When I see a brand in campaign mode, in this case Hasbro’s Monopoly, and it reaches me in a variety of places I would not expect and through people I know, something is up. And, it seems to be a well engineered something when it’s reach, in terms of grabbing my attention, was not bought.
Hasbro, fresh off the Facebook Scrabulous situation is doing a smart bit of marketing that I dare say is going viral as they bring out the World Edition of Monopoly. In a controlled bid to involve consumers in the brand, people are voting to have their home city included in the new World Edition.
Here are a bunch of reasons I think it this works well for Hasbro:
– People love Monopoly – it is an imprint of my youth. This effort successfully extends the brand into the online world by involving players, fans and city proud people across the globe. Everyone has a “move” in this exercise.
– This story has tremendous pass-along value.
– They were smart in terms of collecting voter email address in an very efficient manner. This is a move to limit ballot box stuffing and likely to pull voters back into the site with updates. I wonder if they have plans to use the email down the road after this exercise? There is so much potential in terms of extending the relationship with the collected data.
– The end product is, to a certain degree, user-generated. It fits snuggly into today’s online model.
– It has broken through in terms of a Facebook group (courtesy of Angelo Cerase), a bit of blog buzz and even people passing it along via email (Thanks Rudite.)
– Multi-part engagement: First there is a vote for the major cities which ends on February 29th. Then, a second round vote on the wildcards and write-ins. (Yes folks, Toad Suck Arkansas still has a chance.) Finally, there is the release of the game itself. I’ll bet there will be great word of mouth around this product when it hits stores.
– Traditional marketing was bypassed. Now, just because I have not seen any advertising or marketing around this is not to say they did not conduct any (I’m curious if anyone saw any?) . However, over the past week I could no longer ignore the Monopoly story – it hit me on several credible fronts.
– Nice site design that, although a bit visually noisy at points, stays true to the reason you visited in the first place.
– There is even an offline component with a poster that you can download. Cute.
So, while the social media world was quick to judge Hasbro and Mattel with regard to Scrabulous and Facebook, I felt it was time to point out where they are getting it right. There seems to be a lot of good planning here and it shows.
Now, my call-to-action for you is to VOTE FOR TORONTO. Bottom line: we need a game to play that involves our city in the spring. We keep hoping that spring time games would involve the Maple Leafs, but we’ll take Monopoly at this point. Seems to be more of a sure thing. Only 9 days left! Giddy up.