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Promotional T-Shirts Drive New Product Awareness and Campaign Buzz During CA World Conference for Integrated Marketing Communication Firm McMillan

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Objective: To leverage t-shirts in an integrated campaign designed to generate awareness, web traffic and leads

A familiar excitement permeates the air as you prepare for your firm’s highly acclaimed, highly attended annual customer and vendor conference. You’re certain this year’s affair will be better than last, with more than 800 conference sessions, a hustling-bustling exhibition center and social events galore giving staff, partners and customers opportunities to mingle and forge lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. Something else exciting is happening this year as well: your firm, with the promise of a warm, receptive audience assured, is launching a new product. But because your firm’s new thing will be but one among a sea of many, you need a certain marketing savoir-faire to execute successfully. With that in mind, you reach out to an integrated marketing communications firm for the best possibility of success.

This is the true story of CA, formerly known as Computer Associates, and the Canadian-based marketing communications firm McMillan, as they devised a campaign to promote CA’s new business governance solution during CA World, a five-day education and networking extravaganza for CA customers and partners. The idea: to promote the product, drive awareness and generate leads with a newly created fictional character, Allan Peterson, whom, through the clever use of life-sized placards strategically placed near booths, refreshment tables and doors, you could not miss during the conference. Team McMillan also incented attendees to collect a series of five Allan Peterson buttons available at secret, random locations throughout the conference. Attendees, with all five buttons in hand, would visit a special button redemption booth for prizes, including a GPS system for one lucky winner and promotional t-shirts and other cool stuff for others.

Solution: Hip, yet tailored American Apparel® t-shirt in three colors promotes messages and incents attendee contest participation

Enter ePromos. Team McMillan connected with ePromos’ Account Executive Michael Bloomenthal for help in finding the right t-shirts—t-shirts that would “fit” and enhance the CA campaign. The shirts would not only act as prizes; they would also be worn as “uniforms” by CA conference staff to promote the campaign’s message, “Get a True View,” as well as to promote the new CA Web site and communities at www.WhatAllanKnows.com, where enterprise customers gather for governance information, to discuss governance challenges with CA experts and to connect with happy CA customers. After exploring their options, the team chose the hip yet refined, tailored look of American Apparel’s® Jersey T-shirt, a cotton classic made, sweatshop-free, in the U.S.A. They also selected three colors, white, green and teal, each to be imprinted with a different CA message.

Result: T-shirts generate awareness, contest participation and, ultimately, new leads for CA

Team McMillan reports outstanding results: the button contest and t-shirts generated high campaign and product awareness, as well as high Web traffic, while the campaign overall produced significant warm leads for the CA governance product. One team McMillan member, charged with carrying t-shirts from storage to the redemption booth when supplies were low, told us how a group of 20 attendees followed him, asking how they, too, could get CA shirts. After sharing his story with us, this team member exclaimed, “Never underestimate the power of a t-shirt!” We agree!


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