LINET, the Czech manufacturer of positionable beds, is taking to international markets with a new product supported by a marketing campaign created from the agency Astronauts featuring black-and-white photographs by Robert Vano.

LINET is launching a campaign for its new product, the Eleganza 5 bed. The new hospital bed is being presented in print and online materials through a series of photographs by Robert Vano featuring ballerinas of the Czech National Theatre in Prague. The campaign was prepared by the agency Astronauts following a successful selection process. The concept for the campaign was proposed by the agency’s creative director Natalie A. Rollko.

“We export beds to approximately 100 countries and until now have put more focus on marketing support within the framework of B2B communication, where there are few opportunities for unconventional concepts. In general, you have straightforward product communication. But because this summer we introduced a truly innovative product, we began examining the question of how to present it differently than the competition and how to address the greater general public,” says LINET global marketing manager Klára Horzinková.

A concept combining innovation and elegance

The communication concept conceived by the Astronauts agency proposed interlinking the bed with the theme of expressionist dance. Once it had been drawn up in outline, the idea to approach Robert Vano was put forward. “I accepted mainly because I’m not the youngest anymore and when I get to the point where I’ll need this bed, I’ll get a discount on it,” says Robert Vano with a chuckle. He also says he was intrigued by the combination with ballet. “I enjoy photographing ballerinas because they look good, so you don’t have to retouch them. Moreover, they don’t speak when you’re shooting them; they just move,” he continues in his light-hearted tone.

The campaign features five ballerinas of the Czech National Theatre, including the internationally acclaimed soloist Adéla Pollertová. The images were shot during two days at the beginning of September at Robert Vano’s studio as well as on the roof of Prague’s Dancing House, which is where the photograph with Ms Pollertová was taken. “The Dancing House fit the theme in and of itself and we also like the fact that it represents a certain connection between elegance and technology and the world of concrete and steel, which also complements the campaign well,” says Ms Horzinková.

The core visual of the campaign carries the subtitle Innovation of human touch and shows a ballerina’s leg in a calf raise being held by a man’s hand. “The grace and elegance of the ballerina’s leg symbolises the characteristics of the positionable bed, while the man’s hand symbolises the strength and stability of our company,” explains Ms Horzinková.

“At first glance, ballerinas come across as delicate, their movements graceful and simple. But there is a lot of hard work, sweat, and determination behind the results they achieve. The same is true of our beds. At first sight, simple shapes that are the result of hours and hours of work on the part of developers, designers, technicians, and engineers,” she adds.

“When someone wants me to do a photo, I’m always interested in knowing what the main topic is. I only photograph people. I turn down offers to shoot products and architecture. I liked this idea because it features ballerinas and because the pictures could be black and white. Black-and-white photographs have their own style, aesthetics, thoughts. I like the fact that the combination of the ballerinas and the bed isn’t superficial and it carries within it a certain degree of mystery. If something is immediately clear at first sight, one isn’t interested in learning more about it. Here, however, the photograph grabs the viewer’s attention and forces him or her to think about what’s behind it,” says Vano.

The number five is key

Another of the key themes is the number five, which is part of the new bed’s name – Eleganza 5 – and an integral part of the product’s logo – a twisted numeral five with arrow. The number five also represents the number of Vano’s visuals used in the catalogue and accompanying advertising materials.

“The number five is an expression of the five fundamental benefits of the new bed, which in the campaign we’ve identified as five types of art,” explains Ms Hrozinková. “The first is the Art of turning, i.e., the possibility to use the bed’s lateral tilt function to simplify handling of immobile patients. The second is the Art of safety, which emphasises the bed’s safety features. The third is the Art of mobilisation, which illustrates how the bed contributes to faster recovery. The fourth is the Art of positioning, which highlights the bed’s 3D positioning ability for therapeutic, examination, and preventive purposes. The fifth is the Art of communication, which represents the use of modern technologies in the transfer of information about the bed’s safety and technical state between the bed and the hospital’s information system. We’ve entitled this entire complex of services the Art of nursing, as the bed itself serves as a nurse in its own right,” says Ms Horzinková.

Campaign headed for international markets

The campaign was launched in Italy in October, followed by the introduction of the bed in Indonesia, the aim of which was to attract potential buyers from the Asian and Pacific region, including markets such as China and India. The bed will make its European debut on November 16 at the Medica trade fair in the German city of Düsseldorf, where LINET will hold an official European launch event. In January, the bed will be introduced in the Middle East in Dubai at the international exhibition Arab Health, and in April, there will be an official presentation in the United States. In the meantime, smaller supporting events will take place in France and Australia, where LINET is engaged in cooperation with the respective Czech consulates. In addition to printed presentations, the events will be accompanied by a video message from Robert Vano and a special format called a cinemagraph – an animated photograph combining video and static pictures intended for sharing on social networks.

“We want to maintain and increase our share in the traditional European market, where we are one of the main players, and we also have expectations of new markets, especially the United States, where we anticipate sales growth of up to 20%,” says Ms Horzinková. She points out that in Asia LINET is still facing strong competition from companies taking advantage of the benefit of being domestic suppliers. “We want to build our standing among companies whose history in these markets goes back 50 to 60 years. But we feel we can obtain more there than we have at the present time,” explains Ms Horzinková.

According to her, LINET’s primary competitors on the international scene include the American companies Stryker and Hill-Rom, and in Asia namely the Japanese company Paramount Bed. Export currently accounts for 80% of LINET’s business. The company intends to use the new communication style beyond the introduction of the Eleganza 5. Ms Horzinková says that for 2017 LINET is preparing two new products in the same production series – the Eleganza 4 and the Eleganza 5+. “We’ll introduce the first of the two new products in the spring of 2017; the second one will make its debut next year in the autumn in Düsseldorf at Medica,” she says in closing.

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