Case study: Successful engagement with emerging technology

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Founded in 2002 by designer Paul Budnitz, Kidrobot is the premier creator of limited-edition art toys and apparel. In collaboration with many of the world's most talented artists and designers, its toys blend sculpture, popular art, and exclusivity to create a highly collectible and often extremely rare product.

Co-author Nichole East is marketing manager for Kidrobot.

To promote the launch of its new Dunny Series toys, Kidrobot worked with creative studio We Are Plus to develop a non-traditional marketing campaign using social media, mobile technology and apps, and guerilla street teams.

Coined the Dunny Hunt NYC '09, the five-day campaign took place one week prior to the formal launch of the toys. The campaign guided participants on a virtual and physical scavenger hunt across downtown Manhattan. Hunters used their smartphones to scan quick response (QR) codes on specially designed promotional materials to become eligible for daily prizes and the grand prize (a full set of the 2009 Dunny Series).

Kidrobot collected numerous online media impressions that spanned from niche titles to global mainstream marketing publications. Meanwhile, on the streets of NYC, the Dunny Hunt '09 campaign engaged more than 500 hardcore Kidrobot fans and played a significant role in driving sales at the company's ecommerce site and retail store.

The challenge
We knew that Kidrobot's trendsetting first-adopter culture would not react to a typical direct response campaign. With more than 20,000 subscribers on Twitter alone, Kidrobot fans are part of a generation that uses the internet, mobile phones, and word of mouth to communicate with each other and the brands they follow.

With the annual Dunny Series release, Kidrobot has continued to put a lot of energy and thought into finding fun, intriguing promotions that engage its fans and invite active participation. "Kidrobot is known for its toys, clothing, and store design," explained Budnitz. "But more than anything else, Kidrobot is a community and cultural experience. We're constantly finding new ways to involve our community in what we do."

For We Are Plus, the biggest challenge was working across the blend of different platforms to bring a new mobile technology into the final creative and strategic solution.

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Roger Darnell
Roger Darnell January 27, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Many thanks from everyone at We Are Plus and Kidrobot for taking an interest in this project.

Sincerely -- Roger D.

DWA for We Are Plus