iRobot: A "Genius" Storytelling Approach
GENIUS HOME INTELLIGENCE
Selling iRobot's big brain upgrade in the middle of a pandemic
For iRobot, product launches are amongst each year’s biggest communications moments. In 2020, the company was ready to move forward with its latest launch — not a shiny new Roomba robot vacuum or Braava robot mop, but rather a new software platform: iRobot Genius Home Intelligence. Not only was it one of the most significant launches in iRobot’s 30-year history, but it was also among the most complex. WE and iRobot needed the Genius launch to accomplish three things:
- Tell iRobot's story globally through its first worldwide launch, with WE's help in six international markets (China, France, Germany, the U.K., U.S., and Spain).
- Connect with media in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, without the face-to-face launch tactics used in the past.
- Drive customer awareness of an intangible yet essential new offering — a digital platform designed to make every connected robot smarter.
Using our hub-and-spoke global team structure, WE rolled out a truly global strategic approach flexible enough to account for the varying needs and perspectives of media and influencers across all markets. The story: iRobot Genius is more than a few new features; it’s a pivot in the way customers think of and interact with their products. It’s a shift from “autonomous vacuum” to “human-robot collaboration.”
Media verticals (business, tech, consumer lifestyle) in each market received a bespoke story to suit respective audiences. For top-tier media, WE offered advance access to key iRobot executives to dig deeper on the news’ impact. The silver lining of our WFH world? No in-person events and no travel time meant that in some countries, the team was able to reach beyond their key media markets (San Francisco and New York, in the U.S.) and schedule executive facetime with influencers in various locations throughout all six markets. Using this approach, WE and iRobot secured 75 interviews and generated deeper media coverage at time of launch, including stories that detailed long-term business impact, consumer value and new technologies that could enable a smarter home.
- 184 unique placements globally, including more than 50 in the U.S. within 24 hours of launch
- 75 executive global interviews secured ahead of launch
- Placements included Protocol (U.S.), Fast Company (U.S.), Frandroid (France), Jiemian (China) and El Mundo (Spain).
- 100% stories at launch included visuals
- 73% U.S. media briefed in advance covered at launch
- 6 top-tier U.S. newsletters
- 190+ U.S. broadcast segments
- 50+ unique placements in Spain
- 300+ syndicated stories in China
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