News & Views

Scrabble, Mattel / Wifi Minigame

by Contagious Team

Mobile minigame sees 6,000 words played in return for free wifi in Paris

To combat our slapdash use of language from hastily dashing off text messages, tweets and status updates, Mattel-owned game Scrabble reached out to smartphone owners by providing free wifi in parts of Paris to people who played its online mini game. The more words they submitted, the more minutes of wifi they unlocked.

Via Ogilvy Paris, Scrabble identified parts of Paris where wifi connections were patchy and placed free wifi there. Those who selected the Scrabble network when trying to get online were assigned seven randomly assigned letters, just like in the board game. They then created a word from those letters and whatever score they received automatically converted into free wifi minutes. To amplify the promotion, players who shared their words on Facebook could double their score and also their allocated wifi minutes. 

In two weeks, people played more than 6,000 words and the brand gave away more than 110,000 minutes of wifi.

Contagious Insight      

Scrabble has always been about bringing people and words together, so providing wifi to help connect you to your social networks via your smartphone is totally on-brand. The way the brand further rewarded people who shared their words via Facebook underlines the social nature of the game and the brand's benevolent nature. 

Because a lost wifi connection - just like a drained smartphone battery - can cause so much hassle and inconvenience as we rely more heavily on being online to run our lives, being the brand who can step in and provide it when it's most needed is a solid position to be in. Scrabble isn't the first brand to do this; in the last few months, we've seen telco Three take this route in Sweden, Coca-Cola and mobile operator Oi team up to provide free wifi in parts of Brazil and CJ Entertainment distribute free wifi via its movie billboards to share information about an upcoming film. 

The smart aspect of Scrabble's Parisian effort is how it combines providing a service with having fun creating words: an exchange that reminds people why they enjoy the game at a time when they're least expecting it.

This story originally appeared on Contagious Feed. Contagious Feed is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious Feed contact