PROBLEM: (Product Line Extension (in a low-awareness market)

SOLUTION: High-Impact Messaging from Real-Life Users

ACR Electronics, Inc. already had a blockbuster product. In fact, its brand of Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) was must-have equipment for boaters, commercial fishermen and pilots worldwide. Following an FCC ruling that opened the technology to new applications, the challenge became how to tap an entirely new market for Personal Locator Beacons (PLB). Overnight, the company’s market expanded exponentially to include hikers, hunters, snowmobilers, mountain climbers… anyone with the potential need to be rescued. What was needed was break-through messaging that created mass awareness among a public totally unaware of PLB technology. Early print ads featured the iconic St. Bernard, the long-acknowledged patron saint of stranded mountaineers. Readers immediately understood that this exciting new product represented the hope of rescue – minus the slobber. A real-life St. Bernard even became a fixture at ACR’s trade show booth.

Of course, nothing tells the story like a story. ACR and Seitz found the perfect one in solo mountain climber Aron Ralston, whose amazing tale of survival included cutting off his own arm while trapped underneath a boulder in a Utah Canyon. Aron made the case like no one else that a Personal Locator Beacon from ACR was “essential equipment.” Savvy media buys allowed us to reach an even wider audience via the Discovery Channel. Hard-hitting television spots focused the attention of some 45 million adults on the amazing tales of three “ACR Survivors” who were rescued from marine, aviation and outdoor environments. A dedicated website tracked broadcast media results, showing marked spikes in viewership, including 25,000 unique visitors within a one-week period. And we were quickly able to establish ACR as the “PLB technology spokesperson” for outdoor journalists.

RESULTS: Sales projections were met from the start, including double and triple-digit growth in PLB sales for the first three years. Today, ACR dominates the market in PLB technology and sales, and its products fill the shelves of prominent national retailers such as West Marine, Bass Pro Shops, REI and Cabelas.