Angry Birds Take Up Space in Walmart
In a September 2011 RetailWire poll, many respondents (59 percent) thought the Angry Birds franchise would have two years or less before becoming yesterday’s fad. If that turns out to be so, the game’s maker and Walmart won’t be criticized for not trying to make the most out of Angry Birds mania while it was in full force.
According to reports, Walmart and Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, have signed a deal for the retailer to sell the brand’s merchandise, including clothing, food, mobile phones and plush toys, in all its stores in the U.S. As part of the launch of the new Angry Birds Space game, Walmart will be able to receive up to four "golden eggsteroid" clues on how to reach bonus levels. The first clue was delivered via Walmart’s Facebook page and the balance will be found on merchandise sold by the retailer.
"Walmart is bringing fun back to the shopping experience, with interactive merchandise that brings the best of digital gaming together with in-store retail," Seong Ohm, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for entertainment, Walmart U.S., said in a statement. "By partnering with Rovio, we’re able to give millions of avid bird slingers bonus content by coming into our stores and shopping our broad assortment of Angry Birds Space merchandise."
Rovio is seriously upping its exposure at retail with the Walmart promotion. The brand marketer has a similar, albeit much smaller, deal with Barnes & Noble. According to Reuters, Barnes & Noble operates dedicated sections for Angry Birds merchandise in its 691 bookstores in the U.S.
- Angry Birds Take Off – RetailWire
- Walmart Takes Angry Birds Space to New Heights with the First Retail and Gaming Integration – Walmart Stores
- Wal-Mart to sell Angry Birds products with clues to game – Chicago Tribune
- Wal-Mart to offer Angry Birds merchandise, clues – Reuters
Discussion Questions: What do you think of the strategy behind the Walmart/Angry Birds promotion? Will this type of exclusive deal become more common in retailing in the years ahead and, if so, what will it mean for retailers not named Walmart, Target, etc.?