Electronics retailer Elkjøp invites people to dig up old gadgets in return for fresh Minecraft coins

Millions of old phones, tablets, headphones and laptops are buried away in closets and drawers, unused and forgotten. Norwegian electronics retailer Elkjøp is inviting people to become Urban Miners and excavate those gadgets. Their reward? Freshly minted Minecoins.

Consumers bring in their defunct phone or broken-screened tablet, and Elkjøp gives them a receipt with an activation code. They can then redeem that code on Minecraft Marketplace to buy anything from skins and texture packs to access to new worlds. The retailer, which has stores across the Nordic region, partnered with Microsoft to offer the exchange and will ensure returned items are responsibly recycled.

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Customers can also combine their Urban Miner drop-offs with Elkjøp's existing trade-in service, which allows people to return old products to a store for a discount on their next purchase. The campaign was developed by NORD DDB OSLO and is available through Elkjøp stores in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

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While brands have long been criticized for targeting children to get their parents to buy, here's a case of how brands can employ similar tactics to virtuous ends. Most consumers know they should be recycling their old electronics but put it off because of perceived hassle. By getting tech-savvy kids involved as Urban Miners, Elkjøp's campaign has the potential to direct more unused gadgets into reuse and recycling streams. Could your business motivate younger people to encourage their elders to do the right thing?

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