What’s Your Favorite Monopoly Token?

Would you like to buy Fenway Park for $3,500,000? Want to trade your Liberty Bell for my Red Rocks Amphitheater? Can I add three hotels to my Waikiki Beach property? Pass “GO,” collect $2,000,000.4a23ba3dcbe44d3163ae65a7351af7f2--monopoly-classroom-monopoly-party.jpg.gif

These are all common questions and phrases that you will hear if you are playing Monopoly Here and Now, one of the 300 different versions of the game that Hasbro has created for families. Historically, Monopoly has always been placed amongst the top 10 games to buy your child, ranked across the common factors of how fun, strategic, and classic the game is. The first official version of Monopoly was created in 1933, even though there were various games existing as early as 1902 with the same concept.

With a game this old, it is difficult for a company to continuously grow its revenues with so many changes in consumer trends throughout the generations. There are various groups of Monopoly gamers, ranging from the extremely loyal fans who will collect every version of the game, to the many kids of the current generation who don’t know what Monopoly even is. You’ll even get the group of people who fall in the middle of this spectrum, those who will buy a different Monopoly game every few years.

 
In order to continue gaining attraction for the game of Monopoly, Hasbro launched a huge worldwide marketing campaign called the “Monopoly Token Madness Vote” earlier this year. Starting on January 10th and ending on January 31st, anyone was able to go to votemonopoly.com and caScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 6.20.08 PM.pngst his or her vote, deciding the fate of the current eight tokens used in the original Monopoly game. Those eight tokens were the scottie dog, top hat, car, thimble, boot, wheelbarrow, battleship, and cat. Voters would select their top eight favorite tokens out of 64 possible options given to them. This means that potentially all eight of these original tokens could be retired at the decision of the population. Technically all eight could remain active, some may be kept while others are replaced, or all eight could be vetoed.

170110141553-monopoly-tokens-780x439.jpgAmongst these 64 token options, Hasbro included a lot of pawns that would attract today’s generation such as the hashtag symbol and various emojis. This clearly shows how Hasbro is taking action to keep up with the popular times of today’s day and age, including the trends of the younger generations. This is also a great example of companies’ constant use of crowdsourcing to further enhance their operations based on consumer preferences.

The results of the voting was revealed on March 19th, which is “World Monopoly Day.” The scottie dog, cat, battleship, car, and top hat all remained winners of the polling, so they can all continue to remain in the game. However, the thimble, boot, and wheelbarrow came up too short in votes, and were replaced with the dinosaur, duck, and penguin. The removal of the thimble was a big deal in the Monopoly world because it has been around for the longest out of all of the tokens, being involved in the game since 1935. Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 6.19.55 PM.png

The new version of the Monopoly game including these new selected tokens will be released in August 2017. Hasbro also already released a Token Madness edition, including the original eight silver tokens as well as eight additional golden tokens that were given as options of the vote.

This entire campaign has stimulated a huge awareness for the Monopoly game, and was talked about by various popular companies and people who publicly voiced their opinion of which tokens were their favorite. Popular hashtags such as #SaveTheThimbleScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 8.30.48 PM and #MonopolyVote surfaced all throughout the Internet, of which Zipcar specifically took a very public stance in favor of saving the car.

 

 

Social media was an extremely important factor in being able to carry out this extensive campaign. Monopoly has a large presence on Facebook, and Hasbro is a highly followed account on Instagram and Twitter. @HasbroNews made an especially huge contribution in spreading the word about this token campaign. Being that Monopoly is enjoyed by over 1 billion players across 114 countries, a lot of engagement was sought through this huge marketing effort; over 4 million votes were casted during the 14 day polling session. Monopoly fans also had opportunities to interact and engage beyond just playing the board game, including casino gambling, fashion licensing, live events, and digital gaming.

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 8.32.18 PMScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 8.33.38 PM

This token voting campaign also occurred in 2013, in which the cat was replaced by the iron. Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) has historically had a very subtle rise in profits since around 2000. Since the company’s initial token vote launch a few years ago, the stock price has been on a steady incline, peaking at its highest of all time in February when Hasbro announced its huge fourth quarter results of 2016 that largely surpassed all expectations. Obviously there are other factors, brands, and games involved in the overall Hasbro parent company that can contribute to this sharp incline, but the Monopoly Token Madness Vote proved to be a largely successful and fun campaign for people to participate in.

I’d love to hear other peoples’ favorite Monopoly tokens in the comments below :)

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8 comments

  1. Really neat post! There’s something very powerful about a good social media campaign, and Hasbro seems to have hit the mark on the head with this one. While this will not likely spark exponential revenue growth, it will certainly help to keep hasbro relevant in the face of competition from digital games, and may even flow down to the bottom line. I only wish I’d found out sooner so I could vote myself!

  2. Great post! I’m a fan of the car piece myself, so I’m glad to see it will still be around. Its always interesting to see how well established brands like Monopoly continue to revitalize and rejuvenate interest in in their brand. As you cited, social media has played an important role in brand strategy by allowing customers to feel like they are fully engaged in the direction a brand may take. Ultimately this engagement leads to a stronger positive feeling toward the brand and an increase in loyalty. Can’t wait to see what Hasbro and Monopoly do next.

  3. Whoever came up with this promotion is pretty smart! Monopoly tokens are one of those things that don’t matter functionally at all, but I know plenty of people who have strong personal attachments to certain pieces. I find it especially interesting that other companies like Zipcar and the aquarium were able to hop in on the campaign, and I wonder if any new piece options were strategically picked to attract attention from certain groups (beyond just the hashtag and emojis, as you pointed out). Like Mike, my one complaint is that I had no clue that this campaign even happened, I would have definitely voted! Perhaps Hasbro aimed to target only their more devoted fans – If this campaign went viral on my Facebook page I suspect there would be a lot more legacy pieces being swapped out for new ones. Thanks for bringing my attention to this campaign, and great post!

  4. I really enjoyed this post! I think it is a great example of a company leveraging social media to become relevant again. This campaign definitely brought Monopoly to conversations. To me engaging other brands was the most successful part of the campaign. Through this connection they were able to expand their voting to the communities beyond their own and significantly increased participation. My personal favorite token is the top hat- I can’t really explain why! Hasbro has done a great job is expanding the monopoly brand to include numerous other versions (I didn’t know there were 300 different ones!) which, strategically, is a great move to bring people from different interests and generations who normally won’t play monopoly to join in on the game. This campaign was a great way to take that involvement and loyalty and get people to speak out to which tokens they were most loyal. Perfect example of an old brand adapting to the current digital landscape!

  5. Keeping a product that has been around for decades is certainly a challenging task. It seems like Hasbro is doing a great job not only staying relevant but also engaging its followers. Through letting consumers have a choice about what pieces will be included, they are creating a competitive atmosphere around the game and buzz around the classic game. Because Monopoly was a part of most people’s childhood, everyone has something to say about it! Great post I enjoyed learning about how a classic board game uses social media and digital business.

    PS my piece is always Scottie dog!

  6. Great post! I had no idea that this was happening, I love monopoly (always play the thimble but I guess not anymore!) I think that this was a great use of social media and was a very successful campaign because it got so much attention. Calling attention to a game that has been around for so many years and has not changed that much over time was definitely a challenge but I think they did a very good job in choosing to focus on the tokens because they are pretty intricate pieces that people usually have a connection with and express themselves by which they choose.

  7. Great post! Someone who worked at Hasbro came to my marketing class and described the 2013 event, and I thought it was such a clever marketing strategy. Especially because once a token is voted off, companies related to them can try and support them or try and suggest new ones. This just goes to show the power of technology and social media to help a brand if its struggling come up with viral campaigns. I’m a fan of the dog myself, so if it ever gets voted off, I’ll gladly stand behind Petco if they make a campaign to keep it!

  8. Nice post! I was a little bit worried that you were not going to tie it to social media/ digital business enough, but you came through in the end!

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