The Monopoly Canadian edition has created itself a successful promotion campaign by creating the website MonopolyVote.ca for residents in different Canadian cities to vote to have their own cities be added to the board game. The campaign is reported in CTV Calgary tonight and CBC earlier and reported in CTV Edmonton.
Is the campaign a win for Monopoly?
This is an absolute and unqualified YES! The effort of creating the website and the limited marketing cost to get the press release out and other associated cost is tiny when compared to the free TV air time given for free by TV stations involved. Plus these coverage are BETTER than paid-advertising because they are reported as NEWS!
Is the campaign a win for Calgary (and the other cities involved, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, etc)?
Well, it is not that straight forward. It is unlikely tourist will want to visit Calgary (or another winning city) simply because they are on a board game. And it is not like residents in that city need Monopoly to remind them their city is great or nice to live in.
In fact, one may be successful in arguing the winning city that beat off other cities may be HATED by residents in those losing cities. (smile)
Is the campaign a win for the city politicians (or former politicians) involved?
Well, the answer to this one is easier. It is an unqualified YES because mayors/city councillors (or any former city politicans) can appear to help promote the city and promote themselves at the same time! Why not?! (another smile)
Is the campaign a win for the TV news shows who air these kind of “NEWS”?
Well, some may argue that fluffy news like the MonopolyVote.ca vote is a “feel nice” story for the city and doesn’t do much harm. But at the same time, marketers are getting smarter these days and can find very innovative ways to dress up their advertising, marketing and promotion campaigns as “news-look-alike” and then issue them as “news” where they often get reported as news as those smart marketers planned.
Is the campaign a win for the viewers who watch these “NEWS”?
Well, if the viewers simply watch these “NEWS” without thinking about the potential hidden agenda, then people may get brainwashed at the same time. And that can be bad in the long run.
On the other hand, if the viewers watching these “NEWS” realize these “NEWS” are actually advertisings, and then decide to expose these types of “NEWS” and talk about these tricks, then may be viewers can learn to immunize themselves from these so-called “NEWS” in the long-run. And TV stations will learn to filter out these kinds of “NEWS”.
Forewarned is forearmed. Feel free to share your personal experiences in the comments.
Postscript: This reporter is very keenly aware of the irony in the additional publicity created by reporting of the website MonopolyVote.ca.
If this reporter was Monopoly’s marketing consultant, the only worry would be the media completely ignoring this campaign and say nothing (good or bad) about it.