- Smart home company Control4 was planning its biggest software introduction to date with OS 3, followed by the highly-anticipated Neeo Remote.
- Caster Communications strategized a launch plan to land mainstream, tech, and trade coverage for the initial software announcement, while simultaneously seeding stories in an ongoing cadence to support the launch of the new Neeo Remote six months later and through the end of the year.
- The launch strategy set up for long-term success: Coverage topped 120 million impressions for the Control4 Smart Home OS 3 launch; later, impressions topped an additional 140 million in the first twelve hours alone for the Neeo launch.
- PR was the core marketing catalyst as the program did not receive advertising budget, and was credited with contributing to downloads of Control4 OS 3 and record sales of the Neeo remote.
The smart home market had been growing in adoption and as a topic in the media, after smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home have entered the market and advanced awareness. But as a professionally-installed system and not a do-it-yourself (DIY) gadget, Control4’s smart home platform faced challenges with consumer awareness and mainstream tech media coverage.
With former Amazon executive Charlie Kindel at the helm, Control4’s newly created operating system, OS 3, was poised to be the company’s biggest launch in its fifteen-year history. OS 3 would be groundbreaking for the trade markets, but Control4 also wanted mainstream and tech press coverage to drive consumer interest in the platform.
As Control4’s agency of record for over twelve years, Caster Communications had an ongoing PR program for regular editorial coverage and news. With their fingers on the pulse of the top trade and tech stories, and the state of the smart home market, they were tasked with launching OS 3 to Control4’s professional dealer base and the greater U.S., U.K., and select international trade markets, as well as using the new software to break into tech publications who had never covered Control4 before. Planning the launch began early in the year in March; because Caster was looped into Control4’s roadmap, they planned a more long-term PR strategy to successfully launch OS 3 and build a dynamic cadence of coverage leading up to the oncoming launch of the Neeo Remote – a revolutionary new product planned for the end of the year following Control4’s acquisition of the Swiss-based startup.
In addition to impactful launch days for both the OS 3 and the Neeo Remote, Control4 expected in-depth system and product reviews. But orchestrating the new software launch wouldn’t be simple without the luxury of shipping a gadget to press to play with, like other smart home brands can do. To build this diverse catalogue of coverage, Caster strategized how to first deliver stories for the launch of OS 3 in May that would drive deep interest in both tech and trade press. To build excitement and gain sales, the next step was to maintain the buzz with a consistent cadence of news leading up to the Neeo release in November.