Our initial PR project for DAME was to raise awareness of their Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for their new product D, the world’s first re-usable tampon applicator. When Essence PR was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring DAME reach their crowdfunding target of £20k in just 30 days, we knew we were in for a challenge.
Aside from a single prototype, D was still just an idea. With a complete absence of samples to share with media and influencers, our strategy instead was to start a hypothetical conversation, so we began to ask the world the question, ‘why throw away billions of pieces of plastic, when you can keep just one?’ We sent this question to journalists, with a GIF file of the prototype in action, so people could understand how D worked. The discussion that followed compelled consumers from over 50 countries to pledge £117k (500% over the target) and help make D a reality.
HOW DID WE DO IT?
Our strategy was to secure early coverage in publications so influential they’d create an exponential ripple effect throughout the world media. Online and national publications were therefore our focus.
On the eve of DAME’s Kickstarter campaign launch, Essence PR arranged a telephone interview between DAME’s founders and Fast Company, having pitched DAME as a start-up looking to disrupt the tampon industry by provide a simple solution to one of the world’s biggest environmental problems: plastic waste. The full interview was published on Fast Company on the first day of DAME’s Kickstarter campaign. This prompted a media snowball as news editors, who routinely look to Fast Company for the latest news stories, began to cover DAME and their Kickstarter campaign on outlets such as Brit + Co, Bustle, Hello Giggles and Jezebel.
By day four, the conversation reached fever pitch, with @DAMEforGood trending globally on Twitter. Within a further 12 hours, DAME had surpassed their crowdfunding target of £20k, despite having a further 26 days left of the campaign to go.
Soon, ‘woke’ online titles this side of the pond, such as Stylist, Refinery29 and Byrdie, were covering the story. Essence PR offered exclusive expert commentary for these titles from DAME founder Celia Pool, realising her appeal as a female founder would resonate most effectively with these titles and their readers. Subsequent coverage in VOGUE and GLAMOUR was also secured, laying the groundwork for ensuing consumer interest.
Essence PR pitched the beauty of D’s design to Dezeen, the world’s most influential design magazine, who included the campaign in a feature on ‘10 of the most forward-thinking designs created for women’. D was later entered in to the Dezeen Design Awards 2018, citing this coverage, and was awarded the Leisure Design of the Year Award for its ‘admirable effort to reduce disposable plastic’. And there were still no samples of D.
We pitched the message of sustainability, and the urgent need to tackle the plastic waste created by the period product industry, to current affairs and progressive business resources, securing coverage on BBC online, HuffPost, The Telegraph and the Evening Standard. Additionally, Essence PR wrote an opinion piece on behalf of DAME Co-founder Celia Pool for publication on i News, as a further call to action for those looking to leave no stone un-turned in the war against plastic waste.
Essence PR’s project for DAME ran for 8 weeks from February – March 2018, but strategic placement into influential, credible titles meant coverage continued to appear for the rest of the year.
Since the campaign, period brand DAME has gained worldwide media attention, trended globally on Twitter, over-crowdfunded their launch by 500%, won a Dezeen Award for their ‘admirable effort to reduce disposable plastic’, and were approached by nearly every major supermarket and pharmacy in the UK.