Rocket Comms Australia part of international PR team that took the world by storm with launch of BB-8

Announcement posted by Rocket Communications

From PR Week: A global PR team of nine agencies worked together for months on the launch of Star Wars’ new droid created by connected toy company Sphero, with Lola Red manning the ship in the US.  

Although the BB-8 app-enabled droid launched on September 4 – billed as "Force Friday" – the "PR ball started rolling in April at Star Wars Celebration in [Anaheim, California]," said Becca Bijoch, senior publicist at Lola Red and lead on the Sphero account.

At the April event, a robot named BB-8, who is a new character in the upcoming Episode VII: The Force Awakens film, rolled on stage, featuring Sphero technology.

Lola Red, and its global PR team, had to keep a tight lid on the BB-8 news, while Sphero’s internal PR team worked with Disney and Star Wars creator Lucasfilm to respond to media requests without giving too much away, said Bijoch.  

In addition to Lola Red in the US, the PR team includes: Kaizo (UK); Swerve PR (Canada); Bullboat Spain (Spain); Moonlight Wave (Japan); Rocket Comms (Australia); markengold PR (Netherlands); and InVISIBLE Image (France).

On launch day, the BB-8 droid took media by storm, garnering 20 million impressions in the US, with coverage from outlets such as CNN Money, Mashable, Time, The Verge, and Vanity Fair. As of September 9, the media impression count in the US went above 40.2 million, according to Lola Red.

Bijoch said the first strategy for the firm was to sit down with media one-on-one in New York and San Francisco to show off the product and talk through its capabilities ahead of the launch. Some outlets used the desk side chat as an opportunity to take photos or video to use once the embargo lifted.

The nine-agency team also attended a global PR summit in London in July to talk about the messaging and overall goals of the campaign, added Bijoch.

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