of their favorite Hershey products in exchange for the Pieces product. Sweet result: In the first four days, 25,000 people signed up online to exchange wrappers for a free bag.

Inner Circle Labs – Zite Gets Personal: Inner Circle used the time-tested strategy of offering SXSW attendees a free cocktail (in Zite-branded tumblers, no less) for each download of the Zite personalized magazine app. Positive coverage included top tier media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine.

RED PR – CND Shellac Launch: Experiential marketing and pre-launch promotions to salon pros and media influencers helped deplete the nail polish product’s one-year global supply in just six weeks.

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