For five years running we’ve helped Hasbro, a play and entertainment company, create their Preview Rooms at their HQ just outside of London. The S/S and A/W events are always an exciting chance for buyers from all over the globe to get a much-sought-after, first glimpse of the new ranges Hasbro will be launching in the months to come, and for Hasbro staff to build and strengthen relationships with valued buyers.
But with social gathering and travel bans in full force during Covid-19, Hasbro’s live event had to move online. Our challenge was to ensure the retailer guests still felt the Hasbro Preview Rooms’ magic and fun, albeit from their homes.
Guests were going to be viewing Hasbro’s newest additions on a screen from their living rooms, so we wanted to make them feel like the Preview experience still had the ‘human touch’. We created a journey to get them excited about their ‘destination’ - the virtual previews which would be hosted via Zoom by Hasbro’s key staff. We also paired this with bespoke Preview Packs, care packages that were sent to the buyers before the preview sessions. These were filled with tasty snacks, branded stationery and even toys to bring a physical touch to this virtual experience.
We developed a microsite, a Hasbro home to house everything guests needed to prepare them for their virtual preview. We had done this before for their Spring and Summer Previews, but only for the UK, now we were expanding globally for the Autumn and Winter Previews. As a result, the ‘Hasbro home’ had to be simple and easy to use across the multiple markets globally. Each journey had to be a bespoke one, a tailored version that worked for every region (UK, Nordic, GSA, France and Benelux) and the language that came with it.
It all started with a fun, region-specific, employee-welcome video which introduced viewers to the Hasbro staff that would be hosting their virtual-preview calls. To give the experience the ‘physical touch’ the guests would have had at the live event, the buyers were sent custom gift boxes in advance to help them enjoy their virtual previews. These boxes included slick branded stationery, toys (a branded card game) and of course, some carefully chosen sugary treats to sweeten the deal.
These packs were tailored to the region, like for example, the UK got brownies and biscuits, and Italy and Spain got elderflower & champagne flavoured marshmallows. Another smart element to these gift boxes: the Hasbro Pop-up Book. This nifty booklet helped show the buyers the actual sizes of the toys, and in the case of bigger toys, offered a scaled version with a measuring table along the edge of the first page. This nifty booklet helped show the buyers the actual size of toys, and in the case of bigger toys, offered a scaled version along with a measuring table along the edge of the first page. This was a crucial addition: one of the key issues with previews becoming virtual is that they can’t actually show the toys. This booklet neatly sidesteps this obstacle, as it helps the buyers understand the size of the toys. Before this Pop-Up Book, the sales teams would show the sizes of the toys using hand gestures, which was not only not inaccurate and ungainly; it was also unprofessional.
We also created ‘The Great Hasbro Toy Hunt’, a Virtual Reality (VS) game that required players to find hidden Hasbro toys in a messy kid’s room. It added to the fun and provided a great distraction for their kids (and partners) while they would be having their virtual preview.
And the actual virtual previews? Well, that’s all a bit hush-hush I’m afraid. In the past five years of this project, confidentiality has always been especially key, and still is - toy espionage is a real threat (believe it or not).
Pivoting what has traditionally always been an in-person, live event to a virtual experience can seem daunting, but with the right tools, tech and preparation, (and of course, marketing partner), it’s easier than you think. Through creative collaboration with Hasbro, we were able to create a magical digital experience that still had the human touch and ultimately was much kinder to the planet.
Ready to transform your physical event into a game-changing digital one? Start by having a coffee with us, and we’ll show you how we can ratchet up your ROI while giving you peace of mind.