Following a round of successful on-line promotions featuring its Goosebumps and The Magic School Bus properties late last year, Scholastic is already looking to increase the involvement of kids who visit its Web site.
While the company has no definitive plan on how to increase traffic and keep kids involved, it is considering everything from more complicated and involved games, to selling merchandise on-line, to setting up e-mail and chat rooms.
‘If [kids] are reading a book, watching a television show, playing with the products or watching the home video, they don’t really have much of an opportunity to contribute and participate,’ says Leslye Schaefer, Scholastic’s senior vice president of marketing and consumer products. ‘I think that [on-line] activities really involve them in a very different way and help them understand the property better.’
The Goosebumps joint promotion with General Mills featured an interactive sandwich builder game, a trivia contest and an opportunity to enter the Reading is a Scream sweepstakes. Prizes included DreamWorks Interactive CD-ROMs, Fox Home Entertainment videos and libraries of Goosebumps books.
Scholastic’s promotion for its television series The Magic School Bus included an on-line book giveaway with links to a Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus connect-the-dots game on Colgate-Palmolive’s Web site.
These were Scholastic’s first Internet promotions.
‘The Internet is a great way of getting information across quickly and at a low cost, and effectively because that’s where kids are hanging out these days,’ says Eric Nissenbaum, Scholastic’s associate producer on-line. ‘It motivates us to go in different directions and think a little broader in terms of how we want to market ourselves.’