Yummi Promotion Sends Girls Online, to Stores

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Keeping young girls engaged across channels is the aim of a new interactive Web site from MGA Entertainment, Van Nuys, CA, which makes Soda Pop Girls dolls as well as Bratz and Rescue Pets toys.

Girls are urged to go to MGA's Yummi-Land.com, the fictional home of the four Soda Pop Girls, to enter a secret message code found on doll packages. Each package, sold at Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart, Kmart and other stores, includes a unique message. Once the message is entered into the site's "secret message engine," a Yummi Surprise customized to each doll is revealed.

The interactive site soon will include downloads, games and e-cards.

"The more MGA can engage young consumers through their Web property, the more likely they are to foster brand loyalty and create a sense of community around the Soda Pop Girls and their entire line of products," said Tom Beck, vice president of corporate development at Enlighten.com, Ann Arbor, MI, the interactive marketing and consulting firm that developed the site for MGA.

The promotion has no time limit, and Beck expects millions of unique visitors over time because of the brand's popularity. A similar Rescue Pets promotion, which asked children to go on the site, register their pets and make up a mascot name for the pets, drew 100,000 responses.

"There is a heavy loyalty component," Beck said. "To be able to enter the message in the secret message engine: There is an incentive for the girls to collect the dolls and go online."

As Enlighten and MGA are marketing to Soda Pop's young demographic of 4- to 10-year-old girls, they do not ask for e-mail addresses and are following all Child Online Privacy and Protection Act rules, Beck said.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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