Silent Treatment

Want big buzz? Keep your mouth shut.
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This story appears in the March 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A little mystery goes a long way. Just ask the marketers behind Interactive Imagination, a multimedia entertainment company that unleashed the fantasy world of Magi-Nation one piece at a time.

Between Pokémon-loving kiddies and the older set who enjoy the complex Magic the Gathering, Interactive Imagination had carved a niche in the collectible card game industry. Mindful that their target market would reject attempts at mass marketing, Interactive Imagination chose instead to use a mysterious comic book flier to raise curiosity. Featuring snazzy artwork and the name "Magi-Nation," a comic scene revealed the unfamiliar world of the game and promoted its fall arrival. One million fliers were displayed at hobby stores and published in industry magazines before the product launch, igniting a buzz campaign.

When the Magi-Nation game finally materialized in October 2000, it sold out its initial print run by the end of the holidays, and the Seattle firm projects $5 million in sales for 2001. "We could start small," says co-founder and creative director Phillip Tavel, 30, (whose partners are Don Morris, 50; Sterling Griffin, 40; Rich Silveira, 46; and Greg Richardson von Oy, 32), "because we had faith players would like it enough to show it to others. To a great extent, that's what has happened."

Contact Source

Interactive Imagination
(206) 264-7598,
Edition: July 2017

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