Best Practice from OMD UK. How genuinely thinking ‘out of the box’ developed a new model of advertising for toys and games, and a new relationship between product, kids and the internet.
Our challenge – to get board games on kids’ radars
Hasbro produce some of the best and most well known board games in the world - Monopoly, Operation, Hungry Hippos, Buckaroo and many more family favourites. However, two connected trends have meant that it has become more challenging to grow interest and desire for these products in the people who play them - kids.
The explosion of choice in entertainment, particularly with ever-improving, ever more affordable games consoles, has relegated board games to the dusty shelf in households. In addition, as the penetration of broadband has grown, more and more kids are online from an early age. A major element of what they use the internet for is playing games, further eroding the desire to blow the dust from the box.
Insight - Kids love playing games, whatever the opportunity
Within this doom and gloom however we saw one important commonality. Playing games. Kids still love it. They are doing it more and more across every format they can lay their hands on. We realised that we could use this to turn everything on its head and make an apparent problem into our strongest suit.
Through bespoke ‘Game on’ online research, we found that kids were more open to playing with board games than we thought. They saw them as an opportunity for fun for themselves but also an opportunity to spend much-coveted time with their friends and parents.
We also uncovered that a crucial moment exists with board games. The first few minutes, where people taste the gameplay, kindles the flames of excitement and enjoyment. In actually getting down to playing a board game people are instantly reminded of why they love playing them. But board games are not well suited to trial. We needed to get kids to try the gameplay out for themselves, in a way that they could access easily. We needed to get a taste of the gameplay out of the box. The internet was the perfect place.
The big idea – Game.com
We used the internet to set the fun free.
By creating a world of gameplay ‘tasters’ online we could engage kids with the central ideas and activities behind each of Hasbro’s board games. We would use the internet to provide kids with the crucial first few minutes of play to get them excited about the games.
Game.com was born, an online board games playground.
An experiential showcase for Hasbro’s games
We created an online hub to house our gameplay tasters, to bring to a wide range of Hasbro’s games products out of the box. The site itself was designed to be as fun, engaging and ‘sticky’ for kids as possible. New games are continually added to keep content fresh and demonstrate Hasbro’s portfolio.
Our Game.com site provided the perfect way to build from awareness to trial, to extend and develop kids’ experience of the games. We tagged every one of the TV ads for the board games with a call to action to visit the Game.com site, thereby creating a campaign integrated across media and highly in tune with the desires and habits of our target audience.
Hundreds of thousands tasted our gameplay
Since the September 2006 launch, over 750,000 unique visitors have visited the site, with 18% of these users returning after their initial visit. The average amount of time users spend on the site is over 7 minutes.
With a total project investment of only £150,000 we delivered a campaign that, in equivalent 30” TV value of one visit each alone, paid back to the tune of over £1,000,000.
Now a permanent feature of Hasbro’s marketing plan, Game.com has truly got Hasbro on a roll.
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