Every year, hundreds of RV shows around North America serve as the heartbeat of the industry. Manufacturers debut new models and consumers make a day of it, clambering through floorplans, kicking tires, and sometimes buying an RV on the spot.
In 2020, however, most RV shows were cancelled due to COVID-19. As a result, Winnebago decided to hold its first-ever Virtual Product Launch (VPL), and pulled DKY in to drive the tight production schedule.
In the high-end Class A category, the all-new Winnebago Journey was set to debut; also launching was the rugged all-wheel-drive EKKO, a completely new type of RV that combines the length and maneuverability of a camper van with the space and features of a larger motorhome.
Factor in new features and floorplans throughout the lineup and it became clear that quietly shipping Winnebago’s newest RVs to showrooms was a non-starter.
DKY aligned with Winnebago’s internal VPL core team to set the strategic direction for the initiative. Given the tight deadlines for the launch, the broader team took a divide-and-conquer approach, where DKY was tasked with managing content production for the new VPL microsite, which featured 15 new models.
Working with longtime video partner Armosa Studios on the videography, DKY coordinated, scripted, art-directed, staged and produced a total of 22 videos and 15 lifestyle image galleries of the new models and the extraordinary experiences they provide. The content was captured across 7 states, a formidable task given the timeline, made even more daunting by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
In addition to the individual RV class and model videos, the lifestyle content was used to provide an engaging backdrop to the hosted main event, filmed on a custom stage built in one of Winnebago’s manufacturing plants. Complete with a 40-foot LED display, the set offered enough room to showcase the company’s largest RVs, with each segment and “guest stars” introduced by celebrity emcee Jim Cunningham.
The primary customer experience of the Virtual Product Launch was a partition of the Winnebago website created specifically to house the vast amount of content needed to support the launch.
In addition to the main event, the website also contained model-specific videos and additional information specific to each type of RV — Class A, Class B, camper vans, travel trailers and fifth wheels — as well as Winnebago’s exclusive line of Accessibility Enhanced motorhomes.
DKY also provided copywriting, image selection and editing for the entire VPL partition of the Winnebago website.
The Virtual Product Lunch was designed to offset the loss of consumer RV events and associated sales activity with an engaging, digital showcase of the Winnebago RV lineup. Specific objectives for the launch team were to:
- Event Concept
- Content Planning
- Art Direction
- Copywriting + Scripting
- Post Production Editing
- Website Content Fulfillment
- Increase awareness of the Winnebago brand and new RV models
- Create demand for products through an exceptional, digital shopping experience
- Deliver best-in-category content to showcase and differentiate Winnebago RV models
- Grow both the quantity and quality of consumer engagement online
- Capture consumer and dealer interest, and nurture prospects toward purchase
The DKY Team is a pleasure to work with. True professionals in every sense.
Bob M., Winnebago IT
Planning, flexibility, dedication, safety, and hard work were critical ingredients in making this project a success. What started as a steep hill to climb grew exponentially as the project went on, but ultimately, the Virtual Project Launch became real through perseverance, professionalism and a relentlessly positive attitude on all fronts.
Also vital to the project was DKY’s deep understanding of the audience, the client (including its culture, people, systems and products) and the complicated interdependent processes needed to fulfill the project requirements.
- 15 new or updated RVs featured
- 22 videos produced
- 30 locations in 7 states
- 20,000+ words scripted
It all came together at the right time to ensure this was a “ring true” moment for the Winnebago team and brand.
While Winnebago prefers not to share specific numbers, viewership (during and after the event) was strong, engagement remains high, Winnebago leadership was exceptionally pleased, and the positive effects of the company’s first-ever Virtual Project Launch continue to permeate the RV marketplace.