Marketing case study

Doomlings board game sits on a countertop

The goal

Doomlings took the board game world by storm in 2020 with a massively successful Kickstarter campaign. They raised 340% of their goal on the first day, ranking them in the top tenth of 1% of campaigns of all time! Soon, they launched their card game into stores across the country. A year later, they were gearing up for their next expansion, a new set of cards for their base game and new merch. It wasn’t long before Doomlings garnered a sort of cult following, with gamers getting tattoos, crocheting characters and founding fan clubs. All of the love inspired their team to expand their IP, and their next stop on that path was to produce super-soft plushies.

The challenge

Doomlings’ initial Kickstarter was such a mind-blowing success that there were plenty of high expectations for their second campaign. While they were a top-tier name in the board gaming world, their team had little experience with plushies. That’s where we come in! As marketers with experience in the kids and toys sector—ever heard of Squishmallows?—our job was to lend our expertise in the plushie space and support Doomlings in building out a strategic campaign that set a new bar.

The services

The results

We started with our proven Discovery phase, taking Doomlings through our Digital and Creative Mindmap sessions where we evaluated their goals, messaging, targeting and design, and expanded on their current marketing opportunities. From there, we moved on to the Roadmap. We conducted a full audit of their entire digital footprint and completed a full competitor analysis, as well as a UX/UI and customer journey analysis of their website. From this data, we were able to build and execute a bespoke scope of work that brought Doomlings’ plushies to life.

After working closely with the Doomlings team and top-tier Kickstarter consultant Gregory Frank, their campaign was fully funded in under 3 minutes and closed with over $1 million dollars raised! If that’s not success, then we don’t know what is.

Creative ideation

Since many of us at EMB are big board and video game nerds, we knew where to start in order to expand their IP: world building. In the beginning, we got to work creating character names and bios for all the plushies being released in the Kickstarter campaign. We leveraged what knowledge was available in the card game and expanded the world with rules about how Doomlings eat, sleep, interact and think.

We also designed a new “plush” logo to highlight the space that the plushies occupy at the company. Isn’t it cute?

Website management

We assigned each of the characters a QR code to place on their tags so people could scan them and explore more about the character. Each Doomling plushie had its own landing page to bridge the gap between the in-store and online experience. EMB created the mockups and then built the initial web pages, which were designed to highlight the unique visual language of the plushies. Our primary goal at the start of the campaign was email signups, but eventually these landing pages would serve as e-commerce pages.

Paid social

The EMB team was focused on launching the plushies into a new market and reaching new audiences outside the existing Doomlings database. The best way to quickly and measurably reach new eyeballs is with paid social. Therefore, we ideated and implemented a campaign on both Meta (Facebook, Instagram) and TikTok that balanced an awareness objective with a lead-based objective.

Looking at the paid social media campaign through the lens of our new-market objective, the metrics were very promising, especially given the short duration (24 days) of the campaign:

  • Reach: 404,208
  • Results: 8,735
  • Impressions: 650,048
  • CPC: $0.38
  • CPM: $6.49

Organic social

Our organic social media task was to provide strategic consultation and create some campaign assets. While we worked with Doomlings, we saw a steady increase in audience, publications and engagement across all social channels:


  • Audience increased by 596 (+14.3%) 
  • Posts increased by 73 (+1,825%) 
  • Engagement increased by 7,923 (+526.8%) 


  • Audience increased by 503 (+11.6%)
  • Posts increased by 47 (+4,700%)
  • Engagement increased by 1,419 (+2,056.5%)

One of the main drivers of engagement was our Doomlings Bowl campaign, which pitted characters against one another in categories such as “tells the best stories” and “best problem solver.” We not only needed to generate hype for the plushie line but also educate the existing audience on the new characters being introduced. Video and static content was designed to take them from an image on a card with game mechanics to full-fledged creatures with relatable, imaginative stories.

Social influencer

In a short amount of time, EMB identified, vetted and contracted multiple nano and micro influencers for the plushie campaign. (Check them out: @taystanford and @gemmasummer!) Our work laid a strong foundation and clear process for future Doomlings influencer management. EMB’s work resulted in over 100k views in the first few days. And we set the stage for a strong overall campaign with even more national reach.

Email marketing

Our content experts created a full funnel for new subscribers interested in learning more about the plushie launch. We developed vibrant, dynamic emails using strong imagery, including animations, to convey the energy and fun of the Doomlings brand. These emails dripped out over the course of weeks to existing audiences as well as new plush-seekers who’d signed up on our landing pages.

  • Open rate: 33.7%
  • Click rate: 0.79%
  • Active on site: 0.59%

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