As an online social-gaming network that aspires to be a “Facebook for kids,” Moshi Monsters has become the first true brand where the online world is the heart of the brand, and all other offline marketing drives engagement online.
Moshi Monsters was created in the U.K. three years ago by Michael Acton Smith, a 37-year old founder of the England-based entertainment company Mind Candy. Moshi monsters is a children’s game intertwining social networking elements, allowing kids to adopt and care for their own pet monsters in the virtual world of Monstro City. They can play games, solve Super Moshi Missions, decorate their own homes, read stories and communicate with their friends. Kids interact with each other through sending monitored messages to friends, sharing links on monster’s pages, or adopting a pet monster. Best of all, there is a simple URL and username so that kids can track and share in offline conversations.
The site itself is free, but there is a $8 subscription monthly to buy extra updates in the game. Moshi Monsters takes a metrics-oriented approach, its most successful marketing campaign making it one of the biggest digital entertainment brands for kids today. Ed Relf, the chief commercial officer of Moshi Monsters’ believes in his mantra “no metrics, no marketing.” The company takes an individual marketing channel tracking approach by measuring all the ROI on their marketing campaigns. Every time they change their background, they measure the click-through rates.
They learn by tweaking each individual effort that’s changed, even something small like changing the colors of individual words. The strategy here is taking the relationship kids have with toys, magazines, cards, and all sorts of offline properties and driving them back to the website. The lesson we can take from Moshi Monster’s success story is that social games and worlds for children will continue to grow and many brands will profit from social games, virtual worlds, and selling game-related products.