After years of leaning on print, TV and radio ads to push prospects to camera retailers, Lorri Avery, Marketing Communications Manager, Pentax USA Inc., wanted to bring her brand into the interactive age. She also wanted to test an online marketing tactic because corporate execs hadn’t given the green light to fully dip into Web waters.
“We simply had to create more interest and enthusiasm,” Avery says. “We wanted to improve both the marketing and sales for our new products as they became available right out of the gate.”
Although Pentax has sold older models direct online, the manufacturer has always given its retail partners first dibs on new products for most of their first year of availability. So, it was critical for Avery and her team to hone in on a high-performing online lead-generation campaign to get consumers to actually click on the “Find A Retailer” button when the newest model of their Pentax K series debuted.
“Bringing people to the dealers was extremely important to us,” she says. “We needed a sophisticated way to get the job done.”
The first 30 days of a new product launch also have been historically huge for Pentax in relation to the rest of the first year. CAMPAIGN
Avery and her team studied different interactive option before deciding that a video-based landing page that led into a virtual product tour could prove to be a home run -- especially with a demonstration that qualified landing page visitors to win an SUV.
Here’s how they deployed the initiative:
-> Step #1. Create landing page
Designing the video landing page came first. Avery and her team wanted a simple but evocative layout that used an image of the new camera in the upper left corner. Underneath it appeared the copy for the prize giveaway: “Test Drive A Pentax. Demo a PENTAX K Series camera and be eligible to win a Toyota FJ Cruiser.”
Below the text was an image of car key with a “START HERE” copy button to get people clicking to watch the video. To the right of the camera was a large image of the compact SUV. “We wanted to keep it simple and accent the whole ‘Start your engine’ theme,” Avery says.
The video explained the major features of the camera in the virtual product-tour style, while maintaining the look and feel of the brand (see creative samples below). The video -- under 4 minutes -- was divided into 12 content sections.
To the right of the video-start button appeared the “Find A Retailer” button. This let viewers take the next step in the buying process.
-> Step #2. Targeted banners
To push traffic to the landing page, Avery and her team ran banner ads on a targeted selection of consumer digital photography-review sites. They distributed the ads themselves rather than using a network to save money.
The banner ads ran on the following sites. Each had a past advertising relationship with Pentax:
They used two different types of banner sizes for the effort:
o 728-by-90 pixels
o 160-by-200 pixels
“We were lucky to have a history of testing banner sizes and knew what would likely work in this campaign,” Avery says.
-> Step #3. Build interest in contest
Avery and her team also incentivized the video for the new camera with an offline push that included point-of-purchase, full-color countertop cards (about half the size of a postcard). These cards were sent to each of their retail partners to hand out to customers. The cards directed consumers to visit the landing page, watch the video and register to win the SUV.
To further incentivize the offline effort, they allowed partnered store reps to enter to win a separate Toyota FJ Cruiser and other prizes when they sold a camera. Avery and her team used a special Web page for them to enter the product serial numbers for the units that were sold. It was designed similarly to the landing page with the only key difference being the copy addressing the sales reps.
The video landing page buoyed by the prize giveaway worked wonders. In the first 30 days of the product launch, Avery and her team doubled their prospects for their eretail partners when compared to the average of past launches. It easily brought in one of their best performances in terms of raw revenue.
“We didn’t have any cameras left over. We sold out. Comparatively, let’s just say that the prior product launch did not do as well. Simply, this campaign created more enthusiasm than what we had seen before.”
Here is a breakdown of the stats:
- 14,815 unique viewers watched the video in the first month alone.
- Viewers watched 71.2% of the clip on average.
- 87% of the video viewers registered for the contest.
“The banners worked. They seemed to drive people to the video, and I certainly think adding the prize of the Cruiser helped convince more people to take a look.”
Avery says video-based, virtual tour-style landing pages will now be part of regular lead-gen campaigns.
Four other lessons learned:
Lesson #1. Avery had used banner networks in the past, but she found out that doing it themselves was more cost-effective for focused campaigns.
Lesson #2. They saw better results with ads that were placed within the content rather than just running at the top of the Web pages.
Lesson #3. Each of the ads performed about the same despite their drastically different sizes.
Lesson #4. For interactive campaigns for manufacturers, marketers should keep everything as simple as possible. “Things need to be easy for the consumer, for the dealer and for the store rep in order to maximize success. You don’t want them to have to do too much thinking.”Useful links related to this article
Creative samples from Pentax’s product launch:
SellPoint Inc. - video product virtual tour vendor who helped run the campaign:
Tour Anything - firm that aided in putting the video together:
Pentax USA Inc: