The new home console video games system from Nintendo, Wii (pronounced ‘we’) launches in the UK on 08th December 2006, backed by the largest ever sampling campaign for a Nintendo product in the UK. The two month sampling tour runs from the 10 November 2006 to the 13 January 2007 and takes in over 60 locations and events across the UK and Ireland to get the console into the hands of one million people by launch. Tour dates overleaf
Nintendo's Wii console will break down the wall that separates video game players from everybody else. A key feature of the new console is the innovative ‘Wii Remote’ controller that you wave in front of the screen to control the action. Because of the seismic shift in gaming and entertainment that Wii represents, sampling is key to the overall marketing campaign in helping people to understand Wii and just what it can do.
Nintendo’s aim with Wii as with its handheld DS console, is to expand the gaming population and appeal to people who have never thought about picking up a games consol at all. As a result the focus for the sampling is on key mainstream and family events and destinations from shopping malls including Bluewater Shopping Centre, Birmingham Bullring and Sheffield’s Meadow Hall to events including The Good Food Show, Ideal Home Exhibition and Glasgow’s Irn Bru Carnival.
The six month integrated campaign is focused around the message of inclusiveness and ‘gaming for everyone’, from active and hardcore gamers right through to lapsed and non-gamers alike. The central campaign idea is based on the premise of real people experiencing and playing Wii in their homes. This idea flows through from the above-the-line campaign through to Nintendo UK’s biggest ever sampling tour which is based on a household comprising of different household rooms for different types of people. The central PR platform at the hub of Wii’s media relations strategy is a Nintendo house which again will reflect different rooms and ways to play Wii.
Taking its cue from the above-the-line strategy, Wii sampling will take place in two very distinct ways. The first is in a series of modular room sets that have been created to look like the living rooms, bedrooms and homes of people from across the UK complete with TV’s, sofas, bed and all assorted paraphernalia. People can simply walk into the room (which only has two walls for access and visibility) sit down and play away. The second sampling mechanic is a series of portable ‘busking units’ that enables much more reactive and tactical sampling. These units can simply be unloaded quickly and easily wheeled to their destination, used for a short time and then move on.
In-store activity and POS will also follow the same direction as the ad campaign to ensure creative cut-through. Sampling Wii will also be a key element in the overall marketing strategy and brand new bespoke Wii interactive units have been created with over 1,000 of these eye-catching units placed in select stores across the UK before launch, meaning people can easily get to sample Wii, to see and feel for themselves!
Dawn Paine, Marketing Director, Nintendo UK comments: “With each passing year, video gaming has become a more exclusive experience. The complexities of some of the newest games have alienated those who used to play games with their entire families. Wii changes all that. Nintendo has created the most inviting, inclusive video game system to date. Thanks to our unique controller, anyone of any age or skill level can pick up and play games on the Wii console and it’s key that we message this in all our communications."
“Just as sampling and getting the hardware into people’s hands was so important with Nintendo DS, the same is very much true with Wii and we are making our largest ever investment in sampling for this campaign to ensure by launch that nearly one million people will have experienced Wii”
The entire sampling campaign will be run by Nintendo UK’s retained below-the-line agency BD-NTWK and overseen at Nintendo by UK Trade and Promotions Marketing Manager, Ben Taylor.
Wii will come packaged with the ‘Wii Sports’ software bundled in the box from launch. ‘Wii Sports’ features five great sports in one game – Tennis, Golf, Bowling, Boxing and Baseball offering great value out-of-the-box gaming for all the family.
At the UK launch, there will be a very strong line up of games for Wii suiting all tastes from Wii Sports, Wii Play and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess from Nintendo to a raft of great third party titles including Red Steel (Ubisoft), Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (SEGA), Need For Speed: Carbon (EA), Madden 07 (EA) GT Pro Series (Gameloft/Ubisoft).
Wii will launch in the UK on 08th December 2006 at the estimated retail price of around £179.99 packaged with the Wii Sports game. Software will be available at selected retailers at the estimated retail price of £34.99 or £39.99, depending on the specific title.