November 30, 2007, 12:00 AM

Office Depot uses a game to remind customers it’s got gifts, too

Office Depot has launched a micro-site featuring a game that gives visitors a chance to win high-tech prizes. It’s an effort to remind customers that Office Depot sells gift items as well as office supplies.

Customers of Office Depot Inc., many of them small business owners, shop its stores and web site all year long for office supplies. At holiday time, the company wants to remind them that it sells lots of cool, high-tech gift items, and it’s using a game-filled micro-site to get the message across.

The new site, www.giftofthedaygiveaway.com, features a game in which visitors choose among three levels of snowfall in an animated snow globe that shakes itself and then reveals whether the player has won a prize. Each day, Office Depot will give away one of the high-tech items it wants to remind customers of-such as flat-screen TVs, laptop computers and digital cameras-as well as 24 gift cards. The game runs from Nov. 19 to Dec. 23.

“The goal is first and foremost to provide a fun and entertaining experience to our customers,” says Ted Stedem, senior director of marketing in Office Depot’s retail unit. “And we want to reinforce Office Depot as a holiday gift destination.” The site also features two other games that are just for fun.

Office Depot, No. 3 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is promoting the giveaway with a banner on its home page and through e-mail marketing. It also plans to begin soon placing banners promoting the game on others’ web sites. This is the first time Office Depot has created a promotional holiday micro-site like this, and the company wanted to make sure the user experience was good before advertising it widely, Stedem says.

He says the traffic to the micro-site has been building well and many visitors are using the feature that lets them inform friends of the giveaway, although he would not provide data. He also says many visitors are taking advantage of a feature that lets them schedule e-mails to themselves with a reminder to return to the site to play on days when the top prize to be given away is something they especially desire.

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