Westfield and Persil push play

Shopping is one of the country’s favourite leisure activities. But for certain, usually non-female, demographics, the thrill of consumerism quickly wears thin. In response to this, Ikea has just developed a male creche in Australia called Manland. And, in New Zealand, as part of a programme to keep the kids entertained, Westfield BrandSpace, Persil and DNA have joined forces to create a series of new branded indoor playgrounds.

“Their intention was to create a space that would appeal to brands who wanted to create a unique experience for kids in Westfield malls across New Zealand,” the DNA website said. “The result is a space defined by a multi-sided tree form that can be modified and customised depending upon the brand experience required. Each side of the tree takes on the role of different environment such as Beachland and Dinoland.”

The concept for creative kids play areas was in development for ten months before a sponsor was approached. And Persil, in a deal brokered by Amanda Cater at Spark PHD, signed on in an effort to broaden its retail footprint, align with its sponsorship of the Small Whites (Soccer land is one of the areas in the playground) and amp up its brand proposition ‘Dirt is good’.

Westfield undertook research with focus groups to ensure the brand fit was right and would be welcomed by parents, guardians and shoppers. And DNA’s role was simply to develop the overall concept and primary play environments, with other partners developing additional play furniture, graphics and handling the construction and fabrication of the site.

“There are natural brand synergies between [Westfield and Persil],” says Westfield’s BrandSpace corporate sales manager Richelle Scott. “Persil encourages kids to have fun, to get dirty and to enjoy life. Westfield encourages exploration, adventure and learning.”

The new WKids Preschool Play Areas evolved to feature the Persil ‘splat’ logo as the playground centerpiece, although DNA says it was just coincidence the tree form eventually decided on was similar to the Persil logo.

“We wanted our sponsor’s brand to be an integral part of the play areas, rather than just a logo stuck on the side,” says Scott. “Incorporating the playful Persil ‘splat’ into the build of the play areas was a fun and quirky way for us to achieve this.”

Georgia Rogers, Persil’s senior brand manager, says it wanted a distinct way to demonstrate the fun, creative elements of the brand.

“We believe constructive play helps children learn and express their creativity. The Persil sponsored WKids Preschool Play Areas won’t get your kids as grubby as making mud pies in the garden will but they’ll certainly enhance their play experience.”

WKids preschool play areas have been unveiled at Westfield Glenfield, WestCity, Pakuranga and Chartwell, with more scheduled to open through September and October.

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