TECH CAMPAIGN OF YEAR
College Textbook Case Study:
Public Relations: Strategies & Tactics
Chapter 4, 10th Edition
Photo credit: Chase Jarvis
SanDisk Extreme Pro Flash Memory Cards
Industry-leading Combination of Storage Capacity and Professional-Grade Performance
Develop and manage a global PR launch and marketing campaign to drive awareness,
consumer engagement and sales of SanDisk's Extreme Pro series of compact flash cards.
SanDisk, the global leader in flash memory cards, sells its cards via more than 240,000 retail store fronts worldwide. The launch of the the company's SanDisk Extreme Pro card, a professional-grade flash memory card for owners of high-end DSLR cameras, was designed to “flex” SanDisk innovation as a competitive differentiator. It was viewed as a tier-one global launch to defend the SanDisk brand against competitors – in particular Lexar, which had begun to steal away market share with its own professional line of cards.
A family of flash memory cards for high-end DSLR cameras and high-resolution camcorders
Designed for professional videographers and photographers
Optimized for 4K video capture
Transfer speeds of up to 160MB/s
Shot speeds up to 150MB/s
VPG-65 for sustained video recording speeds of 65MB/s
Capacities up to 256GB for storing hours of video
PLANNING AND RESEARCH
The SanDisk global launch marketing team met on a regular basis to align on campaign goals/objectives and finalize regional strategies and tactics. Contrary to past SanDisk product launches, the team decided to time the SanDisk Extreme Pro global launch announcement to when the new product line first became available around the world to drive direct sales of product.
The team assembled an unpaid "SanDisk Extreme Team" of seven professional photographers specializing in fashion, sports, nature/outdoor, and weddings. The categories were selected because speed and reliability are vital to them and they are all market sweet-spots for enthusiasts and pros.
Insight: Professional photographers have a true “need for speed” to capture (and to never miss) winning action shots, a “need for durability and reliability” to protect their creative work and pro livelihoods, and an increasing “need for storage capacity” to keep up with ever-growing sizes of RAW digital images and HD video.
Messaging was planned to go out through microsites on SanDisk.com, traditional media relations, blogger outreach, and via influencer and SanDisk social media channels. The photographers' images and stories were designed to engage audiences and illustrate product uses. Extreme Team interviews provided and reinforced content messaging points.
MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY
The SanDisk Extreme Team was created to communicate why SanDisk-branded, professional-grade flash memory cards mattered to the pros for capturing and preserving their life’s work and livelihoods. Never miss the shot with SanDisk.
To emphasize that SanDisk is the pro’s “card of choice,” the team recommended development of the SanDisk Extreme Team. The strategy’s intent was to up-level communications about product features, beyond the technical “speeds and feeds." This international group of talented photographers was leveraged to create pre-launch, launch and post-launch buzz as well as product launch messaging and materials – including SanDisk TV videos, profile stories and contests (shared on SanDisk/Extreme Team and influencer channels) to educate and engage pro/enthusiast consumers, global retail channel partners, press, analysts and other influencers.
Extreme Team Launch Photographers
SANDISK EXTREME TEAM FACEBOOK PAGE
The global launch team built the SanDisk Extreme Team pages on Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, and Twitter, focusing on professional and photo enthusiasts. The Facebook page was the core "social engagement" site for the campaign. It was a place for professional and aspiring photographers from around the world to network, share their work, get industry insight and keep tabs on SanDisk’s Extreme Team. It continues to be a highly active, engaged community with more than 30,000 fans.
SANDISK TV: MEET THE EXTREME TEAM
For the global launch and campaign, the team created SanDisk TV. The team scripted and shot Q&A videos as mini documentaries on location with SanDisk Extreme Team members to introduce them to the world. Photographer Marc Silber was hired to host "Marc Silber Presents: Tips from the Masters of Photography," a show where professional photographers shared tips and tricks. All videos were posted on the SanDisk Extreme Team microsite and 13 SanDisk-branded video sites including YouTube, Vimeo and MetaCafe, and SanDisk social channels to help educate retailers, media, influencers and consumers.
You can view sample SanDisk TV videos, below.
Pre-Launch Buzz: About six months prior to launch, members of both the PR team and SanDisk Extreme Team began using Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, Twitter, and Delicious to reach pro and enthusiast audiences with information, including the videos, photos, and tips. Jarvis' blog drew more than 40,000 views a day while he was in New Zealand with continued views/buzz online afterwards.
Coverage: In three weeks, the team had reached more than 112 million impressions from more than 750 on-message original news articles, blog posts and video segments in top-tier outlets like The New York Times, The Inquirer, WIRED, CNET, PCWorld, TechCrunch and Gizmodo. In addition, it created a significant amount of online buzz, video views, website traffic and initial sales.
Online Engagement: Within two weeks, SanDisk sold 43 Extreme Pro cards on SanDisk.com (U.S. $25,000), demonstrating the campaign's early impact on sales. SanDisk.com had a 59% lift traffic on the day of global launch and more than 2,800 SanDisk Extreme Team page views. The Extreme Team Facebook page grew to 2,270 fans and the 13 branded video channels had thousands of views.
SanDisk Extreme Pro
GLOBAL LAUNCH RESULTS
"The SanDisk Extreme Team global launch and ongoing campaign has been the most effective brand marketing initiative in the history of the company." - Eli Harari, CEO and founder of SanDisk.
pre-launch teaser views:
impressions from 750+ articles or blog posts
Extreme Pro sales in the first 2 weeks
views in 72 hours
56 percent increase in SanDisk website traffic