Here at Publicis Seattle, we play a unique role in the Publicis network – that of a creative agency in a city famous for innovation (and rain). Yet despite Seattle’s reputation for creativity, many clients don’t think of Seattle when looking for an agency. So we needed an innovative PR idea that would get not only the attention of folks in Seattle, but folks all over the world.
So to celebrate both our innovative culture (and April Fools Day), we created a fictitious media offering called Brand Drops™ - the world’s first branded aromatic rain. It was absurd, yet somehow believable in an industry obsessed with “new media.” So we treated it as if it were real.
We created a full identity for Brand Drops – logo, web site, and a brand film showing the power of scented raindrops. Then we launched it into the world.
First, we seeded the company online with a social media campaign teasing the power of scent-based marketing, all driving to brand-drops.com. Our site featured an anthemic brand film about the power scented rain. The film also touched on the special science behind scented raindrops, as well as newfound links between smell and purchasing behavior. We even had a had a fake CEO with a LinkedIn profile.
We then turned to social media, tweeting directly at brands like Starbucks and McDonalds, offering to make the rain smell like their products. We had Twitter exchanges with Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore, Cheetos, Calvin Klein, and other well-known brands. Then we hit the press via our PR partner who got Brand Drops (and our agency) coverage on Mashable, The New York Times, AdAge, Adweek, The Bangkok News, CNN and more.
Some saw Brand Drops as the future of advertising. Others saw it as a hilarious prank. But we saw it for what it was: a share-worthy idea that got our agency over $200,000 in earned media value – for free – in less than one week.
Outcomes / Stats
Brand film got 60 views per hour (one per minute) every day of the entire week on our brand channels.
Widespread press coverage, including AdAge, Adweek, The New York Times, The Bangkok News, Russian TV, CNN and Mashable, where we were one of the top trending stories.
Significant increase in social conversation about agency on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Over 180 million media impressions worldwide in one week.