J&J’s new interactive mystery designed to appeal to female gamers

Even when women are their key demo, few consumer packaged goods companies aim advergames at the distaff side. But Ottawa's Fuel Industries - jumping on a recent Neilsen study identifying fully 64% of gamers as female - has created an interactive animated mystery to specifically appeal to women while touting Johnson & Johnson's Reach toothbrushes.

Ottawa’s Fuel Industries has brought ‘Mr. Reach’ out of retirement and cast him as the star of a new interactive mystery deliberately designed to appeal to female gamers, particularly those aged 25-55. It must be working because 15,000 contestants clicked in during the contest’s first week, Victoria Cruz, Johnson & Johnson Canada’s group product director, women’s Health & oral health and beauty, tells MiC.

During the ’80s and ’90s, the goofy-looking spokes-cartoon touted Johnson & Johnson’s dental products in a series of TV spots. Now he’s having an around-the-world adventure in ‘The Mouth of Mystery’ online game. As he searches for a missing friend, stumbling from BC to Europe and the Caribbean, he uses Reach products as tools to unlock clues about a pair of star-crossed lovers.

The contest, which Cruz expects to attract 70,000 entrants during its 12-week run, which ends on Feb. 28, 2007 has a strong viral component. That’s not just because Fuel posted it on YouTube last week. Additionally, contestants can advance to the finish line not only by correctly completing chapters in the saga, but by referring friends to the contest. Winners will score a trip for two to Aruba, a trip to one of three Canadian locations, or one of 500 instant win prizes.

Why does J&J believe Fuel struck the right chord with the Mouth of Mystery contest – which is also running in the US? ‘Reach is the brand that has become synonymous with cleaning the hard-to-reach places in the mouth,’ Cruz explains. The concept of hard-to-reach places is persistant throughout the storyline, including prizing, making the game ownable and relevant for consumers.

‘As for (the choice of) the game’s target consumers, we know that women control or influence as much as 92% of oral health care products purchases in Canada, and as much as 47% of online gaming.’