Nintendo marketing

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Nintendo, a video game developer and publisher, has engaged in a variety of marketing campaigns. They range from early efforts at to appeal to teenagers with "Play It Loud!", to a more open-ended "Who Are You?" campaign. Nintendo also markets its various consoles and games, sometimes with lavish promotions.

Facilities[edit]

Originally, all marketing operations for Nintendo of America were based out of the company's Redmond, Washington headquarters. It opted not to expand that headquarters, although it owned 550,000 square feet of property for potential expansion.[1] In May 2007, the company announced plans to move its sales, marketing, and advertising divisions to either San Francisco or New York City.[1] The company established its new office in Redwood City, California.

Personnel[edit]

Reggie Fils-Aime

Reginald "Reggie" Fils-Aime joined Nintendo in December 2003 as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He was responsible for all sales and marketing activities for Nintendo in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Fils-Aime shot to fame in May 2004 with the opening line of Nintendo's E3 press conference: "My name is Reggie. I'm about kickin' ass, I'm about takin' names, and we're about makin' games." His theatrical antics, flying in the face of Nintendo's long-standing "kiddie" image, gained a cult following soon after, with many gamers calling him the "Regginator".[2] Following the conference, many images of him spread across the Web. Fils-Aime is considered to be responsible for revamping Nintendo's public relations in North America, leading many fans and members of the press to dub his arrival the "Reggielution" (after "Revolution", the code name for the Wii).[3] He speaks highly of the "blue oceans" strategy, which attempts to bring in people who are not traditionally gamers.[4] His expertise is with youth marketing,[2] although he made an effort to reach out to the elderly using games like Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! and Nintendogs.[2] In October 2007, Fils-Aime was promoted to president and chief operating officer of NoA.[5]

Cammie Dunaway

Cammie Dunaway took up the role following the promotion of Fils-Aime. Dunaway was named one of the 100 top marketers by Advertising Age.[6] She appeared onstage for Nintendo's E3 2008 press conference, demonstrating Shaun White Snowboarding and Wii Sports Resort.[7] She also made numerous more appearances that day. Dunaway also appeared at Nintendo's E3 Press Conference in 2009. Dunaway left Nintendo of America in October 2010.[8] She joined KidZania as the global chief marketing officer.[9]

Dunaway was succeeded by Scott Moffitt in May 2011. Moffitt previously worked at Henkel and PepsiCo, and was tasked with providing new life to the Nintendo 3DS and Wii.[10]

Campaigns[edit]

The Best Play Here[edit]

"The Best Play Here" campaign was aimed at children and adults.[11] It was relatively mild and not as emphatic as the "Play It Loud!" campaign that would follow. Leo Burnett U.S.A. produced the campaign.[11]

Play It Loud![edit]

A poster for the "Play It Loud!" campaign.

Facing intense competition from Sega, Nintendo decided to alter the trajectory of its marketing and pitch a new image to the public.[11] The Play It Loud! campaign marked a departure from traditional marketing practice by Nintendo. Instead of focusing on one particular console or game, it promoted a particular corporate image.[11][12] The campaign was aimed at Nintendo's core market: teenage boys. Dan Coyner, marketing manager at Nintendo of America, noted that previous campaigns felt "like an adult talking to a child," while Play It Loud! appealed more directly to a younger audience.[11] John Montgomery of Burnett said the ads were intended "to capture what kids are in their music, their clothes, their attitudes."[11]

The advertisements extensively used youth slang of the day, advising viewers to "hock a loogie at life" and "give the world a wedgie."[11] They also utilized "provocative imagery," such as a tattoo reading Play It Loud![11] Advertisements used music extensively, marrying hard rock music with video games.[12] One early advertisement featured the Butthole Surfers, an alternative rock band.[12]

Many were concerned that the campaign would seem too fake, as if adults were trying to pander to children and pretend to be "hip."[11]

The campaign ran from July to December of 1994. It had a $10 million budget and was produced by Burnett.[11]

Nintendo Power released the Play It Loud Original Soundtrack: Volume 1 on April 1, 1996 as a gift to subscribers. It contained 41 tracks of different music from past Nintendo games.[13]

Who Are You?[edit]

Nintendo of America engaged in an ad campaign that featured the "Who Are You?" slogan across Nintendo's entire product line, to market the wide range of games Nintendo offers. The idea behind the "Who Are You?" campaign was that "you are what you play"; the kind of game a person enjoys playing suggests something about that gamer's personality. The "Who Are You?" logo was designed in graffiti-style lettering. Most of the "Who Are You?" commercials advertised games developed or published by Nintendo, but some developers paid Nintendo to promote their games, using Nintendo's marketing and advertising resources.[citation needed]

Too Much Fun[edit]

Nintendo of Canada adopted an ironic approach to marketing itself in 2004. The "Too Much Fun" campaign jokingly presented "N" (short for Nintendo) as an illicit drug.[14][15] The campaign stated that "Four out of five doctors agree that using 'N' leads directly to Too Much Fun."[15] Its Ministry of Fun Suppression was said to offer possible remedies.[16] As a remedy, the company suggested self-help groups including Nintendojo and other fan sites.[15]

Consoles[edit]

Nintendo Entertainment System[edit]

A poster for the Nintendo Entertainment System, with the tagline "Now you're playing with power!"

Nintendo promoted its Nintendo Entertainment System using the slogan, "Now you're playing with power!" It would go on to modify and adapt the slogan for other consoles.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System[edit]

Nintendo promoted its Super Nintendo Entertainment System using a modification of the slogan for the console's predecessor, "Now you're playing with power; SUPER POWER!" or "Now you're playing with power. Super power."

Game Boy[edit]

The company promoted its Game Boy line using a modification of the slogan used for the Nintendo Entertainment System, "Now you're playing with power; PORTABLE POWER!"

Virtual Boy[edit]

A poster promoting the Virtual Boy.

Nintendo extensively advertised the Virtual Boy, and claimed to have spent US$25 million on early promotional activities.[17] Advertising promoted the system as a paradigm shift from past consoles; some pieces used cavemen to indicate a historical evolution, while others utilized psychedelic imagery. Nintendo portrayed the system as a type of virtual reality, as its name indicates; it was to be more than just another gaming console.

Confronted with the challenge of showing 3-dimensional gameplay on 2-dimensional advertisements, the company partnered with Blockbuster and NBC in a coordinated effort.[17] American viewers were encouraged via television advertisements on NBC to rent the console for US$10 at a local Blockbuster. This made it affordable for a large number of gamers to try the system,[17] and produced 750,000 rentals.[18] Despite its popularity, the rental system proved harmful to the Virtual Boy's long-term success, allowing gamers to see just how un-immersive the console was.[17] Nintendo promoted the console using the slogan "3-D game for a 3-D World."[citation needed]

Taken as a whole, the marketing campaign was commonly thought of as a failure.[19]

Nintendo 64[edit]

Nintendo promoted its first 3-dimensional console, the Nintendo 64, using several slogans. One was "Change the System"[citation needed] while the other was "Get N or Get Out".

GameCube[edit]

Further information: Nintendo GameCube § Marketing

Nintendo used several advertising strategies and techniques for the GameCube. Around the time of release, the GameCube was advertised with the slogan "Born to Play."[20] The earliest commercials displayed a rotating cube animation, which would morph into the GameCube logo as a female voice whispers, "GameCube". This was usually displayed at the end of GameCube game commercials.[21]

Nintendo DS[edit]

In 2005, Nintendo adopted a somewhat controversial tagline to promote its Nintendo DS handheld console. The slogan, "Touching is Good," promoted the unusual touch-based features of the console. A web site created for the promotion awarded prizes to fans.[22]

Wii[edit]

To promote the launch of its unconventional Wii console, Nintendo chose a unique approach to advertising. Rather than appeal to teenage males, Nintendo's traditional audience, the "Wii Would Like to Play" campaign showed people of all ages and backgrounds playing the console.[23] The advertisements made particular note of the Wii's motion control system. The advertising campaign was produced by Leo Burnett,[23] the firm responsible for many past Nintendo campaigns. The campaign won the Grand Effie Award in 2008 for the Most Effective Marketing Effort.[23]

Wii U[edit]

The Wii U's advertisements involved the "How U will play next" ("How will U play next?" in PAL regions) campaign to show the various play styles of the console.[24]

Other[edit]

Nintendo promoted its magazine, Nintendo Power, using the slogan "Get the power! NINTENDO POWER!"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.joystiq.com/2007/05/09/nintendo-of-america-hq-stays-in-redmond-sales-ad-and-marketin/
  2. ^ a b c Peterson, Kim (2006-11-12). "Putting Nintendo back in the game". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  3. ^ Lin, John (2006-07-18). "Meet a Gamer - Reggie Fils-Aime". The Game Feed. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  4. ^ Fils-Aime, Reggie (2007-05-09). "Perspective: Nintendo on the latest 'technical divide'". Nintendo (CNET). Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  5. ^ http://www.joystiq.com/2007/10/25/nintendo-hires-two-new-executive-vps/
  6. ^ YAHOO! APPOINTS CAMMIE DUNAWAY CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
  7. ^ Analysis: Nintendo's E3 Press Conference - Moving Forward Or Standing Back?
  8. ^ Cammie Dunaway Leaving Nintendo
  9. ^ Rubinstein, Dana (19 May 2011). "Playing Grown-Up at KidZania". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Dudley, Brier (2011-05-09). "Nintendo scores marketing boss". The Seattle Times. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Elliott, Stuart. "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: Advertising; Nintendo Turns Up the Volume in a Provocative Appeal to its Core Market: Teen-Age Males." New York Times: D.15. New York Times. Jul 01 1994. Web. 25 May 2012.
  12. ^ a b c Lefton, Terry. "Sneak Peek: Nintendo Rocks Out Hardcore Image Push." Brandweek 35.25 (1994): 1-. ABI/INFORM Global; ProQuest Research Library. Web. 25 May 2012.
  13. ^ http://www.game-ost.com/albums/622/nintendo_power_-_play_it_loud__original_soundtrack_volume_1/
  14. ^ http://www.toomuchfun.ca/media/wallpaper3_800.jpg
  15. ^ a b c http://www.toomuchfun.ca/professional_help.html
  16. ^ http://www.toomuchfun.ca/media/wallpaper4_800.jpg
  17. ^ a b c d Boyer, Steven. "A Virtual Failure: Evaluating the Success of Nintendos Virtual Boy." Velvet Light Trap.64 (2009): 23-33. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 24 May 2012.
  18. ^ "Nintendo/Nickelodeon/Blockbuster." Mediaweek 6.30 (1996): 36-. ABI/INFORM Global; ProQuest Research Library. Web. 24 May 2012.
  19. ^ King, Geoff; Krzywinska, Tanya (2006). Tomb Raiders and Space Invaders : Videogame Forms and Contexts. 
  20. ^ "GameCube Slogan Revealed!". Nintendo World Report. September 3, 2001. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Kirby Air Ride". GameTrailers. Retrieved March 27, 2008. 
  22. ^ http://www.touchingisgood.com/
  23. ^ a b c http://wii.ign.com/articles/879/879595p1.html
  24. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dbGJieRaH0