Nerf Promo, Case study BLASTING BOUNDARIES by OMD London

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Industry Toys
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency OMD London
Associate Creative Director Katie Lowry
Released September 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Other Digital Media
Advertiser: HASBRO
Product/Service: NERF
Date of First Appearance: Sep 1 2010
Entrant Company: OMD UK, London, UNITED KINGDOM
Communications Planning Manager: Iain Bignold (OMD UK)
Digital Account Director: Richard Cameron (OMD UK)
Associate Creative Director: Katie Lowry (the doodle bar (OMD UK))
Media placement: In Game Display - Massive (Network) - 1st September 2010
Media placement: In Game Display - Double Fusion (Network) - 1st September 2010
Media placement: In Game Scavenger Hunt - Splinter Cell (Massive Network) - 1st September 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea

Nerf brings kids the ultimate range of toy blasters. The brand is well established amongst its ‘core’ (boys 8-12) and it had seen steady growth from launch in 2007 to the end of 2009.

Sales had been driven by 2 things, a brand perfectly tuned to its consumers’ play needs as well as a strong TV presence to drive awareness.

But in 2010 we had a vast task, double sales within the year.

Nerf’s ‘core’ loves its competitiveness, playing with friends and getting one-up over them. This is something that ‘older boys’ love too. However the older audience (13-24) pursue this competitiveness in a different place. Gaming. With 84% having a games console this channel is huge amongst this audience.

We decided to target a completely new audience in a completely new channel.

Creative Execution
‘Older boys’ are at the front line of the blurring of offline and online, the virtual and the real world; through new digital media. To ensure we were tapping in to this and giving them something genuinely exciting, we created a UK media first.

We ran an In-Game scavenger hunt in the game Splinter Cell. Whilst players moved throughout the game they would see an ad asking them to follow the signs to collect the clues. Each subsequent sign would be a letter spelling out NERF in sequence. Once they had found all four letters the next ad served gave them a number to text to win a blaster, bringing the virtual play through to the real world.

In addition to this we ran in-game display advertising across Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, running in 55 of the biggest ‘competitive’ titles available at the time.

Results and Effectiveness
This was the first time that any toy manufacturer had used In-game in the UK and investing such a large proportion of the budget in it was bold. The results however, speak for themselves.

Research showed that brand awareness increase by 18% whilst purchase intent increased by 30%.

Crucially though we delivered on sales. We smashed the target of doubling sales; by the end of 2010, sales of Nerf had more than tripled.