Product or Service Launch

Introducing vibrators to Walmart comes with special challenges

Product line perceived as taboo needed to be accepted on store shelves.

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Consumer products company Clio was about to disrupt Walmart with a partnership to sell its plusOne vibrators in stores across the country. To complicate matters, Clio had no experience in the sexual wellness space, though its mission was to make sexual wellness as approachable and mainstream as its other personal care products. Working with PR agency Hotwire, Clio established metrics around building awareness and trust while driving sales. The campaign has won first place in the “Product or Service Launch” category of the PR Daily Awards.

Research was crucial to positioning the product effectively. Hotwire dove into women’s attitudes, an analysis of search engine optimization trends (revealing that the word “vibrators” is searched 600% more often than “sexual wellness”), and how the media were talking to consumers about the topic.

Ultimately, the team determined that nobody yet owned the sexual wellness space. Targeting millennial women, the strategy centered on providing online research about the brand and its products, delivered through social sharing, search engines and reviews with positive messaging to empower women to own their own sexual wellness.

The team worked with a popular sex-positive commentator to develop an in-depth feature including interviews and research, which appeared in Vox. A New York Times feature with the CEO of plusOne was also secured, along with coverage in outlets like Cosmopolitan.

A social media campaign also contributed to the campaign’s success, as did influencer engagement. The team also developed themed campaign components, such as a Valentine’s Day competition titled, “Repair a Broken Heart with Some Self-Love,” which received more than 10,000 competition entries. The campaign contributed to plusOne grabbing 26% of the sexual massager market in just seven months.

Congratulations to Clio and Hotwire.

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