Like any 10-year-old birthday boy, SpongeBob Squarepants wants a party. Unlike most, he’s getting about 3,800 of them, at the U.S. outlets of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer.
All this month Nickelodeon is marking the tenth anniversary of SpongeBob by cooperating with Walmart on a campaign of pop-up stores, “The Happy Place,” featuring unique SpongeBob apparel, DVDs, music, electronic games, toys, books and other merchandise.
The in-store sale will be integrated with Walmart’s TV, print and online advertising for the month, as well as in-store signage and a presence in the Walmart circular and on the main Web site.
There’s also a SpongeBob microsite created specifically for Walmart customers. Visitors to the site can enter special codes they’ve picked up from store visits to unlock exclusive digital content such as a virtual “SpongeBob Buddy” avatar, party tips for holding their own birthday celebrations, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the filming of a SpongeBob-branded Walmart TV spot to promote the celebration.
“Ten years of SpongeBob deserves something incredible,” Nickelodeon/ Viacom Consumer Products president Leigh Anne Brodsky said in a release. “With a truly unique in-store experience and new, distinctive product at Walmart, customers feel like they’re part of the SpongeBob tenth-anniversary celebration.”
That unique content includes a new THQ SpongeBob “beach party Cook Off” video game with exclusive packaging, a “SpongeBob Squarepants Greatest hits” CD from Sony Music with bonus tracks, and a DVD package from Paramount Home Entertainment that combines the first direct-to-DVD SpongeBob movie release with an exclusive SpongeBob lunchbox and computer game. Jakks Pacific has also produced plush toys that will be exclusive to the Walmart in-store promotion.