Manhattan Toy/Girl Scout partnership; ExpoTV; Auto Insurance Specialists

Manhattan Toy/Girl Scout partnership

Situation: Manhattan Toy wanted to build excitement around a new line extension for its Groovy Girls dolls that was developed with the Girl Scouts. The goal was to drive awareness and bring an element of customer engagement to the Troop Groovy Girl dolls, which are designed for girls four to eight years of age.

One of Manhattan Toy’s challenges was to create something that would be perceived as wholesome, because the Girl Scouts organization doesn’t want to be seen as actively marketing products, and parents are sensitive about how children are marketed to.

Approach: Marketing communications agency Colle & McVoy developed an online community called Camp Groovy Girls that launched in September, soon after the dolls became available in mass market and specialty stores.

“The concept of making the site a campground is a great way to tie it into the Girl Scout brand,” says Alicia Patrick, senior interactive strategist at Colle & McVoy. Girl Scout sashes are visible on some of the online characters and the organization’s core safety messages are promoted throughout.

Girls can explore the virtual campground, the surrounding woods and lake. When the site is in night mode, a raccoon guide tells visitors that it is not safe to swim alone. As they engage in various activities, girls can collect Fun Patches, a more casual alternative to Girl Scout merit badges. A variety of projects girls can do away from the computer, such as making pine cone art, are also suggested.

The site’s URL is promoted on the Troop Groovy Girl toy box, on other Manhattan Toy Web sites and in communications from the Girl Scouts.

Results: The site has had 500,000 user sessions since it was launched.
-Chantal Todé

Members suggest idea for contest

In December, user-generated video product review Web site ExpoTV launched a holiday-themed contest that was suggested by members. The promotion encouraged users to upload holiday-themed videos in one of five categories including “worst gift” and “caroling,” in hopes of win­ning a high-tech prize. The contest, which ran for three weeks, was promoted through paid search, on the site, and in an e-newsletter sent to about 7,000 ExpoTV members.

Results: The e-newsletter open rate was 10% and more than 50 videos were submitted. Some of the submissions generated close to 6,000 views on ExpoTV’s YouTube channel.
-Mary Hurn

Auto Insurance Specialists
DRTV blends live-action, animation

Approach: Auto Insurance Specialists Inc. wanted to market to young men. It tapped agency Inter/Media Advertising to create a 30-second DRTV spot in which a live-action protagonist in an animated blue race car out­runs a competitor and claims a trophy from the hands of a female official. The spot launched in July in daytime slots on local broadcast stations.

“We wanted to come up with a concept that communicated to [young men] in a medium that was familiar, exciting and almost interactive,” says Robert Yallen, president of Inter/Media.

Results: AIS saw a 30% lift in sales after the spot debuted. A second spot, “Jungle Adven­ture,” launched recently.
-Nathan Golia


Privateview Bryan Gaffin, VP, group creative director, G2
The Camp Groovy Girls Web site has the right look to attract young girls. However, it’s missing the depth of rich interactivity that Flash can provide today. The dolls could also be integrated into the site more, providing a better incentive to buy them. ExpoTV created a great holiday promotion that’s strongly on-brand, potentially viral and very engaging, which ex-plains its success. The AIS spots generated great response, but they are less successful at brand building, especially when contrasted with a recent spot that uses the gamer motif perfectly: Toyota’s “World of Warcraft”. The graphics and story would resonate more if they were slightly more polished.

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