When Activision launched its Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure video game last fall, they—and game developer Toys for Bob—banked on its kids appeal by having players purchase toy action figures to access certain characters in the game. Now Activision is once again connecting digital and offline for the rollout of an exclusive online minigame, Skylanders: Spyro’s Universe, in partnership with Frito-Lay.
When consumers pick up one of the three specially marked Frito-Lay variety packs—the Multipack Classic Mix, Multipack Flavor Mix or Multipack Adventure Mix—they’ll get a code to punch in online to see if they've won one of the game's action figures and access the minigame. However neither the Frito-Lay code nor the action figures are required to play the game, which is tied to last year's Skylanders game but is open to new players as well.
Call it admirable restraint or a missed opportunity, Frito-Lay will not have a brand presence within the minigame. Asif Hirji, senior director of marketing at Frito-Lay, said the companies had discussed the possibility of integrating the brand but chose to limit its involvement so as to not clutter the gaming experience “given how new the program is for Skylanders.”
“In the future we might open up that conversation, but for now we’ve kept it clean that way,” he said.
However, Frito-Lay and Activision will be running a multiphase marketing push throughout the year, with the next phase to roll out later this year on TV. The companies are still finalizing the number of spots that will run, but they will air on “family-friendly TV stations” and come bundled with complementary digital efforts, Hirji said. Frito-Lay will also run 9,000 in-store displays featuring the Multipack products and Skylanders brands.