BPR’s Top 25 PR Projects: #12 PPG Industries Car Color Popularity & Trends Outreach (2001-2008)


Each year, companies that manufacture automotive coatings release data surrounding car color popularity and future car color trends. Being one of those companies, PPG Industries had knowledgeable, in-depth research to share … but its message was getting lost due to tardiness in announcing its findings later than its competitors.

The fun and interesting topic of color trends and consumer preferences can often sell itself but without proper execution, it can fall flat.

Challenge: Help amplify the car color research done by the PPG’s OEM Automotive Coatings group by planning a PR program that would get them out the door earlier than their competitors and help frame them as the go-to experts on the topic.

Tactics: By immersing ourselves in PPG’s car color data and getting to know the design and marketing experts, we became an extension of the team. Bianchi PR tracked when PPG’s competitors released their reports and helped PPG set deadlines and target dates for releasing the data ahead of the competition. The culmination was PPG’s hosting of a special Color Show Media Day at PPG’s color showroom that coincided with its color trend report release. We wanted to treat the news as big, so that the media would too.

The Bianchi team helped prepare PPG’s experts to make a splash by conducting media training to the team, creating media kits, developing creative angles and hooks to get reporters interested in the story and sitting in on every interview to assist.

We also involved the technical side by having one of PPG’s color design managers from the lab on hand for interviews to tackle any formulation and process questions from journalists.

Results: PPG not only beat its competitors to the punch but its color trend news and media day resulted in interviews with various key media outlets, including Automotive News, The New York Times, Ward’s Auto, The Associated Press, and more, including local TV news channels.

Every available time slot for interviews during its Media Day was filled and numerous follow-up phone interviews were scheduled to handle the additional demand. The story generated more than 90 million media impressions in the first year and helped position PPG’s color design team as experts in the field. Bianchi PR continued to work with PPG for several years on its color story, cementing its position as a leader on the topic.

Special thanks to the PPG color and marketing / communications team we worked with over the years, including Lorene Boettcher, Jane Harrington, Jerry Koenigsmark, Mike Millar and Jeff Worden)

BPR’s Top 25 PR Projects is a biweekly profile highlighting some of our favorite client projects, as we commemorate Bianchi PR’s 25th year in business.

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