Firefly Mobile was the first company to design and produce a mobile phone from the ground up specifically for tweens, kids ages 8-12. ALL indications pointed to strong competition and an intense race to establish a new category of mobile device, which was anticipated to ignite a new revenue stream for wireless operators. Mobile device manufacturing is dominated by a handful of 500lb gorillas with deep pockets and large PR budgets. To launch a new consumer product in an entirely new category; build brand awareness while educating the market on the product’s unique features and benefits; establish the Firefly brand as the undisputed leader in cell phones for kids in a way that maintains their first-to-market position in the category; drive traffic to sales channels; drive product purchase. We used PR to maximize visibility nationwide and leveraged third-party validation to claim first mover status and establish a new category.
To drive initial and ongoing awareness, we decided to break the news with a credible and broad-reaching outlet and then reach out to al parenting, news & lifestyle magazines, national radio & TV, and regional lifestyle reporters (TV, Radio, & Print). We communicated with moms and kids, as it has been demonstrated that moms are typically responsible for purchasing small tools, clothing and accessories for their children. Develop three sets of messages; one set specific to kids, another for parents and yet one more for retailers/ wireless carriers. We identified key analysts in the industry and conducted desk side briefings to introduce them to the first mobile phone expressly designed for tweens. We then identified our wish-list of national media and targeted USA Today to break the news. We secured an exclusive feature with USA Today. In addition to distributing materials, we let the product speak for itself by sending phones to hundreds of reporters and producers for “test drives.” We leveraged tools to secure media coverage including pro-active short- and long-lead print and broadcast outreach, a press-only event at CTIA, a VNR, and satellite media tours. Secondarily, we reached out to technical reporters/editors covering mobile technology.
Results are astounding: over 1.6 Billion (yes BILLION) media impressions were secured in over 1000 top tier national outlets, including BusinessWeek, CBS’ Early Show, Child Magazine, Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping, Newsweek, Time, NBC Today Show, The New York Times, Parenting, People Magazine, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Working Mother, Reader’s Digest, Forbes and the much coveted “O’ List, the Oprah Magazine’s list of her favorite things. 90% of the coverage has been positive, balanced & communicated the brand’s key messages. Firefly Mobile won 3 top tier awards. PR drove unit sales to twice what was projected. And, the Hollywood Halloween event resulted in coverage on Access Hollywood (3.5 million viewers) and E! Entertainment TV (400,000 viewers).