Product or Service Launch

With a product launch two months after CES, agency tries an attention-getting stunt

Without a product to show, the strategy still produced a huge number of pre-orders.

Electron Wheel #RidestoCES with the Google Assistant to Launch the Gen 2 Wheel- Logo

The product itself is impressive: The Electron Wheel replaces the front wheel of a bicycle to provide power to the bike, turning it into an e-bike. Differentiating it from competitors, the wheel also connects to Google Assistant, providing hands-free interaction with the device. The launch would attract attention if done right. Fortunately, it came off without a hitch—and earned PR agency Diffusion first place in the “Product Launch” category of PR Daily’s 2018 Media Relations Awards.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was the ideal venue for introducing the product. Unfortunately, the Electron Gen2 Wheel was only available for pre-order and wouldn’t be available to consumers until two months after CES. Diffusion devised a brilliant scheme to draw attention: It engaged a cyclist to ride a bike equipped with the Wheel across the country, arriving at CES on its third day after a 10-day journey beginning in New York.

The logistics for the ride were complex. For example, the Wheel holds a charge that would last about 50 miles, so a chase vehicle had to follow the cyclist to replace the Wheel on a regular basis (in addition to providing support and capturing photos and videos of the journey). Diffusion helped Electron Wheel secure a partnership with Google, which was excited about the device’s connection to Google Assistant.

Among Diffusion’s goals was increasing website traffic by 50 percent and pre-orders by 15 percent. The effort (along with Diffusion’s presence at the event) resulted in more than 60 briefings and placements in top-tier press, including TechCrunch (which had an exclusive to announce the launch and kick off the ride), Fox News, Reuters and USA Today. Website traffic increased more than 450 percent and pre-orders grew by 37 percent, far exceeding the project’s goals.

Congratulations to the team of Kate Ryan, Megan Hartwick, Lauren Curlett, Rachel Wyncoop and Colin Lester.

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