2013 Platinum PR Awards: Event Marketing

Winner: Edelman - Schick Hydro Wakes Up Shave Zombies and Boosts Brand Sales

Charged with significantly boosting sales and awareness of Schick Hydro and its latest product launch (the hydro Power select razor), the Schick Hydro Power Select and the Edelman team turned a simple but intriguing razor innovation into a major sales and awareness driver through inventive, unexpected launch activities, and by waking up “Shave Zombies”—men who mindlessly shave each morning with an inferior razor—at the International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in January 2012.

Every year, thousands of influential media, gatekeepers and technological movers and shakers gather at CES to test and learn about breakthrough products. CES was the place to capitalize on the strategy of positioning Power Select as a technological marvel. The obstacle, of course, was clutter. With 3,319 exhibitors vying for similar attention—and most marketing products costing hundreds of times more than the $9 razor—Schick had to do something bold to get gatekeepers to try it.

The solution would prove unique in the 30-year-old trade show’s history: erect a full-scale barbershop, staff it with celebrity barbers and create a visual spectacle amid the show floor to spark attention, and more importantly, attract target media and influencers to try the product. The idea was so novel, the New York Times referred to Hydro as a brand “drawn to [CES] not in spite of the fact that they will stick out but because of it,” in an exclusive opening day story.

On site, media flocked to the booth, where they were invited to get a shave (many on camera), while social influencers tweeted about the experience and were targeted by onsite community managers.

Schick Hydro Power Select generated a large sales increase commensurate with media coverage in highly influential (but traditionally uninterested) outlets. What’s more, the entire Hydro franchise experienced a sales lift during that time period.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb with Ogilvy Public Relations - Men and Melanoma: The Unexposed Target
  • GolinHarris for Nintendo of America - Super Mario 3D Land
  • HBO - The Weight of the Nation: an unprecedented public/private health awareness campaign
  • Hotels.com - Bedventure
  • Hunter PR - Dole Greenhouse at BlogHer 2012
  • Kanyon - New Year Concert
  • Peppercomm - Tyco’s Day One
  • Princeton HealthCare System - UMCPP Design for Healing Celebrations
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott - SpringHill Suites' Art on the Road: 10 Cities, 10 Explorations

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About Chris Seymour

Steve Goldstein is editorial director for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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