CAMPAIGN: Deal or No Deal in Xmas board game transition

Channel 4's surprise game show phenomenon Deal or No Deal? has resurrected the career of host Noel Edmonds and given the broadcaster the upper hand in the weekday afternoon ratings war, with an average of three to four million daytime viewers. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before a board game was launched...

Campaign The Real Deal
Client Drumond Park Games
PR team Ray Hodges, HPS Group
Timescale September-December 2006
Budget Less than £15,000

Production company Endemol sold the licensing rights to a range of Deal or No Deal? games to Drumond Park Games, the UK’s biggest independent company of its kind in terms of sales. It hired consumer leisure consultant Ray Hodges and marcoms firm HPS Group to promote the game in the run-up to Christmas.

To highlight the fact that the popular C4 game show had been translated into a board game.

Strategy and Plan

Contrary to Drumond Park’s usual practice for family board games, it decided to steer away from TV and consumer media advertising. Instead, it dedicated its entire marketing budget to PR and two Christmas-themed media events.
The events were entitled Christmas in July and Dream Toys, at which the PR teams manned stands and demonstrated the product.

The initial target audience for the games was families (with mothers expected to be the most likely purchasers), but research showed that children also understood and enjoyed the game, so the campaign was also run with kids in mind.

Drumond Park’s PR team sent information to journalists through conventional press releases, email and personal calls.

Over a two-month period it targeted suitable press and broadcast media, positioning the game as appealing to young children, teen­agers, families and ‘greys’ alike.

It supplied samples of the product to the editors and presenters of major morning TV programmes and daytime chat shows.

Measurement and Evaluation
The campaign achieved more than 100 articles in newspapers such as the Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Star, Scotsman, Daily Record, Belfast Telegraph and Western Mail. The game was also played on-air on GMTV, and featured on kids’

Saturday morning programme Tmi (CBBC and BBC2). It was also mentioned on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2, as well as commercial radio shows.

A competition to win the board game appeared in TV Times, Chat, Pick-me-Up, Woman’s Own, Real People, Love It, TV Hits, Yours and My Weekly. Promotions were also run on various websites, which featured links to the Drumond Park portal.

The board game was the UK’s best-selling toy in December, according to market researcher NPD. The Toy Retailers’ Association selected Deal or No Deal as one of its ‘Cool Dozen’ toys for 2007.

In January, Deal or No Deal won the British Toy & Hobbies Association’s Game of the Year award.

Crucially for Drumond Park, the board game sold out over the Christmas period.

Lesley-Anne Henry, news reporter at the Belfast Telegraph, says she was alerted to the game launch via a press release. ‘We ran the story in both the broadsheet and compact editions on page three with a big picture.

‘I’m glad the game sold well because I watch the show and it’s fun.’

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