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Boral Roofing
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Brand building/PR + Corporate Comms. Strategy
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The nation’s largest manufacturer of sustainable concrete and clay tile roofing had just developed a revolutionary, first-of-its-kind durable tile for roofs.

A new kind of PR campaign for a new kind of development

  • Media relations
  • Social media
  • Digital content strategy
  • Industry relations
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Event creation and planning
  • Crisis communications

While an undeniable game changer, the new roofing tile had been developed by talented scientists and its original name lacked the branding and intrigue needed to capture the attention of the building industry and American homeowners. This was the first challenge in a campaign that would essentially need to engage both audiences to be truly successful.

  • Establish and build the reputation of this new tile technology
  • Communicate the science behind how the roof tile works
  • Explain why the smog prevention investment is worth the expense to the building industry and consumers alike
  • Enhance and build a new brand

New Ground kicked off the campaign by giving the product a catchy name that would garner significant interest and attention. The moniker “Boral Smog-Eating Tile” was born. We followed this up by teaching the scientists how to liven up the language surrounding their new technology, including explanations of how the tile worked.

Next, we set the campaign stage with current research from both the World Health Organization and American Lung Association directly linking air pollution to serious and often life-threatening diseases including cancers, asthma, stroke, and heart disease (among others). We then presented the Smog-Eating Tile as one easily-accessible solution to reduce smog and the occurrence of the diseases associated with it. To put this in layman’s terms, we created an analogy that 2,000 square feet of the tiles could destroy the same amount of smog as a car produces from being driven 10,800 miles. To illustrate this we used a simple infographic to visually explain the positive impact that each homeowner with the tile could make on the environment and human health.

We also leveraged strategic partnership opportunities to broaden our audience reach and show the country how easily the tile could integrate onto an average home and still make a huge impact. One of these notable partnerships was with KB Home, the recognized national builder, who integrated the tile onto a high-profile sustainable home model to educate homebuyers, municipalities, and related industries on how current technologies were innovating homes and positively helping the environment while being affordable to most.

A second partnership with Green Builder Media and Disney featured the Smog-Eating Tile on an educational exhibit at Disney Epcot. Over the course of the two-year exhibit, an estimated 611,200 people viewed the tile on the home, garnering knowledge about the sustainable home solutions available today and the positive earth impacts they impart.

In its totality, the campaign targeted leading national publications, major market newspapers, building industry trades, architecture and roofing outlets, broadcast stations, and programs and news syndicates. Additionally, the program maximized exposure of the revolutionary product at leading national builder events, leveraging the power of large attendance pools and robust media interview opportunities onsite.

  • Brand development
  • Press releases
  • Leveraged strategic partnerships with KB Home, Green Builder Media, and Disney
  • Customized and targeted regional and national pitches
  • Stories published in national publications
  • Bylined articles

Media, industry, and consumer interest in the new name “Boral Smog-Eating Tile” was phenomenal. A buzz surrounding the name ensued. The campaign results reflected this enthusiasm with wide reaching national coverage, builder alliances and leads, product adoption, Smog-Eating Tile and air pollution policy discussions at Harvard, and increased interest from environmental advocacy groups.

Because of the prestige of each of the strategic partnerships as well as the expanded audiences reached through them, the profile of Smog-Eating Tile was tremendously elevated among both industry and consumers.

In short, Smog-Eating Tile was a hit that beat a number of related products to market and whose “Smog-Eating” name, like “Kleenex” in its own industry, was so successfully promoted that it’s now widely used to describe all of them.

  • Major news placements included articles in consumer news outlets including: Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, Orange County Register, KCAL-TV Channel 9 Los Angeles, KCBS-TV Channel 5 Los Angeles, WTVT-TV Channel 13 Tampa Bay’s Good Day Morning Show, Consumer Reports, and Popular Mechanics, etc.

  • The team reached industry audiences by securing Smog-Eating Tile articles in building, architecture, roofing, and sustainability publications including: Builder Magazine, Builder and Developer, BUILDERNews, Commercial Building Products, ecohome, Multi-Housing News, Architectural Record, Architectural West, ArchiType, The Planning Report, Greenbuilder, Building Products, AvidBuilder, Sustainable Chicago, Professional Roofing, Roofing Contractor, and Western Roofing, among many others.

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