case study

PR for Fitbit: A Breathtaking Success

HBI Communication Helga Bailey GmbH

Success Story

Speed is of the essence for some of Fitbit’s most avid users – and it was no different for its launch campaign in Germany. HBI devised an innovative and multi-faceted campaign across consumer and fitness media, while creating buzz and a viral effect on blogs and social networks.

The Task

But HBI didn’t stop there. It developed an ambassador program that included the popular Quantified Self movement, helping to drive Fitbit into an even wider market. HBI also organized outreach communications to German pharmaceutical and health insurance firms.

Some of these are now using Fitbit to help customers track health issues. The campaign has reached about 1.5 billion people so far. Fitbit – which is now a household name in Germany – is thrilled with the results, especially as the campaign was run on a limited budget!

The Strategy

Before the launch in March 2012, HBI conducted multiple media briefings and set up Fitbit pages on social networks. It focused on personal contacts and quality advertorials, while providing key journalists and bloggers with a test device. HBI ran dedicated campaigns for each target group, including customers of T-Mobile, Microsoft and the retail chain Sport Scheck.

It organized daily competitions and discussion groups on social media as well as outreach to personal trainers, health insurance and pharmaceutical firms, many of whom now distribute the product. Together with Fitbit, HBI built a support portal to help users with queries. In the ambassador program, members of Quantified Self used Fitbit devices to measure their fitness or sleep patterns and publish the results online.

The Result

HBI’s Fitbit campaign has reached about 1.5 billion people. The agency achieved exceptional results with 867 pieces of print, online and blog coverage, 135 product reviews and 95 face-to-face interviews. The ambassador program is extremely successful and has been extended to cover VIPs and heavy Fitbit users. Fitbit currently has over 4500 Facebook ‘likes’ and nearly 900 Twitter followers.

The campaign is still ongoing and in spring HBI organized and managed the launch of the new Fitbit Flex, with 44 interviews at CeBIT and other trade shows as well as a press tour in Germany and Switzerland. It also runs campaigns like Mr. and Ms. Fitbit for couples as well as a sponsored charity run for women in several cities. Fitbit is thrilled with the results, which have far exceeded its expectations.

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