Giving consumers the chance to experience products first-hand is what the Consumer Electronics Show is all about. But with this year’s economic problems big and small brands alike had to get scrappy—often moving the entire show floor experience off-site.
To cultivate interest in its water and fire-safe external hard drives in the weeks leading up to this year’s CES in Las Vegas technology brand ioSafe reached out to the press and analysts with an attention-getting email invitation that started: “The CES people for some strange reason denied our request to have a 1500-degree fireball and 10 000 gallons of water in the hotel lobby. They muttered something about lawyers liability blah blah blah. So… Plan B.”
For two days during CES ioSafe whisked away reporters and key attendees in stretch limos to a rented house a few blocks from the Strip and then proceeded to toss one of its drives in the pool torch it in a custom backyard barbeque and then pop the inner motherboard back into a drive to show that the photos taken in the limo ride over still survived.
“For a small company CES is a big expense ” ioSafe’s ceo Robb Moore told Buzz. By going guerilla and eschewing the show floor the brand whittled down its investment from about $50 000 to $5 000 and saved even more costs by housing staff in the rental house used for the demo. Plus the off-the-floor approach gave staffers rare one-on-one time during the limo ride with analysts reporters and potential partners.
“For the amount of coverage and interest that can be generated and the cost this makes the experience better for us ” said Moore. The brand got even more bang for its buck by posting its eyebrow-singeing demo on YouTube.