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.
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 cast 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.
Amongst 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.
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 #SaveTheThimble 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.
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 :)