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Case Study: O-I

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O-I and Amorim, the world’s leading glass and cork manufacturers, worked in partnership together over four years on the development of HELIX, an innovation that allows natural cork to be twisted from the bottle without the need for a corkscrew. O-I and Amorim wanted to generate awareness and ensure HELIX was correctly positioned as an innovation driven by consumer demand. The world’s biggest wine exhibition, Vinexpo in Bordeaux, was chosen as the ideal forum for the announcement. But how could they go about making a product launch a global news story, worthy of leading the target countries individual campaigns?

In particular, O-I had defined its success criteria on three key things. Firstly, it wanted to garner BBC coverage that positioned the company as innovative and responding to consumer demand, as a reference article of this nature would validate the company’s marketing activities worldwide. Secondly, it wanted to generate widespread further coverage, online, in print and both within regionals and nationals alike. Thirdly, O-I wanted to ensure that every piece of coverage generated remain true to both HELIX, Amorim and O-I’s positioning in the market, and as such include at least two of its key messages. The key messages were that HELIX was a breakthrough innovation in Wine packaging; that it was a consumer-demand driven innovation; a collaborative supply chain innovation; and that it was a sustainable innovation.



Sermelo and O-I felt that the overall impact of the launch would be optimised if all marketing, digital and media activity was fully integrated, however there needed to be an overarching ‘umbrella’ link in place.  So together, through close collaboration and analysis of the key issues, Sermelo developed a simple, yet compelling campaign theme, ‘An Unexpected Twist.’

Comprehensive messaging was developed that addressed such issues as taste, quality, consumer experience,  convenience, recyclability, pollution and sustainability and these were all unified by the central message that HELIX provides tradition and convenience: ‘The best of both worlds.’

As securing high level media interest on a Monday afternoon, with the G8 in town, was likely to prove difficult, it was decided to pre-brief the announcement under embargo. Sermelo and O-I decided to exclusively target BBC News online, because it has global reach, and The Press Association as the story would be syndicated and ensure high levels of coverage and consistency across numerous outlets.

Sermelo organised interviews with O-I’s European President, as well as hands-on-product filming at both the BBC and The Press Association, to ensure each news organisation had its own proprietary multimedia content.


Facts and Figures

71 pieces of coverage over four days:

  • 92% of coverage including at least two of O-I’s key messages.
  • 26 pieces in national publications including: BBC, The Times, Daily Mirror, Huffington Post, The Express, The Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and regional outlets such as Metro, Belfast Telegraph, Yorkshire Post, The Northern Echo, and Herald Scotland.
  • The BBC’s ‘Why the snobbery over corks?’ article was the second ‘Most Shared’ and fourth ‘Most Read’ story on the day; it was also translated into Spanish for BBC Mundo and for BBC Ukraine.
  • International coverage in North America, India, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain, France, Malta, Ukraine, Germany and the UK.

O-I described the campaign as an ‘exceptional result’, which led to numerous customer requests for information.

Sermelo and O-I’s analysis suggests the story was able to strike the perfect balance between the rational and the emotional: so much so that a B2B product launch even became the subject of The Times Leader, a wonderful lasting capture on this hugely successful media relations campaign.

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