Casual Evangelist

A mission to learn a little about a lot…

Hasbro’s Blowin’ It!

Posted by Andrew on January 16, 2008

Question: What would you do as the head of a company who’s decades-old product has suddenly seen a significant revival in interest amongst a whole new generation of users? How would you respond if over a half a million people were became actively engaged in playing an online version of your game? How would you capitalize on this sudden, exciting trend and convert this unexpected spike in interest into new sales and branding opportunities? C’mon, your dusty old game is hip again!

Here’s the wrong answer: You’d fight to shut it down and piss off a half million potential customers. It looks like Hasbro’s following through with their demand that Facebook take down Scrabulous, one of the only things keeping me coming back to Facebook. This is incrediblly short-sighted. Since when does the desire to protect intellectual property trump all business opportunities? Protect the brand and maintain sales status-quo, or embrace the new online paradigms and exploit the opportunities they present?

Has Hasbro decided to maintain their position as Has-beens.

UPDATE: Technomarketer has some great advice for how Hasbro should have proceeded (and still can). I couldn’t agree more with his statement that they need to get the lawyers out of the marketing department. Lawyers and marketers rarely mix well. Thanks to Shel Israel for the head’s up. Shel’s been all over this issue…he likes Scrabulous as much, or more, than I do.

UPDATE #2: Mashable! has a poll up asking what Hasbro should do.

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