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    Meijer launched the "Wish Carefully" viral game in late November as a fun way to encourage consumers to see the offerings on its Web site, Meijer.com. Once they complete the game, users can choose to sign up for e-mail alerts about sales and promotions from Meijer.com, as well as refer friends to the game. The initiative provided users the opportunity to win holiday gifts ranging from electronics to jewelry and gift cards. Users navigate through the game, "wishing" for gifts throughout the process, and are entered into a sweepstakes to win a prize.

    Meijer launched the "Wish Carefully" viral game in late November as a fun way to encourage consumers to see the offerings on its Web site, Meijer.com. Once they complete the game, users can choose to sign up for e-mail alerts about sales and promotions from Meijer.com, as well as refer friends to the game. The initiative provided users the opportunity to win holiday gifts ranging from electronics to jewelry and gift cards. Users navigate through the game, "wishing" for gifts throughout the process, and are entered into a sweepstakes to win a prize.

    What happened as a result was beyond the retailer's expectations: The online program quickly spread to all 50 states as more than 300,000 users eventually participated in the game.

    "Although Meijer is only located in five states, the Meijer brand is nationwide, thanks to the huge number of participants across the country who have chosen to play the game and try to win a holiday gift," says Dawn Bronkema, director of e-commerce for Meijer. "The Wish Carefully program has proven to be a very effective way for us to introduce people to the Meijer brand who may not be familiar with our company. More than 30 percent of those playing the game have signed up to continue a dialog with Meijer.com."

    In addition to those users who registered with Meijer.com, nearly 20 percent of them also referred a friend, resulting in continued growth in the number of players. Thousands of users placed the game on their Web sites or MySpace and Facebook profiles via a handy widget.

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