Sony, Future Shop get in the crease

The consumer electronics giant teams up with the CE retailer on a new interactive game designed to get customers interacting with all of Future Shop's online and offline messaging, and the Sony brand.

Hockey fever still remains at an all-time high in Canada, and Future Shop and Sony are hoping to ride the tide of goodwill all the way to the NHL playoffs with a new interactive game – and media strategy – called Crash the Crease.

The Sony-sponsored game invites visitors to the Future Shop site to play virtual hockey and attempt to score. Visitors can play in practice mode as much as they like, but to get into ‘tournament mode’ and be eligible to win Sony prizes in a weekly draw. The caveat is that in order to get into tournament mode, players must collect codes that are hidden in the retailer’s promotional media.

‘The strategy behind the puck codes is simple: deploy codes onto all of our marketing vehicles online and offline, such as our flyer, store signage, Facebook fan page, community forum, and Twitter, so they repeatedly engage with our marketing messages and media vehicles throughout the period,’ Nikki Hellyer, director of marketing, Future Shop, tells MiC. ‘We find this an effective way of driving cross-channel behavior, and give a young consumer who typically engages with our brand via Facebook a reason to pick up the flyer.’

The promotion for the campaign is mostly in Future Shop’s own media, but a Facebook ad buy was handled internally and targeted at young, male hockey fans on the site.

Sony was an ideal partner for the contest, Hellyer says, because getting people to watch sports on their HD electronics is a main goal for the brand.

‘Their objectives for the contest are very much aligned with Future Shop’s,’ she explains. ‘They want to drive repeat brand and product engagement in a season that Canadian CE shoppers look forward to experiencing playoff sports in HD.’

The game was produced in partnership by Future Shop and Vancouver-based October 17 Media.