Opus Puts in Leg Work for No Nonsense Brand

Corporations rarely slice and dice advertising budgets to build grassroots regional integrated communications campaigns. But Kayser-Roth Corporation this year plans to spend its advertising dollars on a mobile marketing campaign, which is pure PR for Kayser-Roth's No Nonsense leg wear brand. The No Nonsense line is more than 25 years old, but is enjoying a new kind of rapport with retailers like CVS drug stores, Kroger [KR] supermarkets and customers who are getting the ultimate in hands-on promotion. At the No Nonsense traveling spa, women can get a massage by a licensed therapist, enjoy a healthy drink, pick up No Nonsense product samples and coupons, and earn a chance to win a spa vacation at the posh The Peaks Resort & Spa in Telluride, Colo. About 2,000 women have been pampered at the spa since it launched in Philadelphia this spring - during a stretch that ushers in both Mother's Day and Secretaries' Day. It will visit a total of five major cities, maybe more, as retailer response has been good. The campaign also has sparked interest from a wide span of media, including Brandweek, Discount Merchandiser, Mode and The Wall Street Journal, which have all captured a message that's almost been spoon fed: the "one-on-one" interaction with consumers. Regional hooks have included an article in Triad Business News, located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina where Kayser Roth also is headquartered. Television coverage included a story on WBNS 10TV (CBS) when the spa rolled into Columbus, Ohio. Pressing the Flesh Increased sales are not Kayser-Roth's main goal. Instead, it's aiming to court retailers and customers on the regional level to bolster its brand. And for No Nonsense, which is as easily associated with the last-minute, kitschy products from 24-hour convenience stores as it is with apparel - this is a more upscale campaign. "In regard to past marketing campaigns of Kayser-Roth, the company has not been involved in an aggressive advertising/marketing effort," says Jennifer Ebert, director of PR Opus Event Marketing, Richmond, Va., which is overseeing the campaign. "...The goal of this program is to build relationships - with consumer and retail audiences - which ultimately build loyalty. " However, the "Take a Break" tour represents one of the most arduous forms of PR: the art of wait and see. To maximize results, the company must track long-term results to discover whether the effort boosted sales. Although the company won't reveal the budget of the campaign or whether it's had seen sales increases, it says retailers seem pleased with the concept so far and that's a part of the initial pay off. One employee at a Kroger store in Columbus, Ohio, says she enjoyed a massage when the spa was on-site. This is the first supplier that has conducted such a campaign in the year she's been stocking shelves, the employee says. Each store manager where the spa makes an appearance receives a follow-up questionnaire to help the company measure its brand effect. The surveys have generated a 40 percent response rate and retailers have ranked the promotion as "excellent" and have said it's generally increased traffic, says Ebert. Opus plans to use the launch- pad to benchmark brand perception with regional managers. "When we entered into this project, our objectives were to reinforce our messages in the selected cities, but we also wanted to build goodwill with consumers and drive sales," says Heather Craig, brand manager for No Nonsense. The Costs of Mobile Marketing Mobile marketing can be a costly undertaking depending on the complexity of the project. Mobile units can range in price from $100,000 to several million dollars, says Timothy Flavin, director of sales and marketing for Spevco, which has also constructed mobile marketing units for Winston cigarettes. Flavin wouldn't reveal what Kayser-Roth pays to use the mobile spa. Our research indicates that an effort like this could easily run a company thousands of dollars each month. The mobile spa, which is transported in a large van, comes to life as a 27-foot staging area where women are pampered and receive product samples. About 25 stores are selected in each city. It's scheduled to make stops throughout the nation this year, with Boston and Charlotte, N.C., targeted as the next venues in August and September, respectively. To get local coverage, ads about the promotion are placed with local media outlets when the mobile spa arrives and press releases are fed to PR Newswire. (Heather Craig, Kayser-Roth, 336/852-2030; Jennifer Ebert, Opus, 804/644-2200; Timothy Flavin, Spevco, 336/924-8100) Opus Event Marketing Headquarters: Richmond, Va.Number of Employees: 20Founded: 1990 Projects: US Airways Vacations - product launch to travel industry; Harley-Davidson - creative merchandising program for 95th anniversary; Radio City Music Hill - creative consulting for Super Bowl.

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