Advice to Disney on Club Penguin

10 Aug

If Disney’s looking for advice on how not to handle Club Penguin, they could do worse than to read The Wachamacallit’s rant on the new Neopets NC Mall, the first site I’m aware of to offer virtual items to kids in exchange for real money:

What I’m trying to say is that viacom has turned the actually free neopets, into America. Slowly and subtly though. it started with several tool bars, but that wasn’t working. They sent out television adds on nick , but they were to subtle. so they brought out full out adds. They pointed out things like the new game ‘Shenkuu river rush’ and for some reason, lowered the amount of neopoints you start with by 1000. The NC Mall was the final blow though. Needing to use real money, to buy virtual items on a kids site?

The Wachamacallit may have some flaws in his research (insert standard disclaimer here regarding hat tips to members of one’s own immediate family), but his message is clear nonetheless: be cautious in marketing to children.

3 Responses to “Advice to Disney on Club Penguin”

  1. ™XäÑfËr™ August 10, 2007 at 9:00 am #

    thats why i quit neopets.

  2. Jon August 10, 2007 at 12:55 pm #

    I don’t get the virtual pet crazy. This is the training ground for World of Warcraft. I actually got a Club Penguin account when I first read the news. Its fun, but it lost my interest fast. Same thing with Virtual Magic Kingdom.

  3. Kitty-chan August 10, 2007 at 1:50 pm #

    I tried VMK, but it never really grabbed me. Haven’t tried Club Penguin yet, but just might if my son keeps hanging out there.

    That’s how I started in on NeoPets actually. I feel that one of the best ways to understand what my kid is doing online is to use the same sites.

    But now this NeoPets account of mine seems to take on a life of its own. I know my NeoPets are in fact just entries in some database, but I feel strangely responsible for remembering to feed them. Perhaps I should looking into a bit of professional help . . .

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