The effort plays off Visa’s “Life Takes Visa” tagline. “Hasbro gets the chance to reflect consumers’ desire to use electronic payment in the course of their daily lives and Visa gets a great brand fit,” said Visa spokesman Michael Rolnick. “The fit between the brands is so natural.”
In addition to the Visa card, the game also features elements of Visa’s financial literacy curriculum Practical Money Skills for Life. Players can choose four paths to pursue their life goals, including the adventure track, family track, college track or the career track.
“For us, it’s an opportunity to give parents a chance to start a dialogue with their kids about financial practices,” Rolnick said.
Critics, however, say the deal is the latest attempt by marketers to exploit young children.
“This co-branding with children’s toys means that children can’t even play a game without having some product marketed to them,” said Susan Linn, do-founder of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the author of Consuming Kids. “Credit card companies have saturated the teen market and are now trying to seek younger and younger customers. That’s concerning, especially when credit card debit is a growing, among young people. It’s just sleazy of Hasbro.”
Rolnick, however, countered that Visa’s goal is to teach players about financial responsibility. The company will place brochures for its Practical Money Skills for Life curriculum in board game packaging, he said.
“We are not marketing to kids,” Rolnick said. “We are helping to educate kids. It’s never to early.”
Game of Life: Twist & Turns edition hits stores in August, selling for $34.99.