March Madness creates viral technology PR

Corporate Communications
March Madness creates viral technology PR 24.04.13

PopSci exploits timely corporate PR to increase product appeal These days, technology PR is constant. Whether it’s Google, Apple, Samsung or Microsoft, consumers are bombarded with what’s new and what’s next. Everyone carries a supercomputer in their pocket. Most of us don’t really know how they work, but we sure love to hear about what they can do. Corporate PR firms are accustomed to introducing complex products to a results-driven consumer market. How a gadget works is generally a less popular topic. But Popular Science presents a different message for its potential readers. Even what’s going on at the fringes of tech development is cool. The question PopSci’s corporate PR Agency has to answer is: “how can we capture the attention of potential readers who may not look us up on their own?”

March Madness, college basketball’s winner-take-all single-elimination tournament, has everyone making brackets. TV sites encourage fans to vote for their favorites in a prime time showdown. Beverage distributors have beer brackets. Lawnmowers, movies, cartoons and comic books – nearly every brand is competing in a bracket.

On March 21, 2013, the day the March Madness basketball tourney kicked off, PopSci got in on the action. Their “Robots vs. Drones” bracket proudly offered this disclaimer: Welcome to the Popular Science March Madness bracket! We don’t know much about sports, but we felt left out watching our friends have all the fun. So we decided to build our own bracket out of something we do know a bit about: robots and drones. The key public relations point here is that this bracket is designed to be social. It encourages shared experience, and it comes in a format ‘bot fans can share with their less tech savvy friends.

PopSci invites crossover appeal using a familiar format that appeals to a much wider audience and compelling robots like big dog, robo roach, predator and raven.

Imagine entire floors in NYC or in Silicon Valley or on the campus at MIT pouring over the Bot Bracket, debating it over lunch or in an elevator, and catching the attention of the guys who work in accounting or sales. Suddenly guys who would never think to click over to are pouring over robot brackets debating the merits of Firebee versus Global Hawk.

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