Yesterday I had the pleasure to take my son Zachary and his best friend Michael to a really cool event. Nintendo and ToysRus had teamed up to do a nationwide Pokemon meet up event.
The idea was that kids come to the store armed with their Nintendo DS devices. When we arrived there were probably 200 kids in the store with their DS’s and pokemon games running. You walked up to counter and each kid was quickly given two sealed character cards with a special code attached. This code talked to a local wifi server they had staged in the store and allowed the kids to download two new super charged characters — Manaphy and Electivire.
So what was in it for both companies? For ToysRus obviously the hope is that you are in the store and buy more product (and indeed we did). For Nintendo obviously they can sell more product too but there were other beneficial behaviors that I observed.
Kids of all ages (6 to 18) were interacting not only with their new characters but several were making deals and exchanging other characters from their devices over the wifi connections in the store. Of course there were also many discussions about specific game strategy and tactics. Many of the kids were discussing how the DS system interfaced with their Wii systems at home and uploading and syncing characters on their devices to the home systems.
Overall the event felt like a bricks and mortar viral event that was truly authentic!