Now I realize I'm a bit of a 90s purist, but seriously Monopoly? You killed the iron? And you did it in February?? How was this not bigger news? It's like, and I mean EXACTLY like, when they stripped Pluto of its planet classification and I, for one, am miffed.
The iron is as dead as a doornail. That's one thing. At least they used the word retired to make it sound respectful in some way. What, you ask, did they replace it with? A cat. No you did not hear me wrong. They replaced the however random but classic iron with a cat. I blame Youtube. That is all.
Cat rants aside, the reason for this blog post is to hit upon another point entirely. Monopoly is doing away with jail and just wait til you hear why. They're getting rid of um, the only obstacle in the game, because kids don't have time to go to jail while PLAYING A BOARD GAME. They. Don't. Have. Time. To. Roll. Doubles? I'll tell ya, I'm worried about Vegas come 20 years from now (street cred to #frobro). They blame short attention spans of today's youth and instead of, I don't know, sending them outside with a stick and a juice box, they're conforming and making what is essentially Monopoly lite.
The entire premise of the game is different. In this, what they call Monopoly Empire version, players can buy and trade big brands like McDonalds, XBox and Coca-Cola instead of properties. Are you freaking kidding me? One of the game pieces is a mini XBox controller and I'd be shocked if others didn't include a Big Mac and a Coke can.
<insert future vision of humans in wall-e here>
Between 2004 and 2009, Kaiser preformed a study that concluded child media consumption increased from 1.5 hours per day .... to 7.5. That is downright jaw dropping. That's an entire work day exclusively devoted to cartoon watching, tweeting and video games. Literally, that's longer than you spend at your desk on a daily basis.
As a marketer, I can appreciate a game based on branding. I would without question support a game called Brandland or Brandempire or anything... but it seems to me like Monopoly's selling out with negative motivations. The classic game that we all knew and loved, the classic game that stood for quality family and friend time, the classic game that taught you about money and rent and heck, even taxes, has sold out in favor of a dollar.
In the wide world of marketing, you have to evolve. Complacency kills the cat (pun intended) and I get it, old brands struggle through evolution. At the core though, Monopoly has always stood for something in my mind, and it seems that the mindset behind this drastic change is not on brand in the slightest.
The question I'd pose to Monopoly is this: Is the motivation behind this truly for the betterment and evolution of the brand or is it a hands in the air, scatterbrained attempt to keep up with the ever changing tech landscape? I wish you the best Monopoly but, if I were you, I'd be careful what I throw in the towel for.