Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hasbro shows us how it's done

In PR, we use creative thinking to get people talking about our clients and their products. We employ a wide range of strategies, tools and tactics to try to make this happen – but we understand that nothing is more effective in getting people's attention than offering something of value to them. It's called the "identification principle" of persuasion, and it has helped to sell everything from political leaders to dog food.

Hasbro campaign delivers a diversion, a source of pride, and a good laugh

Hasbro has been a leader in the board game market for as long as I can remember – and Trivial Pursuit (and all its subsequent editions tailored to players with interests in particular subject matter, eras, etc.) has been a mainstay of every home’s board game closet. So when the company went to launch its new Trivial Pursuit Team edition, it was challenged to find a “hook” that could create some new interest in an older product.

The “Trivial Pursuit Experiment” Hasbro launched last week, a global, online battle of the sexes based on the new Trivial Pursuit Team edition, does the trick. The integrated marketing campaign (click here to read the news release), using the tagline “Who’s smarter than who?” invites people the world over to go to www.trivialpursuitexperiment.com and defend their gender’s honour in a battle of the sexes.

Girls are smarter!

I entered my birth date, my name, and my gender, and got to choose from a number of trivia categories. Having answered my question correctly, I was treated to a YouTube video of a man unsuccessfully attempting a vault in a gym. I then “threw” one to see what would happen, and got a way more hilarious video of a woman accidentally dropping the live lobsters she was supposed to dump into a pot, and then freaking out as she tries to corral them.

It’s fun, it feeds that competitive nature we all have, and it’s entertaining. There's loads of "what's in it for me" in this campaign, making it an "identification principle" hall-of-famer.

When I published this post, the young site was showing more than 700,000 correct answers between the two teams; clearly, people are responding. It’s also gotten both mainstream media and bloggers talking (I heard about it on the Ace Burpee Show as I drove to work this morning). And it’s gotten people like me playing Trivial Pursuit again, 20 years later.

For other great examples of Hasbro’s news-making, just check out the news releases on its website. I'm thinking this is a fun place to work.

On a side note...

When I wrote this post, the women’s team was ahead by well over 30,000 correct answers. I’m just saying…


  1. It's been a well know fact in my family for years that my mother is the trivial pursuit whiz among us.

    While this new experiment will surely raise some good PR for the game, I'm not surprised in the least at the current results.

    Also, my mother might have played 30, 000 times...