Six best experiential campaigns
from toy and game brands
The toy and game sector is huge. But as a highly competitive space, effective marketing strategies are central to success, with experiential a powerful sales tool – if done right.
23rd January 2020
By Ricky Knight / Managing Director
For years, studies have shown the important role toys and games have in the development of children. Everything from social and cognitive skills to language and problem-solving. The rapid evolution of toys and tech means there’s constantly new ways children can learn and grow through play.
But simply developing new products won’t make them fly off the shelves. Brands need to delve into experiential marketing techniques to win over both children and parents.
Let’s look at six experiential marketing campaigns from some of the industry’s biggest hitters.
#1: Hot Wheels ‘Epic Race’ campaign
Hot Wheels’ Epic Race campaign took centre stage in London’s popular Westfield Shopping Centre. Children and parents were invited to attempt daring stunts and race their favourite Hot Wheels models on incredible tracks. For nine action-packed days, over 17,000 consumers interacted with the toys through this hands-on experience, achieving 100% positive brand feedback.
Big, fun, creative and interactive, Hot Wheels amplified their brand through an enticing, exciting experience by simply allowing children to play.
#2: The Transformers Tour
One of our own, this tour-based experiential campaign immersed both kids and adults in the latest Transformers film, The Last Knight. With a clear brief to raise awareness of the film, introduce new characters and showcase associated merchandise, this interactive campaign pulled in thousands and received significant media coverage.
A fully-mobile, post-apocalyptic-themed Transformers installation featured live-action 8ft Transformers characters, multiple play zones and an Optimus Prime truck. Interactive games introduced young fans to new characters, and online activities post-experience ensured lasting brand impact. View the Transformers case study here!
#3: Pokémon Centre
Running for four weeks, Pokémon opened a one-off pop-up in London’s Westfield Shopping Centre to mark the launch of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Nintendo games. With many locations in the new games inspired by the UK, British-themed products were a main focus of the campaign, including a very cute Pickachu with an umbrella and bowler hat.
The two-storey activation, designed to give fans a similar experience to stores found in Japan, featured a game demo suite upstairs, a pre-ordering area and exclusive merchandise to purchase. A mixture of a retail store and a brand experience, this experiential campaign created a fun hub for Pokémon fans and avid Nintendo players.
The Pokémon community is huge, so this long-standing pop-up really served the fans, allowing them to fully immerse themselves within the Pokémon brand.
#4: Explore Hasbro
Hasbro has long been committed to engaging in real-time with its customers. The Explore Hasbro UK Tour was a truly immersive experience to showcase the best of the brand over 25 dates at festivals, theme parks and city centre locations. Nerf, My Little Pony, Transformers, Play-Doh and family-favourite games made up the Hasbro Village. Each experience was engaging, exciting and entertaining for the whole family. This experiential campaign combined live characters, giveaways, interactive technology and hands-on demos of brand-new toys.
With over 200,000 visitors, the tour achieved incredible social media reach and significant media coverage. Kids and adults alike fully immersed themselves in the experience, strengthening brand awareness and loyalty by creating lasting family memories.
#5: Beyblades Burst
The aim? Promote the relaunch of Beyblades Burst in the coolest possible way. This tour-based experiential campaign visited skate parks, snow domes and trampoline parks for two months to create noise around the product. Children could try Beyblades first hand, embarking on exciting battles in a buzzing atmosphere, in between skating, trampolining or scooting.
Britain’s Got Talent’s, Charley Dyson, was part of the tour as a Beyblade Ambassador, as well as freestyle scooter world champions, Dakota Schuetz and Jordan Clark. The tour also promoted the Beyblades app and overall, strengthened brand awareness within the right target demographic in high-energy environments.
#6: Monopoly Cheater Edition UK Launch
Hasbro wanted a cheeky experiential campaign to promote the launch of Monopoly Cheater – a new edition to its classic family favourite. In this twisted version, players are encouraged to escape jail, dodge rent and steal from the bank.
Converting a London black cab into a mobile confession booth, the campaign focused on getting people to confess to cheating when playing games. Parking up at famous London landmarks notorious with Monopoly, people were invited into the cab for jovial confessions and fun photos with Monopoly mascot, Rich Uncle Pennybags.
Over 12,000 people visited the confession cab, creating fantastic social media reach and engagement. This fun campaign perfectly reflected the nature of Monopoly Cheater and raised awareness of the new edition of a best-selling classic.