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Eastman Chemical rolls out campaign

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Eastman Chemical Co. last month debuted an integrated campaign to introduce a new product: Eastman Tritan copolyester. The campaign for the ingredient brand is aimed at product engineers and designers.

"It's been 30 years since we brought a new product to market in this industry," said Karen Parsons, marketing communications manager at Eastman Chemical.

Bader Rutter & Associates, Milwaukee, developed the campaign, which includes print, online, direct and events. The budget was undisclosed.

"The message we're trying to create is that Eastman Tritan is a new generation copolyester. It is truly a new monomer and a new science. It doesn't happen very often in this marketplace," Parsons said.

Tritan has properties including heat resistance, design flexibility and ease of processing that allow Eastman to compete in markets in which it previously had not had a large presence, such as housewares and small appliances.

For example, Tritan's heat resistance properties give molded products enhanced durability in dishwashers, Parsons said.

Work began two years ago

To bring the product to market, Eastman Chemical began working with Bader Rutter about two years ago, during the initial phases of product development.

"It was very critical to bring in the agency early," Parsons said. "We really nailed down the branding and the messaging, then brought in the creative design. The agency had a seat at the table and was involved in each piece of the development."

Curtis Gorrell, VP-account group leader at Bader Rutter, said the agency worked with the product development team at Eastman to begin developing the messaging platform.

"Eastman knew this would be a significant new product," Gorrell said. "We were brought in in 2005 to help define the strategic positioning for the brand, how it fits with Eastman and how could we communicate that brand."

In doing research with the target audience, including product marketers, designers and engineers in manufacturing industries, the agency studied how the product's key attributes of design freedom and flexibility would help them better do their jobs.

"We were really looking at the brand owner and how they will be able to do something new or improved to better differentiate what they will bring to market," Gorrell said. "Tritan brings a practical opportunity to enhance things they already make or help them design new products."

Tritan was introduced last month at K 2007 Dusseldorf, the International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber Worldwide in Germany. The trade show is the leading event for the rubber and plastics industry and attracted about 250,000 attendees.

Transforming creative

The campaign, with the tagline "Transform," features images of thousands of tiny copolyester pellets coming together to form colorful images such as a chameleon and a flower.

"The chameleon represents versatility, and the flower represents creativity," Gorrell said.

The ads are designed to show how Tritan's properties can help manufacturers develop products with more design flexibility and ease of processing.

Print ads ran in the K Show Daily and industry trades such as Modern Plastics Worldwide, Plastics News and Plastics Technology.

Eastman Chemical held a media event during the trade show to introduce the product and had a significant trade booth presence. It also launched an online campaign and used e-mail and direct mail to drive traffic to the booth at the trade show.

"The leads generated at the show seem to be very promising," Parsons said. "Now that we have nailed down the creative look and feel, we will move into new markets in 2008. This is a long-term commitment."

The campaign kicks off initially in North America and Europe. Eastman plans to expand into other global regions next year and in 2009.

As part of the campaign, Eastman launched a new Web site at www.eastman.com/tritan. The site includes an innovation lab, featuring product information and case studies. Users may also request samples of the product.

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