Australian online marketing agency Sputnik announced that it is working with Kmart to create a first time digital promotional plan in order to drive internet users into Kmart stores during its annual toy sale in July 2008. In an integrated promotion, the goal is to transfer enthusiasm experienced online into sales at the brick and mortar retail level. Marketers still trying to work out the formula for driving offline sales with online promotions, especially in the tricky FMCG sector, will no doubt be looking to see whether Sputnik and Kmart play nicely together.

Kmart claim to be the first of the large retail chains in Australia to employ a promotional program focused on transferring online activity to store level purchasing. They will launch the digital promotion with two digital games, The Super Balloon Game and The Mighty Robot Explorer. Both Sputnik creations, these digital games have been specifically developed to encourage the Kmart online user to enjoy the fun of toys and games prior to Kmart’s Annual Toy Sale.

The Super Toy Sale website and games is one [sic] of many new initiatives Kmart has undertaken and have been more than satisfied with the service and end product delivered by Sputnik Agency,” says Alexander Andrews, online advertising coordinator of Kmart.

The digital games will be available from within the official Kmart website, and are aimed at encouraging toy enthusiasts to enjoy the brand and their time on the Kmart website. The thinking behind this is that with a heightened online Kmart experience, online shoppers will be encouraged to visit Kmart stores during the toy sale and open their wallets.

Short video screenshots of the two online games can be watched below and there are also links to the two games at the end of this article.

The Newshounds view?

FMCG and retail seem to be particularly difficult sectors for marketers to sell the value of online interaction to clients, so its refreshing to see a the likes of Kmart indulging in this somewhat integrated strategy. Whether it will work or not is of course the $million question.

The Newshound cant help but ask how are prospective customers going to hear about and interact with these cute online games in the first place? And isnt there just the slightest chance that a vast majority of the people interacting with the brand online will be familiar enough with the Kmart brand to already know about the Annual Toy Sale? How many new sales is this strategy likely to generate, or is it perhaps best viewed as an interesting branding exercise for Kmart?

Would love to hear your thoughts …