Silicon Alley shop KPE is supporting M&M/Mars’ new Starburst Hard Candies marketing effort with an interactive game that also takes advantage of the Internet’s word-of-mouse abilities. The game, dubbed Mini Mart Mayhem, launches today at www.starburst.com featuring the store clerk character currently appearing in Starburst’s TV campaign via Grey Advertising.
Grey broke the offline version of the campaign last year to tout Starburst’s Fruit Chews candy and extended the campaign with the Hard Candy introduction in June. Grey, a part-owner of KPE, commissioned the new media firm to develop the game.
Users are asked to toss Starburst Hard Candies into a moving bag. To win, players have to advance through three levels of difficulty without hitting the clerk with the candies. Created with Shockwave technology, the game includes a viral marketing component that allows players to challenge a friend to play via e-mail. The game will be advertised on youth-targeted sites such as www.mtv.com and www.warnerbros.com.
KPE’s most notable online game effort, the “Pringles Popblaster” rich media game for client Procter & Gamble, took a silver at the Interactive Clio Awards this year. (The Clio Awards are owned by Adweek Magazines.) The same creative team, led by Tracy Long and Tina Gongsakdi, who head up KPE’s rich media department, conceived, designed and produced the Starburst game.
“In addition to creating awareness and incenting trial, one of the advertising goals was to strengthen the emotional bond with our core teen consumers through our cool image, hip Clerk character and executions and by infiltrating teens lives and culture,” said Joanne Petro, account supervisor at Grey.
“Starburst has such great, vibrant brand identity in standard media, so there was no question that we would extend that online,” said KPE director of advertising Gulid Copeland. “Now, the consumer will experience a unified front from the moment they play Mini Mart Mayhem until they buy their bag of Hard Candies at the store.”
Founded in February 1996, KPE is a New York-based interactive developer specializing in media and entertainment with services including rich media and broadband content development, design and technology support, business planning and strategy, marketing and branding, and public relations.
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