S5 Product Launch
The Sorin Group, manufacturers of cardiac surgery equipment, entrusted the launch of the company’s newest heart-lung machine to Armada Medical Marketing.
The flagship of their cardiopulmonary bypass product line, the S5 is the essential driver of overall product sales, including a host of peripherals, add-on equipment and disposables. Because of its importance to the company, the marketing campaign to launch the S5 in North America would have to be strong, attention-getting and memorable, while communicating complex product benefits to a very small and elusive group of decision-makers.
Armada began by conducting a strategic positioning The Sorin Group could not announce the S5’s release in advance of the actual product launch because it would 1) adversely affect sales of the S5’s predecessor; and 2) the S5 was still pending 510(k) market clearance. As a result, Armada needed to find a way to build anticipation without giving away important product information or features. It was decided to launch the new product at the conference entitled Mechanisms of Perfusion XXI in early May, 2006.
As the Armada creative team began to research the S5’s new and unmatched feature set, we began to realize the new heart-lung machine was effectively “leapfrogging” the competition. As a result, the campaign’s primary icon became an adorable South American tree frog to demonstrate the “leapfrogging” nature of the product. All communications were integrated with the frog theme to reinforce the primary message.
The launch of S5 was the most successful HLM product launch in the company’s history. In just eight weeks after the launch, the S5 had been adopted by prestigious hospitals such as Mass General, Mayo Clinic and Atlanta Children’s Hospital, and the first cases (including pediatric open heart surgeries) have been performed during this same time period.
More than 40 qualified decision-makers attended the VIP event; the majority as a result of Armada’s marketing efforts. In addition, approximately 70 conference attendees attended the unveiling of the product on the show floor. Considering that only a few hundred perfusionists attend this show, this was an exceptionally high percentage of overall attendance, and Armada’s work for Sorin Group achieved a buzz at the conference not equaled by any other manufacturer.