The board game “Monopoly” could be considered a fun way to learn how to manage your finances — while purchasing boulevards, homes and hotels and avoiding jail time. In Seattle, an augmented reality version of the game is being used to teach people smart money tips while giving them the chance to win cash and prizes.
The financial services company Ally launched the game on Seattle streets — and in five other U.S. cities — on Saturday. Giant tokens and property spaces are being used to promote what the company calls a “real world AR scavenger hunt.”
In the Fremont neighborhood, Ally placed a giant, purple Scottie dog along the Burke-Gilman Trail. It’s tough to miss as it competes for attention butt to butt with the huge dinosaur topiary at the edge of the Ship Canal.
“Thinking about money and how best to manage it can be daunting, but gamification is proven to help,” Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer of Ally, said in a news release. “Ally + Monopoly is part of our ongoing strategy to make the ‘money talk’ less intimidating, giving people the confidence to talk about saving and spending, making investments, buying a home, and how to recover if they have a financial stumble.”
In Seattle and Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Dallas, Detroit and New York, players (over 18) can use their smartphones to access the game’s AR functions (during daylight hours). By bringing the game to life, a variety of prizes become attainable, including a new Jeep Wrangler, GO Square prizes of $200, and grand prizes of $50,000.
The entire effort, which will be active in Seattle through Monday, has not been without some controversy, as some objected via social media to Ally’s stickering of Seattle streets with its game paraphernalia. The Scottie Dog game piece, which Ally placed via a contract with the landowner, was also labeled “garbage in our public parks” on Reddit.
Periodic friendly reminder: it is illegal to use public sidewalks for private gain — i.e. ads.
— Lindsay Cohen (@lindsaycohen) October 15, 2019
Hi Lindsay, all of the decals have been removed from Seattle. ^MB
— Ally Care (@AllyCare) October 17, 2019
If the game hasn’t come to your city, you can play a version online here.