NeoPets is one of the Web-sites most popular to kids today with its estimated six million members spending hours there (Beck, J. C. & Wade, M. 2006). It was originally created and launched by Adam Powell and Donna Williams on November, 1999 but it was bought shortly after its launching, by Doug Dohring, who established the NeoPets, Inc to make the Website profitable. On June 20, 2005 NeoPets Inc. was bought by Viacom which further improved NeoPets Inc. to what it is now, a Web site with over fifty million visitors worldwide.
Today, NeoPets is a virtual world where virtual pets lives. Site visitors can create an account and own pets, takes care of them buying them foods, providing them accessories and toys using a virtual money known as Neopoints (Neopets Overview). By every angle, the site is exciting especially for children both boys and girls because they are the ones more excited in taking care real pets. In the NeoPets, they can choose their favorite pets and takes care of them. Preventing NeoPets’s concept from becoming a fad The love for pets is natural for every kids of all generation.
NeoPets can prevent its concepts from becoming a fad by exploiting the children’s natural love for pets. Unlike the Ninja Turtles and Hulahoops which has to create their own space, and excitement among children because they not have their own natural space in them, NeoPets has unique advantage because they have their own natural space among young children and even among adolescents as most children and even adolescents are pet lovers. All they need to do is to be creative in exploiting children’s natural excitement and love for animals.
They can turn to active promotion of pets by creating advertisements targeting children’s tender heart for animals while introducing the website where they can enjoy their favorite pets, feeding them, and taking care of them by themselves. What country-to-country differences in acceptability of NeoPets might exist? Apparently, NeoPets is addressing every problems relating to country-to-country differences and acceptability. According to NeoPets Overview, NeoPets was refurbished in 2007, and in 2008 it has changed to NeoStudios to further enhance its operation while it continues to develop existing programs (NeoPets Overview).
Differences in acceptability perhaps can just be seen in terms of language problems. NeoPets can deal with this problem by either establishing local partnership or the company creates program in the language of the country they operate. Examining each of the criticisms about NeoPets’ practices One of the most criticized practices of NeoPets is its email marketing practice which raised the question whether the audience understands its full implication. This practice allows kids to collect email addresses that may not all be good to them (Rodger, Z. 2004).
Other criticism however, is light such as why the site was launched in Japanese since the concept is much like Pokemon. NeoPets has already done something on the issues particularly on e-mail marketing by requiring parental consent especially among kids below 13 years old. However, since this issue is quite sensitive, and yet, most of the time kids are unsupervised in their private room, something more serious action has to be done in order that this practice may not lead to something no one would like to happen.
First, the regulatory agency should require NeoPets safety measure in order that this practice will not be used for personal or motives. NeoPets must assume full responsibility that their strategy will not be used for evil purpose. Can NeoPets extend its concept to an adult market? How? Yes, NeoPets can extend its concepts to an adult market by simply creating similar program but in the context of an adult. For example, instead of earning points the concept can be change to make it more exciting such as, they can engage on pet racing, pet training, and other more exciting games. Many adults love to play online games too.
But the problem with this, adults does not much time as children have. Besides, their interests are more divers compared to children, so NeoPets can not expect considerable patronage of the site. Thus, even if its possible for NeoPets to extend its concept to an adult, it seems that it is more wise for them to concentrate on children audience. Reference Beck, J. C. ;amp Wade, M. (2006) The Kids are Right USA: Harvard Business Press NeoPets OverView http://internetgameonline. com/neopets-overview-a120. html Rodgers, Z. (2004) The Stikiest Site in the World Burst Network http://www. clickz. com/3395581
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