A group of five Waikato University marketing students, called ‘Team Splatter’, are hoping to make their mark at the Waikato Management School’s annual Marketing Trade Show this coming Friday with a unique, environmentally friendly version of paintball.
The Marketing Trade Show is an annual event where students are put into teams and are asked to come up with an idea for a new product, conduct market testing, design packaging, formulate a price and plan a marketing strategy.
The semester-long project culminates in an exhibit that showcases the teams’ ideas to a group of judges at the show, with this year’s theme being Toys and Games.
Team Splatter, made up of second-year students Bradley Whitehead, Matt Braid, Braden Kempthorne, Matt Nuku and Keiran Vandergroot, came up with the idea while playing with a sticky-hand toy. “Those stretchy, sticky hands are great because they don’t stick permanently to anything – they just come straight off. We wanted to create a paintball game that did the same thing,” says Braden Kempthorne.
The unique paintball gun, called Splatter, is designed to be used safely indoors as well as outside. “The bullets, Splatterballs, are completely biodegradable, so you won’t have to worry about hurting the environment.” Because the resulting paint splat remains solid, Braden says it won’t stain clothes either. “You just peel it off and throw it away.”
Matt Braid says that market research, conducted as part of the assignment, revealed a gap in the marketplace for toy guns that shoot real bullets. “There were two really strong opinions that came through; that actual paintball was too painful (and messy), and Nerf guns weren’t painful enough. We saw that as an opportunity.” Matt says the product is essentially a mesh of paintball and Nerf.
Team Splatter has formulated a comprehensive marketing plan for the product. They say it would be available as both an entry level item aimed at children and sold in toy stores, called Stick-em, as well as a slightly more powerful adult version, called Revolution, which would be available at selected skate/surf clothing stores, hunting stores and sports shops. “We imagine Revolution would be a premium product and this would be reflected in the price,” says Braden.
The Marketing Trade Show takes place at The University of Waikato Management School this Friday, 25 May, from 5-7pm. Members of the public, staff and alumni are welcome to attend.