What’s a Matter[box]?

In the ever-changing world of marketing and branding, companies need to develop new ideas to keep people interested. Matterbox offers a great way to do this. It’s a box filled with various products that is delivered to the address you provide when you sign up. By relying on word of mouth, it’s becoming very popular.
“Matter is a box full of interesting stuff – a way for companies to talk to people by giving them things,” states the company’s website.

The Different Kinds of Matterboxes

Mix it up or keep it the same?

The previous two Matterboxes – the pilot and first edition – contained a mixture of products from different companies such as an O2 SIM pack, Original Source shower gel, BBC Audiobooks, a Cadbury chocolate bar, LOVEFILM, alcoholic mixes, and books published by Harper Collins. In this new edition, Cadbury has gone solo in promoting itself as London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ Official Treats Provider. Their aim is to get a friendly competitive spirit going by having people pick Spots or Stripes and play games online and in person.

Which is better?

While companies may prefer to have only their products inside the Matterbox, I would enjoy the surprise of the first type – a mixture of random products that don’t seem to match. Not only is the sense of unknown more exciting, it also lets you get your hands on products from different companies that you might not even think of supporting. (Plus, free shower gel means one less thing to buy at the shop!)

Stuart Gray wrote about the surprise factor of receiving his first Matterbox here. He goes one step further and suggests that Matter should increase the intrigue factor by providing cryptic clues about the contents of the upcoming boxes.

Cadbury’s Matterbox

The Cadbury Matterbox came with a postcard, a chocolate bar and two pocketgames. Cadbury asks those who receive the box to play, evaluate the games, and vote for the best one.  Since we are serious about our work, we gave it a go!

Flick Racer Game: After drawing a 10-15cm-wide racetrack on a surface that you find yourself, you place the “race cars” on your track and flick them along the surface until your car crosses the finish line and wins the race! This one kept us entertained for a good half-hour with car crashes, flips and laughter.

Egg-a thon Game: Definitely a “pocketgame”: What you need to play is all in the box. The goal is to move your two eggs across the board to the finish line according to the number rolled on the dice. Mischievous players are very welcome to block the opponent instead of heading straight to the finish line. Though not as fun as Flick Racer, competitive spirits can play this anywhere – standing, sitting and, if coordinated enough, even walking.

Our winner: Flick Racer – We definitely had more fun playing this one!

Matterbox customer service – We signed Capra up to get our very own Matterbox, but received an email that demand was too high this round. @kassy4 tweeted about her disappointment and immediately received a tweet response telling her that she could request one of the last few special boxes. How special did we feel when it finally arrived on the doorstep?

Matterbox is free – All you have to do is sign up and provide information of your preferred forms of advertising, your interests and the media types you support. Since Matterbox works through word of mouth, it might not be as useful as traditional marketing campaigns.  But in today’s market, word of mouth seems to be powerful if the product is worthwhile.

I would highly recommend you sign up for the next one. It’s free. Why not enjoy the surprise?

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