Hasbro is launching a marketing initiative to “teach” children how to play with its Action Man dolls. The company is trying to halt a slide in UK sales of Action Man and to parry the threat posed by computer console games.
Hasbro says the initiative aims to get children playing with Action Man in an imaginative way and to create playground excitement. At the moment, the company uses a story-based marketing strategy in which Action Man hunts down his arch-foe, Dr X.
Hasbro, which spends an estimated £15m a year on marketing in the UK, has appointed Blueberry Frog to develop a European strategy for Action Man.
Blueberry Frog managing director Heather Fullerton says the aim of the project is to show children how to play with Action Man and with other children.
Blueberry Frog, the “buzz marketing” arm of Amsterdam-based Strawberry Frog will work alongside Hasbro’s advertising network DDB – BMP DDB in the UK.
Vivid Imaginations overtook Hasbro to become the number one UK boys’ toys manufacturer last year. In November last year, Hasbro was hit by a £4.9m fine by the Office of Fair Trading, for price-fixing in collusion with retailers including Argos and Littlewoods.