Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hasbro travels a popular road to mark Candy Land's 60th birthday

Client: Hasbro (Pawtucket, RI)
PR agency: Coyne PR (Parsippany, NJ)
Campaign: 60th Anniversary of Candy Land
Budget: Approximately $220,000

To celebrate Candy Land's 60th anniversary, Hasbro turned San Francisco's famed Lombard Street into a huge version of the board game. The effort featured Candy Land characters and players, as well as visitors from local UCSF Children's Hospital.

Working with Coyne PR,* Hasbro's research found that the rainbow-colored path was the best-known piece of the game.
"We wanted to bring the brand personality alive for multiple audiences and generations," says Pat Riso, VP of global communications.

The union with the hospital comes from Candy Land's heritage, she adds, as it was created by Eleanor Abbott, who suffered from polio, to give others suffering a way to escape.

Hasbro and Coyne reached out to Bay Area print, radio, online, and broadcast outlets. At the event, the firm "identified the key moments that would make good visuals for the media," says Brian Murphy, Coyne associate VP and lead on the campaign. "We had some traditional plays first, which helped feed the fire from a social media standpoint."
Photos and news of the event spread online through Twitter, Facebook, and Digg.

Media coverage included local, regional, and national outlets. In addition, Riso adds, "Yahoo not only marked it as one of the most popular stories, it was also the most e-mailed photograph of the week."

Riso says this event brings up possibilities for its other games, including Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. "As the Candy Land brand expands globally," she adds, "this idea doesn't just have to take place in the US."

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