Hamleys is one of my favourite stores in London, so when I read they were relaunching their site, the news got my attention, even if I’m no longer a kid since a “couple of years”… Their online marketing plan focuses on a mini-site that grabs kids and mums’ attention with an advergame and a virtual tour of the e-commerce store. The advergame, called The Magic Toy Factory, is a sort of brick/tetris replica… it’s very simple to play (it’s for kids! but also quite addictive… On the other side, the virtual tour unfortunately is not very rich nor interactive. You can easily tell it has been built only with the idea of generating sales, without actually thinking that presenting the product with a click & buy isn’t enough if the whole experience doesn’t manage to create a little bit of engagement in the users… In the end, I will keep going to the real store…
Online competitions are becoming a fashion. Everybody wants to have one, no matter if it doesn’t make sense for the brand or if the game (and the prize) has no connection at all with the business you’re in. The initiative of train operator First Great Western in cooperation with Hamleys (my favourite teddy bear shop) is, in my opinion, a clear example of a no brain “me too” strategy. Customers can enter a competition to win prizes from Hamleys, such as, for example, a Ferrari replica for kids. Tim Hayne, E-Commerce and Channel Marketing Manager for First Great Western says:“This is exactly the kind of promotion we love to run on the website, the Hamleys prizes are ones which our passengers will treasure and we are always looking for new ways to add value to our customer offering.”
Well, this might be the kind of competition First Great Western likes to run, but if they ask their customers, I believe the answer will be different. People travelling by train would rather like to win free train tickets or a discounted season ticket. What’s the connection between a Ferrari for kids and a train service?
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