With TV advertising no longer enough to ensure good listings and sell-through, Drumond Park is looking for new ways to ensure its range of games and puzzles are at the forefront of consumers’ minds.
As the firm comes to the end of a successful year, for example, it is embarking on the latest of its experiential marketing campaigns by sponsoring the UK Schools Memory Championships for the first time.
The championships are operated by learning consultancy Inspire Education in co-operation with national Government initiatives, Aimhigher and in some areas, Gifted and Talented.
Throughout the school year, eight times World Memory Champion Dominic O’Brien leads training sessions and then in-school competitions identify the most talented participants to go through to the national final, held each June.
Drumond Park will supply each participating school with a Brain Box, which will contain one each of the original Rubik’s Cube, the Revo by Rubik’s and the new Rubik’s 360.
“This unique competition provides a superb platform for embedding learning and memory techniques into education and for developing life-long learning skills,” says joint founder and marketing director Claire McCool.
“These three Rubik’s products provide excellent tools towards this end.”
Perhaps it is direct marketing initiatives like this that have kept Drumond Park in such a favourable position throughout the year, while many other suppliers are seeing a fall in their games and puzzles revenues.
In third quarter results, both Mattel and Hasbro cited that sales for their games and puzzles sectors had declined, but Drumond Park Games is experiencing the opposite.
McCool explains: “Trade sales continue to be very buoyant, with substantial sell-through starting much earlier in the season than usual.
“Families and friends tend to come together during an economic downturn, and what better way to cement bonds that will be carried forward once the crisis is over, than by playing games, or doing puzzles or magic together?”
Both new products and more established options perform well for the company, with the Rubik’s Cube coming through as the UK’s top game in 2008 and the Gross Magic Conjuring Set consistently hitting number one in the magic category for the last three seasons.
Also selling well so far this year is the new Rubik’s 360, retailing at £14.99 and suitable for ages eight to adult. Its multi-faceted PR and promotions campaign has been running since launch in August, with activity planned up until Christmas.
McCool enthuses: “According to aficionados, the 360 is proving to be the most exciting puzzle to hit the market since the launch of The Cube almost 30 years ago and the nation’s toy trade buyers have unilaterally supported its introduction with their order books.”
Another recent addition to the Drumond Park stable is the Logo board game (priced around £24.99, suitable for ages 12 to adult), which has seen strong sell-through.
TV advertising, PR, promotional and a sampling campaign for the brand recognition game has been running since October and will continue until Christmas week.
With a strong product line-up, supported by innovative promotional activity, Drumond Park is one brand that’s going to be remembered by the trade in the coming months.