Australian startup MirraMirra, which makes iPhone cases with built-in mirrors and backing lights, has chosen Toronto-based Shine PR as its agency of record.
The agency was also recently hired by Vancouver Fashion Week, and Shine Influencers has signed with skater Eric Radford.
MirraMirra co-founder Mark Ainsworth says the company had the problem of being an all male team developing a product for a predominantly female consumer base and “wanted a female eye on the product from the very beginning.”
The MirraMirra partners wanted to work with an agency that had a North American presence and access to millennial target consumers and knew Shine PR co-founder Jess Hunichen, who is Australian. All three Shine PR employees are women.
MirraMirra marketing director Mathew Goss moved from Melbourne to Toronto to work closely with Shine PR on the brand’s communication strategy, which includes public relations, social media, influencer relations and a launch event.
Aimed at helping women put on makeup and optimize their selfies, the product got its start after the company founders saw a woman in a cafe fumbling with her smartphone camera while trying to put on her makeup.
The product, which has a worldwide patent, will be available in January.
To create some buzz, MirraMirra launched on Aug. 25 at an event at District 28 Bar Bistro in Toronto attended by about 120 influencers, media and friends.
An Indiegogo campaign was launched Sept. 1 to showcase the brand. “We wanted to start pushing the product out before it was available,” Hunichen says.
As influencers are going to play a major role in promoting MirraMirra, the agency decided to include four influencers in the Indiegogo campaign video.
The work for MirraMirra follows Shine PR’s role overseeing national media relations for Vancouver Fashion Week, which which ran from Sept. 19 to 25. (Vancouver-based Catwalk Public Relations handled PR in Vancouver for the event.)
Six agencies were interviewed before the spotlight was put on Shine, which was chosen because of its experience in promoting fashion and lifestyle brands, says Vancouver Fashion Week founder and producer Jamal Abdourahman.
The agency was tasked with expanding Vancouver Fashion Week’s exposure in Eastern Canada. “They have gotten great international press but they haven’t been getting coverage in Toronto and the eastern provinces,” Hunichen says.
In addition, Canadian pair skater Eric Radford has signed with Shine Influencers, the talent management agency for social influencers formed last year by Shine PR co-founders Hunichen and Emily Ward.
Radford, an Olympic silver medalist in 2014 with partner Meghan Duhamel, says he is looking to Shine Influencers to help raise his profile and manage sponsorship opportunities.
“I was looking for a team who could articulate and grow my personal brand leading up to the Olympics, but also who could facilitate branded deals that would aid in our sponsorship dollars,” Radford said in a statement.
Athletes with strong personal brands and “high social traction” are more appealing for sponsorships, he added.
Radford connected with Shine Influencers through a mutual contact. The agency did a brand audit for Radford and he decided to move forward with representation.
“We’ll be working with him on his overall brand – both social and media profile – and we’ll be managing his sponsorships in the lead up to the 2018 (Winter) Olympics in South Korea,” Hunichen says.
Radford’s signing demonstrates that influencer relations and the demands for brand collaborations are increasing and spilling over into such categories as athletes, Ward says.