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. Full dates and locations for the tour can be found at http://wii.nintendo.co.uk
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.
Full Tour Dates – check http://wii.nintendo.co.uk for any changes before setting out for an event:
Toys 4 Big Boys, Dublin 10th-12th November
Good Food Show, London 10th-12th November
Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent (A) 16th-18th November
Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow 16th-18th November
Bullring, Birmingham 16th-18th November
Churchill Square, Brighton 16th-18th November
Good Food Show, Birmingham NEC 22nd-26th November
Lakeside, Essex 23rd-25th November
UK Golf Show, Birmingham NEC 24th-26th November
Meadowhall, Sheffield 30th November-2nd December
Cribbs Causeway, Bristol 30th November-2nd December
The Oracle, Reading 30th November-2nd December
Clotheshow Live 2006, Birmingham NEC 1st-6th December
Luton Airport (A) 4th-10th December
Gatwick North (A) 4th-10th December
Manchester Metropolitan University 6th December
UCD, Dublin University 6th December
Arndale Centre, Manchester 7th-9th December
Mahon Point, Cork 7th-10th December
Gatwick South (A) 11th-17th December
Stansted Airport (A) 11th-17th December
Centre MK, Milton Keynes (A) 18th-24th December
Irn Bru Carnival, Glasgow SECC 23rd December - 14th January
The Liberty, Romford 2nd-7th January
White Rose, Leeds 2nd-7th January
Castlecourt, Belfast 2nd-7th January
Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London 9th-14th January
The Gyle, Edinburgh 9th-14th January
West Quay Centre, Southampton 9th-14th January
Bristol University 17th January
St David's Centre, Cardiff 18th-21st January
Nottingham Trent University 24th January
The Shires, Leicester 25th-27th January
Sheffield Hallam University 31st January
Glasgow University 31st January
Trinity College Dublin 31st January
Luton Airport (B) 5th - 11th Feb
Gatwick South (B) 5th-18th Feb
Xscape, Braehead 17th-18th Feb
The Victoria Centre, Nottingham 19th-25th Feb
Gatwick North (B) 19th-25th Feb
Stansted Airport (B) 19th Feb - 4th March
Xscape, Castleford Leeds 24th-25th Feb
Centre MK, Milton Keynes (B) 28th Feb - 3rd march
Braehead Shopping Centre, Glasgow 5th-11th March
Crufts 2007, Birmingham NEC 8th-11th March
Ideal Home Show, Earl's Court London 9th March - 1st April
Quad Show, Birmingham NEC 16th-18th March
Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent (B) 16th-18th March
Vitality Show, London Olympia 29th March - 1st April
Memorabilia Show, Birmingham NEC 31st March - 1st April