As if credit card-related debt wasn’t a big enough problem in the U.S., Hasbro and Visa want to fuel the fire. Hasbro is launching a new edition of The Game of Life called Twists and Turns that will replace play money with a Visa-branded card. Matt Collins, Hasbro’s vice president of marketing, said of the switch, “When we started to design a completely new edition of the popular game, we knew it was also time to reflect the way people choose to pay and be paid – and replacing cash with Visa was an obvious choice.”
They also changed the goal of the game from accumulating the most money to earning the most “life points.” Supposedly this a combination of wealth and life experiences, but it’s not hard to see parallels between “life points” and the reward points and airlines miles offered by certain credit cards.
For their part, Visa says they’re simply responding to what consumers want:..
Integration into THE GAME OF LIFE: Twists & Turns Edition was a natural fit for Visa,” said Susanne Lyons, chief marketing officer, Visa USA. “The latest enhancement is a powerful illustration of consumer preference to pay with Visa for everyday purchase and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The game also highlights the importance of education and experiencing life to its fullest, which synch up nicely with the Visa brand.
But do not fret. Visa will provide handy material to be sure your kids don’t get sucked into thinking racking up credit card debt is ok:
In addition to incorporating a Visa-branded card as its official currency, THE GAME OF LIFE: Twists & Turns Edition will feature elements of Visa’s award-winning financial literacy curriculum Practical Money Skills for Life.
Here’s the translation for all this crap: Hasbro was looking for a way to pump life into an older board game. Visa was looking for a way to introduce a younger audience to their brand and get them used to paying for everything with a credit card (I can just hear them now, “Let’s get the kiddies comfortable with credit cards so when they hit 18 they’ll be like the cavalry and CHARGE!!!!!”) Voila! A partnership was born. It doesn’t say whether or not money or other promotional efforts (think inserts for Twists and Turns in Visa statements) were traded back and forth, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.
How about a new version of Ants in the Pants where the ants make it so terrible for the wearer that Terminex has to show up and kill them all. The cross-marketing possibilities are endless!