Hasbro Inc., maker of the classic board game Monopoly, has decided to go to the people with its most recent change. Via a Facebook poll, fans of the iconic game were given the choice to replace one of the original tokens with a new gamepiece. The polls are now closed and the public has spoken. Fans have decided to boot out the iron piece and replace it with ... a cat. The cat received an overwhelming 31 percent of votes while only 8 percent of people voted pro-iron. The new edition will hit the stores late this summer.
It seems that the Internet's cat craze has trickled over to the Monopoly board. Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president of Hasbro gaming marketing, told reporters "I think there were a lot of cat lovers in the world that reached out and voted." The other new piece contenders — a robot, diamond ring, helicopter and guitar — put up a good fight.
The wheelbarrow and the shoe were also on the chopping block along with the unlucky iron. But ABC News reported that the saved pieces were heavily backed by Ames True Temper and Zappos, respectively.
The new Monopoly piece reveals a lot more than the obvious fact there are a lot of cat fans out there. First of all, this is one example of a company using social media to adapt their product. AriZona Tea has used Facebook polls to gave their fans a chance to vote for their new flavor. Baskin Robbins also turned to Facebook crowds and asked them to create their own original flavors. Facebook has used its own social network to test proposed privacy changes to its users and adapted to the results. The merge of social media and marketing seems to be a growing trend. With platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, companies are able to crowd source, poll and advertise all at once.
And so, in this changing world, it is no coincidence that the iron, symbol of household life when it was added to Monopoly in 1930s, has been replaced. Although this metaphor might have been more obvious if the modern robot or helicopter had won the vote, the online collaboration in the change of this classic game sheds light on how companies are evolving.