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Christen DiNapoli talks Angry Birds and Is Walmart-Rovio Partnership a Winning Move?

Everything is for the birds these days. Angry Birds that is. The franchise is just about everywhere. In the grocery store, there’s the kid playing on his mobile phone, who walks head on into the canned peas because he’s not watching where he’s walking. In restaurants parents are socializing with friends, while children are playing Angry Birds on their parents’ phones. Retailers sell licensed clothing, plush toys and other novelties. How many times have you been greeted by a child and “Can I play angry birds on your phone?” is the first thing out of his mouth? It happens. A lot.

Angry Birds fans are always on the edge of their seats waiting for what’s next. As luck would have it they usually don’t have to wait long. A new something is usually right around the corner. Franchise owner, Rovio Entertainment, recently made their next move to partner with retail mega-monster, WalMart, in an effort to get Angry Birds fans off their phones for just a minute, and into the brick and mortar stores.

The entertainment media company plans to launch exclusive Angry Birds content at Wal-Mart. Select products will all have “hidden” embedded codes that unlock new levels.

This strategy will create a unique, interactive play experience for consumers. Both Rovio and Wal-Mart expect a win-win partnership. Wal-Mart hopes to have fans flocking to their stores to get the latest and greatest Angry Birds offering while increasing foot traffic and point-of-purchase (POP) sales. Angry Birds creators are expecting to expand their brand and add some real retail excitement. Let’s not forget, they’ll also cash in on the royalties.

This business model isn’t entirely unique. Similar strategies have been executed successfully in the past. Licensed Pac Man merchandise sold well at retail in the 1980s, and the successful Webkinz business model brought consumers into retail stores and then brought them online to add on. The console game, Skylanders, is driving consumers to retail to expand their interaction figure collection, enhancing the game play experience.

Will we get to add the Wal-Mart/Rovio partnership to the list of success stories? Only time will tell.

Christen DiNapoli is a global brand marketer and forward-thinking leader who has brought fun and games into the Toy industry for over a decade. She is co-founder of CDK Creative Play Marketing and Design Consultants. Prior to that, she led a Project Management team, and helped bring hundreds of fun and innovative products to market. CDK has over 40 years of combined experience and a deep understanding of marketing and design in the toy and game industry.

Christen and her partners at CDK Creative Play help companies convert ideas, insights and trends - into games - and then help launch them into the marketplace. They have extensive understanding of game product design, taking into account costing and manufacturing barriers. They can provide deep insights on consumer segments including preschool, kids, puzzles, families, and adults. They understand how game companies operate and how to make compelling game presentations to key decision makers.

Contact Christen ( to learn more about how CDK Creative Play can help you grow your ideas.

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