OfficeMax ‘Blogcasts’ New Product Launch

OfficeMax on Tuesday will introduce a new product line by Peter Walsh, a professional organizer who’s also well-known from TLC’s show Clean Sweep. But instead of tackling traditional media, the office supplies retailer decided to create buzz around the product launch via a live “blogcast” with Walsh himself.

The product line, called [In]Place System, includes document wallets and file folders, portable file totes and rolling case files, and color-coded hanging files and expanding files that can be used alone or together as an organizational system. The products are set to hit stores in mid-April.

“What we wanted to do is try to find innovative ways to help launch the product and decided to reach out to bloggers and offer them a sneak peek,” said Bill Bonner, senior director of external relations at OfficeMax. “We’ve used Web pages, Facebook and Twitter to some extent with previous campaigns, but this was the first time that we’ve done a blogger focused pre-release.”

OfficeMax invited more than 200 women’s interest and organizational bloggers to attend the “Work Life Organized Blogcast” on April 2. The 40-minute live video featured Walsh and OfficeMax’s vp of marketing Julie Krueger. The two discussed organizational tips and strategies, introducing [In]Place System products as a solution to workplace clutter. The bloggers also received product samples in advance of the blogcast to follow along as Walsh demonstrated his new line, said Bonner.

The turnout was better than expected, resulting in 65 blog posts, 1,020 Tweets and two YouTube videos, among other posts in the blogosphere. In total, 257 bloggers participated, per OfficeMax. “The participation and success is something that created a passionate experience,” Bonner said.

OfficeMax will not support the launch with broadcast spots, but will instead focus more on marketing the [In]Place System line via its typical channels, such as in-store displays. The company will also create a microsite for the products, and will carry on using social media as a marketing outlet. Bonner added: “We want to keep pushing the envelope and continue to do things like that in future campaigns.”