babies nintendo

In 2004, Reggie Fils-Aime discussed the company’s marketing efforts with a group of journalists at a Seattle press event.  Reggie told the journalists that Nintendo’s marketing goal was “winning the heart and mind of the 17-year-old”. According to Nintendo World Report, Reggie believed that age 17 was the sweet spot for marketing because kids and teens idealize that age before they reach it, and adults wish they could be 17 again. Fils-Aime believed that if you target 17-year-olds, then both kids and older adults would become more attracted to your products.

Speaking to Hub Magazine in 2005, former Nintendo executive Perrin Kaplan talked about how people are obsessed with growing up faster and staying younger longer. She believed that there was a sweet spot — the early 20’s — where people were actually happy with their age.  She claimed that kids and teens aspire to feel older until they hit their early 20’s, and then become obsessed with staying younger after their early 20’s.

The last three years of Nintendo of America’s marketing has reinforced the same kids image that Nintendo spent six years (2003 – 2008) and millions of advertising dollars trying to kill.  During those six years, the largest bulk of Nintendo’s marketing fought against the kids image and promoted video games as an activity for all ages. This philosophy was poorly communicated in Wii U’s marketing campaigns even when they had Mature rated software to promote. Ironically, the more Nintendo has focused on younger children and goofy families, the more they have pushed kids away from their products. Don’t get wrong because kids are integral to the company’s long-term success, and it’s important to have a new generation of children grow up on Nintendo’s content.  But over the past few years, Nintendo of America’s marketing department has struggled to communicate with today’s kids without coming off as corny and out-of-touch.

When Nintendo targeted children with GameCube, the result was that children became less interested in the GameCube. The PlayStation 2 sold over 155 million units worldwide, with a large percentage of those sales coming from children. In 2003, analyst John Taylor of Oregon-based Arcadia Investment Corp, said Sony did a much better job attracting children under 12 to the PlayStation 2 than Nintendo did for the GameCube. “Nintendo has appealed to two primary segments of the market,” said Taylor. “One is young households — households with children below 12 years of age. And actually, Sony has even done better than Nintendo in that group. I hear the number floating around that Sony outsells Nintendo in households with sub-twelve-year-old players two-to-one, and that is Nintendo’s traditional core base.”

The Wii U’s marketing has pandered to children more than any previous Nintendo console in history — and it’s been unsuccessful with children because of it.

 

 

 

 

 

The American Academy of Paediatrics published a report in 2012 claiming that boys were showing signs of puberty two years earlier than assumed. The Guardian says many children are reaching puberty as young as six-years-old. But why are kids growing up faster than previous generations of children? Security firm BullGuard commissioned a survey polling 2,000 parents with children aged between 8 and 12.  They found that 80% of parents blamed the internet, social networks, and technology for children growing up too quickly. We’ve seen this trend dating back to the mid 2000’s when smartphones and social networks (like MySpace) were beginning to take off.  For example: One week after the Wii launched, USA Today published an article with the headline “10 is the new 15 as kids grow up faster”.  The article explained, “child development experts say that physical and behavioral changes that would have been typical of teenagers decades ago are now common among “tweens” — kids ages 8 to 12.”

You are probably asking yourself, “Why is all of this important?”

Nintendo wants to attract a new generation of kids to their products, but children have changed a lot over the years.

 

GoldnFish Marketing Group Chief Creative Officer Steve Gold explained in 2005:

“The natural path is that kids try to emulate adults. Everyone tries, in our society, to be older. It’s all about “the things that we can’t wait to do” that force us to want to be grown up,” says Gold.  “It’s no longer a slow-winding process that takes you from kid to adolescence to teenager to grownup the way it used to be.  Both kids and adults are constantly trying to be on top of the changes in the culture and the potential for overlap is huge. I don’t think that’s a trend so much as it’s a new reality that probably will dominate for years to come.”

Chuck McLeish says,

“I think kids, in general, are aspiring more to older, adult-type brands more than adults are aspiring to kid brands.  Kids are getting older younger.  Nine-year-olds now act more 11- and 12-year olds in terms of their degree of sophistication, the brands that they want, their aspirations, and their activities.  Technology is probably a contributor to that.”

 

 

 

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In a 1994 Business Week interview, former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi criticized Nintendo of America when the market share for SNES declined from 60% in 1992 to 37% in 1993.  He laid most of the blame on his son-in-law, Minoru Arakawa, the president of Nintendo of America.

Yamauchi told Business Week, “Arakawa allowed Sega to brand our games as children’s toys. It was a serious mistake.”

 

 

 

2003 gba sp marketingThe Game Boy Advance SP was Nintendo’s attempt to kill the Game Boy’s “toy” image and establish the Game Boy brand as a hip, sleek, and sophisticated piece of technology. It was Nintendo’s opportunity to re-launch the Game Boy brand with a marketing campaign focused on young adults and college students. For example, the GBA SP’s flip-top design was inspired by the designs of cell phones which (at the time) had flip-top/clam shell designs.  It was IGN’s Fran Mirabella who said that the Game Boy Advance SP was “symbolic of Nintendo’s inevitable entry into the consumer electronics market”.

Leo Burnett worked on a launch marketing campaign to help GBA SP reach an older audience.

“The tone of the campaign is adult by design, reaching beyond Nintendo’s usual target. The GBA SP is more than a toy; it’s a high-tech, sophisticated product, and the advertising has to reflect that,” explained Leo Burnett ECD Jonathan Hoffman in an interview with Adage.

Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata explained, “I think that the shift from Game Boy Advance to Game Boy Advance SP has attracted more and more young adults to play with the Game Boy product line.”

The idea behind the SP’s promotional strategy was to aggressively target events or hot spots where college students could be found.  The Nintendo Street team played up the GBA SP’s contemporary design sexiness at nightclubs, porn industry parties, concerts, and the beach.  They visited the most popular Spring Break locations — and ten different colleges — across the United States. To celebrate the release of the GBA SP, Nintendo threw a V.I.P. Mardi Gras party sponsored by Stuff Magazine, Heineken, and Amstel Light.

“Game  Boy Advance SP is the perfect game system for young, hip people  on-the-go,” said George Harrison, senior vice president of  marketing at Nintendo of America. “These events create the perfect environment for college students to become better acquainted with Nintendo and its new gadget.”

An official press release was sent out:

“Nintendo “flashes platinum” with both urban and college audiences when GBA SP makes scheduled appearances at BET’s “Spring Bling” event in Daytona Beach, and tours 10 colleges across the country with the CTN Music Binge Tour this spring. BET’s “Spring Bling” combines outdoor concerts from hip-hop chart toppers, such as Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Fabolous, and Smiles & Southstar, with GBA SP sampling opportunities, while CTN will bring alternative music to 10 colleges from coast-to-coast.”

Later that year, the company announced the Nintendo Fusion Tour, which was headlined by band Evanescence and sponsored by Blender magazine.  Amy Lee, the front woman for Evanescence, appeared on the Nintendo Fusion Tour stage with words like “slut” and “psycho” written on her dress with marker. This was the rebellious image that Nintendo wanted for their products. The company purposely avoided having games like Super Mario Sunshine and Pikmin at this particular event, and instead highlighted games for older audiences like Soul Calibur 2 and Rogue Squadron II.  At the Fusion Tour event, Nintendo told the audience that GBA SP was the “adult version” of the Game Boy, and they held raffles to give them away to random people in the crowd.

One month after the Game Boy Advance SP promotion, Nintendo Gamecube sponsored MTV’s Campus Invasion Tour which brought rock bands and hip hop artists to college universities across the country. The company later introduced a new limited edition silver-and-black version to celebrate the Game Boy Advance SP’s success with young adults.

“With more than 40 percent of Game Boy Advance SP players over the age of 18, the system is enjoying an expansion toward an older demographic”, said Nintendo’s George Harrison. “It’s easy to see how these celebratory silver-and-black version will appeal to an older audience.  And with a limited supply, they’re likely to become collector’s items.”

Releasing new colors was not the only way that the company tried to reach out to more young adults. To reflect the personalities of the youth, the company released a “Tribal Edition” of the GBA SP to give style conscious gamers a feeling of individuality.  They aggressively pushed to make the “Game Boy” brand  more appealing to urban audiences with hopes of attracting people who typically hang out at music festivals and skate parks with their friends.

The company’s press release explained:

“They’ve been around since 2000 B.C., over 10 million Americans have one and celebrities such as Eminem, Robbie Williams, and Angelina Jolie can’t get enough of them.  What are they?  That’s right, tattoos – coming to a Game Boy Advance SP near you! Guaranteed to meet the needs of the coolest gamers this summer, the hip new console customized with a tribal tattoo pattern will launch across Europe on June 18th 2004. The Game Boy Advance SP Tribal Edition is guaranteed to appeal to the more style conscious gamer, while it still boasts the ultimate gaming experience that Nintendo is famous for. Whether you are at a skate park with your mates, hanging out at music festivals or just chilling in the park, make sure you take the ultimate style gadget, the Game Boy Advance SP Tribal Edition with you.

Mister Cartoon, a tattoo artist for famous celebrities like 50 Cent, Beyonce, Eminem, and Justin Timblerlake, praised the move by Nintendo: “The tattoo pattern on the console looks pretty cool. Tattoos are huge at the moment – everyone wants one. I think the console is great and will be a huge success with the more individual gamer.”

Nintendo’s European Marketing Manager Tim Freystedt spoke about why the newly announced Tribal edition would appeal to the young adult consumer. “We feel we have created a product in the Tribal Edition that reflects the sentiments of today’s youth – rebellion, attractiveness and spirituality,” said Freystedt. “The new console allows gamers to express these emotions in a fun and interactive way, enabling them to communicate their individuality.”

Behind the scenes, there were meetings about the name “Game Boy” pushing adults away from purchasing their products.  The main concern was over the word, “Boy” which they believed provoked a childish image around their handhelds.  They decided to run a marketing campaign called, “Game Boy for Men” to promote how Game Boy isn’t just a toy for kids.  The ad campaign seemed to be inspired by some of the black and white Calvin Klein ads from back in the day.  One of the advertisements shows a man in bed with a naked woman with the tagline, “The second best thing to do in the dark”.  Another advertisement shows a man stuffing a GBA SP down his pants with the words “Size Matters” appearing.

GBA for men

gba sp 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gba ad 3gba sp 4


 

2004 marketing ds

One of the main reasons why Nintendo hired Reggie was due to his experience at marketing to teens and young adults; the company needed someone like him to expand their audience beyond small children. Reggie Fils-Aime worked for VH1 from 2001 through 2003 where he was responsible for a 30% increase in the network’s ratings.  He was able to increase VH1’s ratings by focusing the channel’s content on younger adults.  Before Reggie jumped on board with VH1, the channel’s audience was much older (40-to-50 year olds), while other media companies were skewering younger.  At the time, VH1 had been stereotyped as the “channel for old people” which caused the ratings to rapidly decline.

“For me, the opportunity here at Nintendo really was to get back to my consumer marketing roots, apply what I’ve done in the teen and young adult space for the last ten, twelve years and really help take this brand to new heights,” said Reggie Fils-Aime in 2004, a few months before Nintendo DS launched.

Reggie Fils-Aime explained, “I’m focused on growing Nintendo’s image and making the brand feel cool and vibrant. So other brands that are cool and vibrant are certainly more up our alley than [kid] brands that, if you will, try to hold onto our coattails. It really is an opportunity to work with other brands that are trying to reach this key consumer audience [teens and adults] in new and provocative ways.”

During that same year, Nintendo was preparing to launch a new handheld device known as the Nintendo DS, and the main focus of the marketing was on young adults. “We’ve been saying from the start that we wanted to position the DS toward an older audience,” said Fils-Aime.

In a seperate interview, Reggie Fils-Aime elaborated on who the target audience for Nintendo DS was:

“In fact, we envision the consumer target for Nintendo DS to be slightly older, and by that I mean a core audience of 18-25. It’s going to be a consumer who is an early adopter — not only of media, but also of other innovations. It will be a consumer who is likely well educated, and slightly more affluent. The price point hasn’t been decided, but it will certainly be above the price point for our current handheld. Will we attract more women? Certainly more women are playing computer games than ever before. We will certainly have some software titles that will appeal to women. One of our key franchises — the Metroid franchise — is very appealing to women. And certainly that’s one of the games we highlighted at E3. So yes, against a traditional 14-, 15-, or 16-year-old consumer, this will open up slightly new markets. But this product truly is in the wheelhouse of your traditional gamer. And we expect a lot of 14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds to be buying this product as well.” — Reggie Fils-Aime in 2004.

The PictoChat application was created to make the Nintendo DS more relevant to the lifestyles of teens and adults loved instant messaging. Although Pictochat only supported LAN (system to system) capabilities, the company was hoping that older gamers would take their Nintendo DS everywhere (planes, trains, college campuses, libraries, restaurants, movie theaters, sports events, etc).  Keep in mind that this was three years before the iPhone had even existed.

“We are offering a chat feature [PictoChat] because we know that young adults today are using instant messaging more than they are e-mailing to their friends. Being able to use DS in this format certainly makes it relevant to their lifestyle and what it is that they do,” said Fils-aime in an interview with Hub Magazine.

Michael Pachter, a financial analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities, believed that the Nintendo DS would aim older than past Nintendo handhelds. Speaking to the New York Times, Pachter explained, “It will be a very easy thing for a parent to purchase a DS for an older teenager, and give the Game Boy Advance to a younger sibling in the family.  Speaking to another news outlet, Pachter said, “The Game Boy Advance has always been a kids platform. The DS is going to move up the age scale … and they are going to put some more mature content on there.”

Pachter was not crazy because Reggie Fils-Aime had said something very similar.  Fils-Aime told Nintendo World Report that the GBA’s target sensibility is closer to 14-year-olds, and the target for DS is a 19-year-old.  The funny thing is that both of these audiences — 14 year olds and 19 year olds — are much older than the small children being targeted with Wii U and 2DS.  Schelley Olhava, an analyst with International Data Corp. said,”The DS is a very distinctive product. It doesn’t look like a kid’s toy.”

Reggie spoke at The 8th Annual Ziff Davis Electronic Gaming Summit to talk about the wow factor of the Nintendo DS. He talked about how GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64 was the biggest breakthrough game of that decade, selling more than five million copies in North America, and he promised that Nintendo DS would offer similar multiplayer experiences.  “For a time, its hold on late teens and early 20-somethings was so hypnotic that we received countless complaints from young women that their boyfriends and husbands were paying much less attention to them…and much more to beating their buddies on four player Goldeneye,” said Reggie Fils-Aime. “The DS will be equipped to wirelessly connect 16 players in close proximity to a single game. This, to us, marries the same excitement of competing side by side with your friends in Goldeneye—but expands it fourfold.”

Perrin Kaplan told investors that Nintendo would use an edgy, sexually suggestive $40 million ad campaign with the slogan, “Touching is Good”. She explained that most of the advertisements would appear on cable networks like MTV, or television shows like South Park.  In addition, print advertisements would appear in magazines such as Maxim, Stuff, Playboy, and Blender.  Kaplan told investors that the target market for Nintendo DS were consumers between the ages of 17 and 25 years old. “You’re always told you can’t touch anything. Touching is good. You’re grown-up now, so read it how you want,” said Kaplan.

“To support this pre-launch effort, Nintendo has aligned itself with powerful media partners that target a hip, male demographic,” said Nintendo’s official press release. “Nintendo will market Nintendo DS to the full spectrum of hipsters, budding enthusiasts and hard-core gamers.”

To promote the DS launch, MTV and Nintendo produced a commercial together starring Steve-O and Chris Pontious, the stars of MTV shows “Jackass” and “Wild Boyz”. The commercial shows Steve-O stuck in a tree while he tries to avoid becoming lunch for a hungry lion.  Toward the end of the commercial, we hear Chris Pontious yell, “Steve-O, with the touchscreen I can beat your ass with one finger!”  This was around the time when MTV and Nintendo were really buddy-buddy with each other when it came to promoting Nintendo’s products.

Reggie Fils-Aime explained, “There will certainly be advertising — both traditional media as well as non-traditional media. There will be a lot of guerilla marketing elements that bring the message right to this young adult consumer.”

nintendo ds marketing campaign

 

nintendo-ds-game-touching-consumers-is-good-small-19025

One of the sexually suggestive print ads in Maxim and Stuff Magazine features a model holding a Nintendo DS while instructing readers “How to Score” with women.  The advertisement explains, “Start listening to her needs, playa!” and the right side of the ad features a list explaining “What She Wants”.

Thanks to a 2004 thread on the Nerdmentality.com forums, here is the text for the Nintendo DS “How To Score!” ad.  I apologize for the size of the pictures, but it’s difficult to find large photos of this advertisement on the internet.

HOW TO SCORE

Ready to take your game to the next level?

Start listening to her needs, playa!

What She Wants

If you want to make her happy, just read between the lines-Nintendo DS will show you the way.

She says… “Two is always better than one.”

DS Delivers Dual Screens. Get in on twice the action with two backlit color LCD screens that produce amazing 3d graphics.

She says… “I love a man with a soft, sensitive touch.”

DS Delivers Touch-Screen Technology. Use the included stylus or even your finger to manipulate games in ways you never imagined. (Select games only.)

She says… “If you listen, I’ll tell you what I like.”

DS Delivers Voice-Recognition Capabilities. Talk to a game and have it do your bidding. It’s possible with the built-in microphone. (Select games only.)

She says… “It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old.”

DS Delivers Backward Compatibility. Play Nintendo DS games or your favorite Game Boy Advance games. Old school? New school? Your call.

She says… “I want to feel a connection even when we’re apart.”

DS Delivers Wireless Gaming. Kick the sorry butts of up to 16 people at a time with local wireless, and even more with WiFi …no strings attached. (Select games only.)

She says… “Believe it or not, sometimes smaller is better!”

DS Delivers Compact Size. All these features are packed into a machine you can take anywhere, so you’re always ready to get your game on… anytime, anyplace.

 

Here are some pictures of the “How To Score!” ad fromNot much a cabbage pat cubed3.com.

dssex01

dsad2

 

“The Bad Girl/Good Girl” two-page ad was another attempt to promote a provocative, sexually suggestive ad campaign around the Nintendo DS launch. On the bad girl’s page, she explains that she “Likes to touch as hard or as fast as she wants” and the good girl’s page says she “Likes the Dual Screen action. Top or Botom, she’s always in control.”

Nintendo commented, “The ads relate to readers and viewers of these popular media brands [Maxim, Blender] by speaking their language.”

dsbaddsgood

For Japan, Nintendo took a different marketing approach by hiring singer Utada Hikuru to promote the DS launch.  She represented the young, hip, adult Japanese audience that Nintendo wanted to attract with the Nintendo DS. Her image was plastered all over promotional banners and billboards with the slogan, “Touch!”

The very first Japanese television ad shows young adults hanging out by a pool while Utada Hikuru’s song “Easy Breezy” plays in the background. Utada Hukuru pulls out a Nintendo DS and says, “Look what I got! We can chat on these”.  Her American friends are seen using Pictochat to chat and send drawings to each other.  They are shown laughing, smiling, and having a good time with the DS; no children or parents are found in this television ad.

utada nintendo

 

Two months before Nintendo DS launched in North America, music artists were invited to a pre-MTV Video Music Awards luxary suite in Miami Beach to play against each other in the upcoming Donkey Konga for Nintendo GameCube.  These artists included VMA winners (and nominees) such as OutKast, Good Charlotte, Eastside Boyz, Fabolous, MatchBox 20, Evanescence, and Chingy.

Games like “Donkey Konga” and “Jungle Beat” were experiments to see how young adults would respond to non-traditional control schemes (bongo drums) that involved physical activity instead of pressing buttons like a zombie. You could argue that Donkey Konga’s marketing campaigns — which targeted adults and females — were a precursor to the Wii’s launch marketing campaigns.  Similar to the Wii, the Donkey Konga and Jungle Beat marketing campaigns were all about turning video games into a social activity. The only difference is that the Wii remote was much, MUCH stronger product than the GameCube’s bongo drums.

donkey konga 1

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Watch the North American television commercials below, and try to count how many kids (ages 12 and under) are playing Donkey Konga and Jungle Beat.

 

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2005 gba micro marketing

 

On March 2005, Nintendo launched a marketing campaign to promote their Nintendo DS games to teenagers and college students at select hipster locales across the United States.  Driving around in a Nintendo SUV, the Nintendo Street Team would visit several hot spots including college campuses, packed concerts, and beaches.  The first place they would hit was Boardwalk Beach Resort in Panama City Beach, Fla. to host a party event called “Club DS” where college students and teenagers could play the latest DS games.

“Thousands of teens and college students will have the opportunity to sample, play and enjoy the hottest new Nintendo systems and games,” said George Harrison. “Nintendo is reaching out to teens and college students, and now they’re making us a part of their lifestyles.”

When Hub Magazine interviewed Perrin Kaplain, she claimed that 70% of Nintendo DS owners were over 13 years old, and 40%-50% of their customers were either teen or adult.  By June 2005, Otonafami Magazine conducted a survey of 1000 Japanese gamers aged over 20 years old, and they discovered that the Nintendo DS was more popular with adults than the PlayStation Portable.  Out of those surveyed, 25% owned a Nintendo DS, but only 14% said they owned a Sony PSP.

The UK Nintendo DS ad below (which aired at night) is pretty suggestive.

The promo video below was released in Spain:

Game Boy Advance SP and Nintendo DS weren’t the only methods that Nintendo used to attract adults.

According to IGN, Nintendo’s target market for the Game Boy Micro was 25-to-35 years old, and it was created as a response to the iPod’s booming popularity. They believed that a huge factor behind Apple’s success was their ability to make technology seem stylish and fashionable.  The GBA Micro was created with a thin, candy-bar shape, and the size wasn’t any bigger than an iPod Mini. “Certainly the iPod has done a lot to stimulate broad social acceptance of devices like PDAs and MP3 music players,” said Nintendo’s Jim Merrick.

The company believed that the GBA Micro could sit comfortably alongside the hippest technological gadgets. Here was how the official press release described the Game Boy Micro: “It’s thinner than a cell phone, as chic as an MP3 player and as fun as a Game Boy. In an instant it attracts attention and positions the image-conscious player as someone on the cutting edge of cool.”  When Engadget asked about Nintendo’s interest in cell phones, Shigeru Miyamoto explained that the small size of the GBA Micro was inspired by the size of cell phones.

Similar to the Game Boy Advance SP, the Game Boy Micro was designed to kill the toy image that had plagued the Game Boy brand.  Yuta Sakurai at Nomura Securities claimed that Nintendo was hoping for Game Boy Micro to attract more adult players — specifically, those who stopped playing games for many years — to help expand the gaming population.

“We’re making the gorgeous Game Boy Micro for image-conscious folks who love video games, the ones who want the look of their system to be as cool as the games they play on it,” said George Harrison. “Because of its diminutive size and industrial-hip look, Game Boy Micro immediately identifies the person playing it as a trendsetter with discriminating style.”

“It’s more of a fashion item, very techy, very small, very sleek,” said Beth Llewelyn, senior director of corporate communications for Nintendo of America. “Adults won’t feel embarrassed to pull out the edgy-looking Game Boy Micro on the train and play it in public.”

“No matter how tight your jeans are, the Game Boy Micro will fit in them,” said Reggie Fils-Aime. “This is another morphing of the Game Boy for the fashion-conscious consumer.”

GBA Micro ad

One of the first television ads for Game Boy Micro’s launch shows a young woman waking up on her bed, wearing pink flowery clothing, and her entire room is colored pink.  As the music plays, her position warps with the beat, she  gets up, walks down the stairs, and steps outside where the entire city is pink and flowery.  As she’s walking, the store window catches her eye, and she notices a pink, flowery Game Boy Micro.  The girl smiles as the camera zooms in on the Game Boy Micro.  The faceplate changes into an army camoflauge design, and then we see a young male wearing camoflage and the world around him him is camoflauge as well. The words “Make it yours” appears in white text on a black background.

The overall point of the commercial is that the GBA Micro is a stylish accessory that can fit anyone’s mood or personality thanks to designer face plates. The slogan of the ad campaign emphasizes the message “make it yours.”

This commercial is not just significant because it was aired before Game Boy Micro’s launch;  it’s also significant because it was one of the first Nintendo of America commercials to aggressively target young women.  It’s a huge contrast from their 2004 marketing which had the “Game Boy for Men” slogan.

The song playing throughout the commercial is called”Not This” from Fanny Pack.  The lyrics of this song represent how badly Nintendo wanted that MTV audience to love their products.  Please keep in mind that this commercial was released one year after the Nintendo DS launched and one year before the Wii’s launch.

The lyrics of the song that Nintendo chose for this commercial can be found here:

I’m still takin the train and/

My metro card’s empty/

The windows of the stores when I walk by tempt me/

I was on MTV but I don’t have a Bently/

Fuck it in my pockets I barely gotta twenty/

Dollar bill but I go to shows /

And make you holla still/

I gotta pay my bills and it’s not like Prada will/

The video below is a compilation of all of the Japanese commercials for Game Boy Micro. If you skip to 0:30 in the video, you will notice that all of these commercials feature young adults. In one of the commercials, we see a 20’s something male playing Super Mario Bros. In another Japanese commercial, we see a young adult woman playing Dr. Mario on the Game Boy Micro around other adults. The final commercial shows a young male enjoying his time playing Mario Tennis. None of these commercials feature grandpas, seven-year-olds, or phony looking families.

In September 2005, Nintendo revealed the Revolution’s controller at the Tokyo Gaming Show, which turned out to be a wireless motion sensor controller with a built-in-speaker and rumble. You may notice how the majority of the players in the teaser trailer are mostly teenagers or adults. The teaser begins with a young man (and a young female) swinging their controllers back and forth like tennis rackets, and the trailer ends with that same young man using the controller as a samurai sword. Three young women are seen using remotes to swat flies while another woman uses the remote to make Mario jump. We’re also shown young males using the controller to play the drums, swing a baseball bat, shoot a gun, perform dental work, and prepare food.

Throughout the entire trailer, there are only two instances where we see any children: When the grandfather is fishing with his grandchild, and during a birthday party where everyone is dressed up as clowns. Other than those two examples, the teaser trailer’s message was loud and clear that this wasn’t just another kid’s machine.

The genius behind Wii’s early marketing campaigns is that the games were never the center of attention. The real focus behind Wii’s marketing were the players. The player swinging the Wii remote like a golf club was more important to the marketing than showing actual footage of Wii Sports Golf. The player steering his Wii remote was more important to the marketing than showing actual footage of Excitetruck. Wii promotional material showed young college students looking cool and sexy while swinging a Wii remote, and kids wanted to be like those sexy, cool adults. When Nintendo effectively marketed Wii to young adults/teenagers, small children became more attracted to the Wii.   Young adults in the 2006 advertisements didn’t make the Wii look embarrassing or corny like the Wii U television families — they made it look hip, social, and interesting to kids. This made kids view Wii as an experience instead of just a toy.

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2006 wii ds lite marketing

 

 

In 2006, Nintendo spent $200 million on the Wii’s launch marketing campaign. The Wii’s launch marketing campaign did NOT focus on children and families like Wii U’s North American launch campaign. According to Joystiq, “80 percent of the budget will be spent convincing adults to purchase the system (Wii) and shaking off Nintendo’s traditional consumer perception of being for children and teens.” This was also reported by other major sites such as EdgeWired, and 1Up.

Let’s analyze both of Nintendo’s North American launches:

  • The Wii’s North American launch had ZERO Mature-rated games, but 80 percent of their launch budget was spent marketing to adults. Nintendo told the press that the majority of the Wii’s launch budget was spent to “shake off Nintendo’s kids image”.  (Source: JoystiqEdgeWired, and 1Up.)

In the long-run, which launch promotional strategy — Wii or Wii U — attracted more children to the product? The strategy that fought against the kids image (Wii) was the strategy that became successful with children. The Wii’s launch did not need mature rated games in order for Nintendo to advertise the product to adults. Products like the Wii U are proof that marketing directly to small children isn’t the best way to attract kids to your products.

Nintendo explained, “To accomplish Wii’s goal of bringing games to the masses, ads will air on ABC, NBC, Comedy Central, BET, USA, TBS, Discovery, Animal Planet, Nick at Nite, Sci-Fi, TLC, Fox, The CW, MTV 10 Spot, MTV, MTV2, MTVU, Adult Swim, Fuse, Si TV, The N, VH-1 and Black Family Channel.”

Compare this to Wii U’s marketing: Most of the television advertising is seen on children or family networks like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney, and ABC Family.  Once in a while, you will see Wii U ads on USA Network or Comedy Central, but the bulk of the U.S. advertising is on television networks aimed at kids.  For the holiday 2013 campaign, one year after Wii U’s launch, Reggie explained that Nintendo of America was going to target parents and their children. “For us, this holiday with the Wii U, the target is parents and their kids. So if you’re watching primetime family entertainment, you’re seeing our marketing. If you’re a parent watching morning or daytime media, you’re seeing our content,” said Fils-Aime.

The Wii’s 2006 launch marketing campaign was about creating an image of what Nintendo wanted gamers to look like. The advertisements portrayed Wii’s owners as young, sexy, physically fit, popular adults who enjoyed playing video games as a normal social activity. The ads were specifically designed to kill the stereotype created by the media that gamers are either kids, or lonely people who live in dark rooms all day.  Reggie Fils-Aime explained, “Our goal was to bring gaming back to the masses. The stories we have heard about consumers playing games as a family or with friends totally shatter the stereotype of video games being a solitary, reclusive experience.

The strategy behind the Wii’s marketing was to show the type of people that you would never expect to be interested in Nintendo’s games.

One year before Wii’s launch, Nintendo teamed up with Vital Marketing to target urban audiences and get young adults (17-24 year olds) interested in Nintendo’s products.

CEO of Vital Marketing, Joseph Anthony had this to say.“With our experience and presence in the urban market, we look to bring Nintendo into the lives of the 17-24 year old gamers. Through culturally relevant experiential marketing initiatives we will build upon Nintendo’s history as the leader in the video game industry and position them as the premier video game company.

Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime commented on the deal by saying, “With our proud history as pioneers in the gaming industry, we want today’s consumers to know that not only is Nintendo their preferred brand of the past but also the future. Vital Marketing’s ability to reach the urban consumers who have become today’s trendsetters will be crucial in positioning Nintendo as a cutting edge brand that has cultural relevancy among today’s urban inspired consumer.”

Weeks before Wii’s launch, Nintendo hosted a gaming event called “Urban Gaming Hours” where the biggest urban influences in fashion, music, and media would come together to experience the Wii. Companies like Def Jam Records and Vice Magazine were invited to the event to help raise product awareness of the Wii in more black and Hispanic communities.

On November 15th, 2006, Nintendo’s Wii commercials were put together in a two-minute film that was shown on MTV2’s Sucker Free show.  Advertisements were plastered all over MTV.com showing young college students playing the Wii. This was one part of Nintendo’s plan to make the Wii more well known to an urban audience.

wii ad

wii_ad_on_mtv

 

The first pre-launch Wii television ad was aired during the season finale of “Dancing with the Stars”,  the highest rated show of that particular year. The large female audience from “Dancing with the Stars” helped Nintendo reach people who didn’t normally play video games.

Two months before Wii’s launch, Nintendo posted a two page advertorial in Glamour Magazine explaining why Wii is a great way for women to spend an all girl’s night.  The advertorial described the Wii as a sleek and irresistibly chic “piece of designer homeware”.  It mentions that girls don’t need a designer sofa because Wii is the only accessory they need.  The first page of the Wii advertorial explains, “Because isn’t it about time that computers were made for girls, not guys?”

The advertorial continues, “Choose from dozens of glamorous female-friendly computer games”. The second page shows a woman swinging the Wii remote with a caption reading, “He controls the TV remote — I control the Wii.” The advertorial repeatedly talks about how women finally have an excuse to get together and kick the guys out. The Wii remote is shown with a caption reading, “Ladies, say hello to your new best friend”, and there is even a list of “5 reasons every girl needs a Wii” which explains how Wii is cheaper than a gym membership.  This advertisement specifically targeted attractive, popular, social women who were social, glamorous and physically fit.

Nintendo didn’t just target any women; they targeted a very specific type of woman who is obsessed with fashion, loves going out to night clubs, and enjoys cocktails. The ad was published before Wii launched — just in time for Christmas shopping — in a magazine with 11.5 million subscribers. Furthermore, 96% of Glamour’s subscribers are female, 75% are ages 18-49, and 57% are single.

Glamour page 1Glamour page 2

 

One of the most genius marketing tactics for Wii’s launch was Nintendo partnering with Comedy Central for Thanksgiving.  Comedy Central ran a televised event called “Thankxgiveaway Wiikend from Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving) through Nov. 27 where they gave away 48 Wii’s over the weekend.  Segments would run throughout the weekend featuring four families in a reality TV spoof, and they worked as plugs for the Wii. Viewers needed to watch Comedy Central to see a code in between television programs and then enter that code online to win a Wii. Even “The Colbert Report”, one of Comedy Central’s top rated shows, promoted the Wii before launch.  They ran a segment where Stephen Colbert had created a Mii of himself and made jokes related to the console.

It was the best marketing Wii could have received right before Black Friday Christmas shopping.  The Comedy Central promotion helped Wii reach an adult audience that Nintendo struggled to attract with GameCube.

But the biggest promotion was from “South Park” which ran two episodes about the Wii — two weeks before it launched. In the episode, Eric Cartman becomes so impatient with the Wii’s launch that he freezes himself to make time go by much quicker.  The South Park episode was probably some of the best publicity that the Wii could have ever received before launch.

Compare this to the Wii U where South Park ran a three-part episode about PS4 and Xbox One and never even mentioned the Wii U.

nintendo-wi-southpark

 

G4 TV

The year 2006 was also when Nintendo would release the DS Lite, an attempt to make the DS more stylish and fashionable to young adults.  In an interview with Creative Review, Nintendo UK’s senior PR manager Rob Saunders said that the look of the original Nintendo DS didn’t look cool enough for young adults.  The solution was to introduce a redesigned DS called Nintendo DS Lite which would be more stylish and fashionable for young adults.

“It became very apparent to us that the DS didn’t really appeal to people as a lifestyle device,” admitted Rob Saunders, senior pr manager for Nintendo UK,. “It didn’t look as cool as it could have done. It was grey and silver and had lots of sharp edges – almost like the DeLorean from Back to the Future.”

The Nintendo DS Lite was 21% lighter than the original Nintendo with 42% less volume. The redesigned device featured improved buttons and screens with levels of brightness.

“It’s a lot cooler, sleeker and smaller, and people were happy to be seen with it. Basically, it looks a lot more like an iPod,” Saunders admitted during the interview.

 

 

DS Lite life style 1DS Lite life style 2DS Lite life style 3DS Lite life style 4DS Lite life style 5DS Lite life style 6

 

2006 DS ad 12006 DS ad 22006 DS ad 3

 

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2007 marketing

 

December 2007

“Our internal research shows that the average age of all Wii players is 29 years old. On the other hand, the vast majority of these people who’ve purchased a system are, so far, active or “core” players. They’re the ones willing to wait in line outside of retailers before dawn. So we’re only seeing a small tip of the iceberg in terms of actually selling systems to those expanded players.”

“All the data that I’ve seen from both for our systems and competitive systems has been more like the younger 20 year old range, 21, 22. So, in our case, comparing a 29 average player age to that historical 21, 22 year old age for console players is in part what gives us the confidence that we are expanding the playing universe on Wii.”

http://www.wired.com/2007/12/qa-nintendos-re/

In the Christmas 2007 issue of Edge Magazine, Nintendo hosted a press conference called “Nintendo’s Mind, Body, and Console” on how games had moved beyond “the domain of the solitary, anti-social teenager”.  Nintendo UK’s head of marketing, Dawn Paine, talked about how “unlike traditional gaming, Touch! Generations software doesn’t “replace your real life – it connects with it.”

Here is a snippet from the 2007 issue of Edge Magazine:

In fact, one slide during Paine’s presentation outlined the ways in which gaming has thus far been perceived as ‘a sad addiction that removes the player from reality’. A picture of a long-haired nerd, screaming as he gripped a control pad, appeared on the projection screen, the surrounding space soon populated by the phrases ‘glazed over’, ‘isolated’ and other negative terminology. Rather than debunk such perceptions, however, Nintendo simply suggested that it was courting a different audience, and the company would soon come to stand for ‘self development, health, beauty and fitness.’

To clarify, it wasn’t that Nintendo didn’t want teenagers buying their products; they just didn’t want teenagers who fit the stereotype of what a “gamer” looks like.

Keller Fay Group used a measurement program for word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing called TrackTalk, which monitors conversations of thousands of Americans weekly.  They surveyed 2,046 teens (ages 13-17) from January through May 2007, and they discovered that the five brands with the largest number of net positive mentions were iPod, Dr Pepper, American Eagle, Chevrolet, and Nintendo.

According to Nintendo, teenagers were constantly talking about how hard it is to get a Wii. “Teens are texting around to see who got one or that they heard Target will be getting more on Sunday,” said Nintendo of America’s George Harrison.

An adjudication statement from Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority outlines seventeen distinct complaints over the animated violence in an ad forTwilight Princess and Red Steel.

 

 

From Edge (Christmas 2007 issue)

 

Nintendo’s profitability, to emphasise its software’s inclusiveness, and to show that its games have moved beyond “the domain of the solitary, anti-social teenager”, as it was expressed by Nintendo UK head of marketing, Dawn Paine.

In fact, one slide during Paine’s presentation outlined the ways in which gaming has thus far been perceived as ‘a sad addiction that removes the player from reality’. A picture of a long-haired nerd, screaming as he gripped a control pad, appeared on the projection screen, the surrounding space soon populated by the phrases ‘glazed over’, ‘isolated’ and other negative terminology. Rather than debunk such perceptions, however, Nintendo simply suggested that it was courting a different audience, and the company would soon come to stand for ‘self development, health, beauty and fitness.’

This paradigm shift, to use Paine’s term, would come as the result of Nintendo’s Touch! Generation software which, unlike traditional gaming, doesn’t “replace your real life – it connects with it.”

 

 

 

 

 

When Nintendo targeted children with GameCube, the result was that children became less interested in the GameCube. The PlayStation 2 sold over 155 million units worldwide, with a large percentage of those sales coming from children. In 2003, analyst John Taylor of Oregon-based Arcadia Investment Corp, said Sony did a much better job attracting children under 12 to the PlayStation 2 than Nintendo did for the GameCube. “Nintendo has appealed to two primary segments of the market,” said Taylor. “One is young households — households with children below 12 years of age. And actually, Sony has even done better than Nintendo in that group. I hear the number floating around that Sony outsells Nintendo in households with sub-twelve-year-old players two-to-one, and that is Nintendo’s traditional core base.”

 

 

In September 2000, Apple blamed Macintosh’s problems on the education market, and Merrill Lynch’s Steve Fortuna predicted that things would only get worse for the company. Two years later, Apple was deciding how to spend a $125 million advertising budget between all of their products. Some wanted to play it safe and spend most of the budget on the Macintosh business, but Steve Jobs had a much different way of looking at things.  Jobs believed that if iPod could position Apple as a company that appealed to the youth, then young people would become more willing to buy Apple’s Macintosh computers. They created a silhouette advertising campaign which focused on the consumer’s personality as much as the actual product itself.  The ad campaign played a major role in the massive success of the iPod, and it made the company more popular with young people like Steve Jobs had predicted.

An analyst at AdWizard (via popculturedigsummed up why the campaign was so successful:

“In advertising, we’re taught that the target audience is almost as important as the product itself.  It’s common practice to show a representative of the target audience.  Someone who the target audience can look at and picture themselves as being.  The idea is that if the target audience can imagine themselves in the ad, there’s a better chance of them purchasing the product.  The downside is that the ad may dissuade potential customers outside the target audience because the product is ‘not for them.’  But what Apple’s ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, did was allow the target audience to put itself in their ads.  The silhouetted image is literally a blank canvas that anyone can be placed in.”

This is the most important quote that you will ever read about marketing.

 

But how is iPod’s marketing related to Nintendo? Let’s continue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, Nintendo Life wrote an article titled, “Nintendo’s Ability To Charm Young Gamers Is Vital For Its Success”.  Sony UK boss Feral Gara made a similar argument when he claimed that Nintendo’s decline would hurt the entire industry because Nintendo attracts children who eventually grow up into adults who play PlayStation and Xbox.

At this year’s E3, Reggie Fils-Aime talked about why it’s important to appeal to children.

It’s critical for us to have kids grow into and aspire to play Nintendo content. I think about how I introduced my kids to Mario and to The Legend of Zelda. We have to find ways to do that today. We’re doing it in a variety of different ways. We had about 10 kids here yesterday, unique kids — kids who write for Time for Kids, kids who have their own YouTube channels. We had them interacting with Mr. Miyamoto and playing our games. They had a fabulous time. We think that type of activity, and having the kids themselves broadcast out what they found appealing, is critically important.

I think it’s fantastic that Nintendo wants kids to purchase their products.

But the problem is how Nintendo reaches out to kids.

 

 

 

 

 

I think Thomas Whitehead did a good job with the article, but I want to share my own personal perspective on how I see everything.

 

 

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/10/talking_point_nintendos_ability_to_charm_young_gamers_is_vital_for_its_success

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though Mr. Yamauchi worked in Kyoto, Japan, he was very well aware that the kids image was killing the SNES.

 

 

 

 

 

It was Hiroshi Yamauchi who was responsible for Nintendo of America running an edgier marketing campaigns like

 

 

 

where Nintendo’s share of the 16-bit machine business plummeted from 60% at the end of 1992 to 37% a year later,

But the most interesting thing to take from all of this

 

 

He’ll make big changes in the way Nintendo manages its U.S. operation, promotes its products, and develops games.

Sometimes I wondered if Hiroshi Yamauchi understood children better than most Nintendo executives.

 

But the stern, 66-year-old patriarch of Japan’s biggest game company made one thing clear: He’ll make big changes in the way Nintendo manages its U.S. operation, promotes its products, and develops games.

 

When Sega started running comparative ads in 1990, Nintendo failed to respond. In effect, says Yamauchi, Arakawa “allowed Sega to brand our games as children’s toys. It was a serious mistake.”

ON NOTICE. Yamauchi expects Arakawa to change his style–and hand more responsibility to senior American staffers.  Informed of those comments, Arakawa issued a statement promising that “1994 will be the most aggressive marketing year Nintendo of America has ever seen.”

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/1994-02-20/nintendos-yamauchi-no-more-playing-around

 

 

They came to an agreement that aggressively advertising iPod would do a better job selling Macs.

 

fffffff

I was reading an article on PopHistoryDig.com about the history behind Apple’s silhouette ad campaign which played a major role in the product’s success.  The article talks about a paper written by two business students from University of St. Thomas named Michael Shur and Tyler Reed.  In the paper, they talk about how the advertising was able to tap into the psychology of the consumer.

According to these two students:

“These ads transmit a definite sense that there is a personality being promoted, a way of being as much as a thing to buy”.  

 

 

Both of these quotes sum up why Apple’s silhouette campaign was a success, and why the Wii U’s marketing campaign was a failure.

In 2004, Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime discussed the company’s marketing efforts with a group of journalists at a Seattle press event.  Reggie told the journalists that Nintendo’s marketing goal was “winning the heart and mind of the 17-year-old”.  According to Nintendo World Report, Reggie believed that age 17 was the sweet spot for marketing because kids and teens idealize that age before they reach it, and adults in their late 20’s and early 30’s wish they could be 17 again.  Fils-Aime believed that if you target 17-year-olds, then both kids and older adults would automatically become more attracted to your products.

 

 

scott moffitt

 

 

 

 

reggie fils-aime mic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But if Nintendo of America goes back to focusing their marketing on small children, does Reggie Fils-Aime still have an important role in this company?

The advertising for Bayonetta 2 is a step forward in reaching out to adults,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently on Nintendo of America’s websitethree out of the four Wii U bundles have Mario’s face plastered on the box. Unfortunately, this feeds into the negative perception that the product is just a $300 Mario / Zelda machine.

The bundles are a fantastic value, but they send a message that

 

mario bundles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.joystiq.com/2007/03/30/seventeen-brits-complain-about-wii-ad-violence/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jam Sessions

 

 

 

 

Reggie: The average age of Wii owners is 29 years old, and most of Wii’s audience is still core gamers.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/140575/article.html

 

 

http://gonintendo.com/?p=12050

Nintendo is honoring 100 individuals, whose ages range from 54 to 104, from around the country who personify the term “ageless.” They run marathons and tame lions. They are stuntmen and NASCAR racers. They don’t let their chronological age define who they are, and they set a positive role model for people of all ages. These are qualities Nintendo has fostered with its wildly popular Nintendo DS(TM) title Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, which offers users a series of challenging puzzles to keep their minds active. The 100 recipients are living demonstrations of how a youthful mindset can keep a person truly “ageless.” Each of the honorees has received a Nintendo DS Lite portable video game system and a copy of Brain Age.

“These honorees represent the kind of people we all want to grow up to be,” says George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. “They refuse to act their age. They think young, and therefore they act young. Brain Age is one more tool in their anti-aging arsenal.”

A 2006 survey by the Entertainment Software Association revealed that 25 percent of all gamers are age 55 and older. Brain Age has been a big hit with older, active adults, who use it daily to help keep their minds sharp with tests of memory, mathematics, reading and counting.

“The award is a reminder to people of all generations that age is just a number,” says award recipient Cathi Watson, a 73-year-old radio show host and producer. “Keeping your body and mind fit and active are the keys to remaining young at heart.”

To help Nintendo find 100 people in the United States who personify the ideals of Brain Age, the Grandparent Marketing Group conducted a nationwide search and identified the following honorees.

http://nsider2.com/2007/11/04/nintendo-girls-arrive-to-califonia/

What prompts the conversations? George Harrison, svp-marketing and corporate communications at top-scorer Nintendo of America, Redmond, Wash., credits social currency.

  • George Har­ri­son, Nintendo’s senior vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, has said that more than half of the company’s mar­ket­ing for Wii is aimed at adults. And the sys­tem has been pre­sented at con­ven­tions for the aging “gray gamer” pop­u­la­tion.” and talks about sudoku, Brain Age, Big Brain Acad­emy, and more.

http://sharpbrains.com/blog/2007/07/17/nintendo-brainage-happy-neuron-lumosity-mybraintrainer/

 

Manhunt 2

 

ds ad 2007 uk

 

 

 

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2008 wii fit girl

In late May 2008, Nintendo of America’s Cammie Dunaway’s gave a speech at the Electronic Gaming Summit.  She explained that 79 percent of Wii gamers were males over the age of 18 with an average income of $50,000.  She talked about a separate category called “other household members”.  Half of “other household members” demographic were women over the age of 25, and 65 percent of them played for only two hours a week.

The year 2008 is an example of how sex appeal turned one of Nintendo’s products into an internet sensation.

On May 2008, a video was uploaded on YouTube called, “Why every guy should buy their girlfriend Wii Fit”. The video showed a 25-year-old Florida woman named Lauren Bernat playing Wii Fit in her underwear while moving her hips and shaking her ass in front of the camera.  Some believed that this was some ingenious marketing campaign similar to “Lonely Girl”, but Nintendo denied having any association with the video. The person who filmed the video had worked for Tisnley Advertising, and his girlfriend (who appears in the video) was also working in advertising at the time.

It doesn’t matter if Nintendo did (or didn’t) create the video; what matters is that the video became a YouTube sensation with over 12 million views.

Lauren Bernat appeared on MTV’s TRL (Total Request Live) where she was interviewed about the video’s popularity. Toward the end of the show, they asked her to play Wii Fit’s hoola-hoop game in front of the TRL audience in Times Square.  This was some of the best publicity that the Wii could have ever received, and Nintendo didn’t have to pay a dime for it.  Think about it for a second: A Nintendo product received huge publicity on national television because a woman didn’t wear pants.

Things would escalate even further due to an unfortunate coincidence of a New York librarian sharing the same name as Lauren Bernat.  She would appear on Fox News Channel to vent her frustrations over people mixing her up with the other Lauren Bernat from Florida (the real Wii Fit girl). Megyn Kelly, the Fox News host, asks the audience, “Imagine if you shared the same name with a woman in one of the biggest YouTube clips of all time”.  One of the other news anchors admits, “I’ve watched it five times”.

Lauren Bernat

http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2008/06/18/wii-fit-girl-interview/

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/2008/05/22/nintendo-wii-gamers-are-hardcore-too/1

 

“”In today’s fashion world, carrying customized accessories means everything,” said Kara Richter, CEO and founder of From Bags to Riches. “With the addition of the stylish Nintendo DS, Nintendo brings to fashion accessories what Prada brought to stylish messenger bags.””

“”Almost half the Nintendo DS systems sold in the United States last year belong to women,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “With From Bags to Riches, we can help the growing population of female gamers test drive some great Nintendo DS games – and look good while they’re doing it.””

http://www.ign.com/articles/2008/09/17/nintendo-ds-becomes-the-hot-tech-cessory-for-fashion-conscious-women

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2008/09/rent-a-purse-get-a-nintendo-ds-rent-a-purse/

http://www.zeldauniverse.net/2008/11/28/nintendo-ds-spa-gives-awesome-massages-with-your-ds/

http://kotaku.com/5101161/scenes-from-a-nintendo-ds-massage-spa

Nintendo DS Day Spa Promotional Tour Recap Video from John Torres on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compare the Game Boy Advance SP to the Nintendo 2DS.

 

 

 

 

 

In early September, someone sent me this tweet saying, “Kids don’t want “kid” games, they want “cool” games. The games are fine, but framing is everything.”

This person is absolutely correct.

Framing is everything.

 

 

according to market research firm Zanthus, about 13 percent of children under 12 use the video game system.

http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080518/news_1n18wiitot.html

Wii U print ad

 

 

 

The answer is simple: Nintendo has a royalties business, and most major third parties (including indies developers) are only interested in making games for teenagers and adults.  When Nintendo advertises themselves as as a “kids brand”, they will attract less third party support, and this will damage their royalties business in the long-run.  To compensate for the lack of royalties coming from retail third party games, Nintendo has to allow garbage like “The Letter” to come through the Wii U eShop since Nintendo will get a 30% cut from those sales.  If third parties created more games for children, then Nintendo’s royalties business wouldn’t be under a major assault right now, but that is currently not the case right now.

 

I’ve mentioned this in a previous article, but it’s something that needs to be repeated:  Activision will never admit this, but Call of Duty is a kids brand that is positioned as a modern-day G.I. Joe with licensed toys being sold at Toys R’ Us by MegaBloks.  But why stop there when there are toys for Gears of War, Halo, and Assassin’s Creed flooding toy stores to get kids acquainted with Mature-rated games? Whenever Nintendo loses out on franchises like Call of Duty, they are losing a popular kids brand, and that hurts Nintendo’s ability to grow their kids audience.  And yes, I realize that calling “Call of Duty” a kids brand sounds horrible to any protective parent, but that is currently the world that we are living in.  If “Orange is the New Black”, then the Mature rating is the new PG-13 in the game industry.

Was Midway aware that Tiger Electronics was selling licensed Mortal Kombat toys for $10 in the 1990’s? Of course Midway was fully aware of these toy tie-ins, and millions of kids became acquainted with Mortal Kombat thanks to toys and merchandise. When I was in grade school, all of the boys in my class loved Mortal Kombat because it was considered cool to love Mortal Kombat. Did kids view Nintendo as ‘kiddy’ when the first Mortal Kombat for SNES didn’t have blood?  They sure did, and I can assure you that today’s children in 2014 haven’t changed that much since 1993.

If Nintendo wants the kids audience so badly, then Nintendo needs to focus on “being cool”. Anyone who says that Nintendo shouldn’t worry about being cool are people who forgot what it’s like to be a kid.  They forgot what it’s like to make friends with other kids and become popular in their class.

I’m not saying that Nintendo should do an extremely obnoxious “Play It Loud” campaign, but they need to cut it out with showing seven-year-old actors in all of their commercials.  They need to stop with these “spending more family time” messages in their television (and internet) ads because it is repelling children away from their products.  Most kids think family time is lame.

Nintendo needs to re-think children because their current idea of children is not based on reality.

mortal kombat tiger electronicsmk3-tiger

mortal kombat R-Zone

The Importance of Marketing “Cool”

 

 

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One year before the Wii launched, Hub Magazine interviewed multiple marketing executives from various companies about marketing adult brands to children (and marketing kids brands to adults).  Steve Gold from Golden Fish Marketing Group. believed that there was overlap between kids and adults because they both compete to stay on top of changes in culture.

GoldnFish Marketing Group Chief Creative Officer Steve Gold explained in 2005:

“The natural path is that kids try to emulate adults. Everyone tries, in our society, to be older. It’s all about “the things that we can’t wait to do” that force us to want to be grown up,” says Gold.  “It’s no longer a slow-winding process that takes you from kid to adolescence to teenager to grownup the way it used to be.  Both kids and adults are constantly trying to be on top of the changes in the culture and the potential for overlap is huge. I don’t think that’s a trend so much as it’s a new reality that probably will dominate for years to come.”

Chuck McLeish says,

“I think kids, in general, are aspiring more to older, adult-type brands more than adults are aspiring to kid brands.  Kids are getting older younger.  Nine-year-olds now act more 11- and 12-year olds in terms of their degree of sophistication, the brands that they want, their aspirations, and their activities.  Technology is probably a contributor to that.”

 

 

 

The marketing talents of Nintendo of America executives Reggie Fils-Aime and Scott Moffitt are being wasted on children.  Both men have always specialized in youth marketing to teens and adults (ages 13 to 35) throughout most of their careers.

 

 

 

 

Games like “Wii Sports”, “Donkey Kong Country” (SNES),

 

The people who say Nintendo shouldn’t worry about being cool are people who either have no children of their own, or they don’t have a big interest in their kids

There is an arrogance among people like Miyamoto

 

The early years of the Wii and DS marketed cool.  The SNES, N64, and GameCube all marketed cool. They try their hardest to create commercials that make children feel embarrassed to play games with their families.

 

They claim that children are their main demographic, but they are the same company that says they don’t “care about what’s cool” or Miyamoto will talk about how developers focus too much on creating “cool games”.  Well, excuse me, but kids want to feel cool and popular in school,

 

 

 

 

 

For example, Nintendo of America bragged about how “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” sold more than 130,000 combined physical and digital units in its first eight days on the market.  Compare this to Infamous: Second Son for PlayStation 4 which Sony says sold one million copies in nine days. In Japan, Tropical Freeze’s only sold 35,717 copies during it’s first week in stores, and barely moved Wii U hardware sales to 8,782 units.

Even if Tropical Freeze is just another Donkey Kong game, Nintendo of America’s marketing should have advertised Tropical Freeze as something bigger than “just another Donkey Kong game”.  Someone at Nintendo of America should have stood up and said, “People are experiencing fatigue from Donkey Kong Country, so this might be a good time to try a different approach with our marketing for Tropical Freeze”. Earlier this year, I wrote an article saying that Nintendo should have hired Eminem to help with Tropical Freeze’s marketing because his high scores in Donkey Kong were being reported by the media. He helped promote Call of Duty multiple times, and he would have helped bring some much needed edginess back to Nintendo’s marketing. In Japan, Tropical Freeze was promoted by a boy band so why the hell not?  We shouldn’t forget how much Robin Williams helped with promoting the The Legend of Zelda games.

 

 

Bringing Cool Back To Nintendo

reggie fils-aime mic

One of the main reasons why Nintendo hired Reggie was due to his experience at marketing to teens and young adults. The company needed someone like him to expand their audience beyond small children. Reggie Fils-Aime worked for VH1 from 2001 through 2003 where he was responsible for a 30% increase in the network’s ratings by focusing the channel’s content on younger adults.

“For me, the opportunity here at Nintendo really was to get back to my consumer marketing roots, apply what I’ve done in the teen and young adult space for the last ten, twelve years and really help take this brand to new heights,” said Reggie Fils-Aime in 2004.

When Reggie first joined Nintendo, he was determined to fight the stereotype that Nintendo’s products were only for children.  He was focused on making the Nintendo brand feel cool by the public.

Fils-Aime explained, “I’m focused on growing Nintendo’s image and making the brand feel cool and vibrant. So other brands that are cool and vibrant are certainly more up our alley than [kid] brands that, if you will, try to hold onto our coattails. It really is an opportunity to work with other brands that are trying to reach this key consumer audience [teens and adults] in new and provocative ways.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2002, Apple was deciding how to spend a $125 million advertising budget between all of their products. Some wanted to play it safe and spend most of the budget on the Macintosh business, but Steve Jobs saw things differently from others. Jobs believed that if the iPod could make Apple more appealing to the youth, then young people would become more willing to buy Apple’s Macintosh computers.

Their ad agency developed a silhouette advertising campaign which focused on the consumer’s personality as much as the actual product itself.  The ad campaign played a major role in the massive success of the iPod, and it made the company more popular with young people like Steve Jobs had predicted.

An analyst at AdWizard (via popculturedigsummed up why the iPod’s 2003 ad campaign was so successful:

“In advertising, we’re taught that the target audience is almost as important as the product itself.  It’s common practice to show a representative of the target audience.  Someone who the target audience can look at and picture themselves as being.  The idea is that if the target audience can imagine themselves in the ad, there’s a better chance of them purchasing the product.  The downside is that the ad may dissuade potential customers outside the target audience because the product is ‘not for them.’  But what Apple’s ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, did was allow the target audience to put itself in their ads.  The silhouetted image is literally a blank canvas that anyone can be placed in.

ipod ads

Two University of St. Thomas business students, Michael Shur and Tyler Reed, also had an interesting perspective on the iPod’s ads:

“These ads transmit a definite sense that there is a personality being promoted, a way of being as much as a thing to buy”

This quote about the iPod’s marketing could be applied to the Wii.

If you look back at Wii’s early advertising,  you will notice that there was a personality being promoted, a way of being as much as a thing to buy.  Nintendo wasn’t just selling you a product, they sold the idea of video games making you look cool and hip when you swung the remote. The Wii sold an image of physically attractive people playing video games as a socially acceptable way to spend time with each other.

The genius behind the Wii to kids by marketing to kidsthe product as a thing for young adults.  Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nintendo of America’s Perrin Kaplan discussed who Nintendo’s audience was in the year 2005.

“It’s interesting to hear that those respondents perceive Nintendo as being a kids’ brand, because between 40 and 50 percent of our customers are teen and adult. With our new DS system, almost 70 percent of players are over 13.”

“On the issue of older gamers, we’re aiming squarely at those who clearly put game play first…those who are most hungry for a new approach. The earliest adopters for DS will be those who are also the freest thinkers. The trendsetters. The same people, I guess you could say, who were first to snap up their blackberries and iPods,” says Fils-Aime.

 

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the signature breakthrough games of the last decade was Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64. It sold more than five million copies in America alone. For a time, its hold on late teens and early 20-somethings was so hypnotic that we received countless complaints from young women that their boyfriends and husbands were paying much less attention to them…and much more to beating their buddies on four player Goldeneye. The James Bond license and excellent game design certainly didn’t hurt…but the key to success was Nintendo’s decision to put four controller ports right on the N64 console. That made four player competition instantly availabe to all older Goldeneye gamers…just as it did for players of all ages with Mario Kart a short while later,” says Reggie Fils-Aime. “The DS will be equipped to wirelessly connect 16 players in close proximity to a single game. This, to us, marries the same excitement of competing side by side with your friends in Goldeneye—but expands it fourfold.”

http://www.ign.com/articles/2004/08/12/reggie-and-the-ds-wow-factor?page=5

 

 

 

 

 

What is Nintendo’s Brand Personality?

In September 2000, Apple blamed Macintosh’s problems on the education market, and Merrill Lynch predicted that things would only get worse for the company. Two years later, Apple was deciding how to spend a $125 million advertising budget between all of their products. Some wanted to play it safe and spend most of the budget on the Macintosh business, but Steve Jobs saw things differently from others.

Jobs believed that if iPod could position Apple as a company that appealed to the youth, then young people would become more willing to buy Apple’s Macintosh computers. Their ad agency developed a silhouette advertising campaign which focused on the consumer’s personality as much as the actual product itself.  The ad campaign played a major role in the massive success of the iPod, and it made the company more popular with young people like Steve Jobs had predicted.

An analyst at AdWizard (via popculturedigsummed up why the iPod’s 2003 ad campaign was so successful:

“In advertising, we’re taught that the target audience is almost as important as the product itself.  It’s common practice to show a representative of the target audience.  Someone who the target audience can look at and picture themselves as being.  The idea is that if the target audience can imagine themselves in the ad, there’s a better chance of them purchasing the product.  The downside is that the ad may dissuade potential customers outside the target audience because the product is ‘not for them.’  But what Apple’s ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, did was allow the target audience to put itself in their ads.  The silhouetted image is literally a blank canvas that anyone can be placed in.

Two University of St. Thomas business students, Michael Shur and Tyler Reed, also had an interesting perspective on the iPod’s ads:

“These ads transmit a definite sense that there is a personality being promoted, a way of being as much as a thing to buy”

ipod ads

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

 

The marketing talents of Nintendo of America executives Reggie Fils-Aime and Scott Moffitt are being wasted on children.  Both men have always specialized in youth marketing to teens and adults (ages 13 to 35) throughout most of their careers.  Fils-Aime did a better job of attracting kids to the Wii and DS when the company wasn’t marketing so heavily to children.  This is something that I’ll elaborate on later in this article.

 

 

Fils-Aime talked to Gamespot about his experiences at VH1: “So, coming from outside the industry, I was able to say smart things like “We need to broaden our development slate. We need to get the brand focused back on 25 to 35 year olds because that’s what it’s all about.” In the media business, you can’t allow your channel to get old, because media companies will go somewhere else to buy a 40- to 50-year-old audience. They won’t go to VH1.”

 

In a separate interview, Fils-Aime elaborated on how his experiences at VH1 is one of the main reasons he was recruited at VH1: “That proved quite useful in my job here at Nintendo. Understanding that consumer group has proved critical in what Nintendo is trying to do now, in taking video games beyond the typical teenage boy and into a much more diverse audience. That experience was probably one of the major reasons I was recruited by Nintendo in 2003.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The application, “Pictochat” was created because teens and adults loved instant messaging.  Although Pictochat only supported LAN (system to system) capabilities, the company was hoping that older gamers would take their Nintendo DS everywhere (planes, trains, college campuses, libraries, restaurants, movie theaters, sports events, etc).  Keep in mind that this was three years before the iPhone had even existed.

“We are offering a chat feature because we know that young adults today are using instant messaging more than they are e-mailing to their friends. Being able to use DS in this format certainly makes it relevant to their lifestyle and what it is that they do,” said Reggie Fis-aime in an interview with Hub Magazine.

“On the issue of older gamers, we’re aiming squarely at those who clearly put game play first…those who are most hungry for a new approach. The earliest adopters for DS will be those who are also the freest thinkers. The trendsetters. The same people, I guess you could say, who were first to snap up their blackberries and iPods,” says Fils-Aime.

 

 

The marketing talents of Nintendo of America executives Reggie Fils-Aime and Scott Moffitt are being wasted on children.  Both men have always specialized in youth marketing to teens and adults (ages 13 to 35) throughout most of their careers.  Fils-Aime did a better job of attracting kids to the Wii and DS when the company wasn’t marketing so heavily to children.  This is something that I’ll elaborate on later in this article.

“For me, the opportunity here at Nintendo really was to get back to my consumer marketing roots, apply what I’ve done in the teen and young adult space for the last ten, twelve years and really help take this brand to new heights,” said Reggie Fils-Aime in 2004, a few months before Nintendo DS launched.

One of the main reasons why Nintendo hired Reggie was due to his experience at marketing to teens and young adults. The company needed someone like him to expand their audience beyond small children. Reggie Fils-Aime worked for VH1 from 2001 through 2003 where he was responsible for a 30% increase in the network’s ratings.  He was able to increase VH1’s ratings by focusing the channel’s content on younger adults.  Before Reggie jumped on board with VH1, the channel’s audience was much older (40-to-50 year olds), while other media companies were skewering younger.  At the time, VH1 had been stereotyped as the “channel for old people” which caused the ratings to rapidly decline.

Fils-Aime talked to Gamespot about his experiences at VH1: “So, coming from outside the industry, I was able to say smart things like “We need to broaden our development slate. We need to get the brand focused back on 25 to 35 year olds because that’s what it’s all about.” In the media business, you can’t allow your channel to get old, because media companies will go somewhere else to buy a 40- to 50-year-old audience. They won’t go to VH1.”

The situation with VH1 being stereotyped as a “brand for old people” in 2001 isn’t much different from Nintendo being stereotyped as a kids brand during the GameCube era. In both situations, public perceptions were preventing Nintendo and VH1 from experiencing any further growth or market expansion. In the year 2003, financial analysts blamed Nintendo’s financial problems on the company’s inability to appeal to older demographics. Reggie was determined to fight the stereotype that Nintendo’s products were only for children, and he was focused on making the Nintendo feel cool by the public.

In a separate interview, Fils-Aime elaborated on how his experiences at VH1 is one of the main reasons he was recruited at VH1: “That proved quite useful in my job here at Nintendo. Understanding that consumer group has proved critical in what Nintendo is trying to do now, in taking video games beyond the typical teenage boy and into a much more diverse audience. That experience was probably one of the major reasons I was recruited by Nintendo in 2003.”

Let’s move on to Scott Moffitt, the executive vice president of sales and marketing at Nintendo of America.

Scott Moffitt was Mountain Dew’s former director of marketing where he helped create the “Dew the Dew” ad campaigns targeting teens and young adults. These campaigns helped Mountain Dew become the third largest carbonated soft drink at retail in 1999.  Moffitt launched products like Mountain Dew Code Red, AMP Energy Drink, and Aquafina Essentials. Scott Moffitt explained, “There’s a level of conviction out there [among Dew fans] that you can’t fake. You can’t preach to them or tell them what’s cool. You have to connect with them on a level that’s beyond the superficial.”

From 2004 through 2006, Pepsi Co. appointed Scott Moffitt as the general manager of SoBe because they weren’t happy with the company’s performance.  Pepsi Co. was hopeful that Moffitt would do for SoBe what he had done with Mountain Dew — make it popular with young adults. After leaving Mountain Dew/Pepsi Co, he later joined Henkel to manage the personal care division which sells bar soap, body-wash, deodorants (Right Guard), hand sanitizers, and liquid hand soap. Again, this was a business where the marketing is mostly targeted at adults since they are the ones who typically buy those products for their families.

 

Amiibo

 

The amiibo thing is weird because Nintendo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The biggest problem with Wii U’s advertising is that consumers can’t imagine themselves as the people in the ads.  The consumers in Wii U’s recent ads are always appearing as dorky kids, embarrassing parents, or people that you couldn’t imagine actually buying these products.

 

 

 

For example, Nintendo posted an internet trailer two weeks ago for amiibo and Smash Bros, which was intentionally written and directed to be as corny as possible.  They probably assumed that the cornier it was, the bigger chance that it will go viral around the internet with gifs and memes like the Luigi death stare.

 

 

 

 

 

His number one priority was to change how Nintendo of America managed it’s operations, promotions, and game development.  He told Business Week that Arakawa needed to give more responsibility to senior American staffers. “I’m giving him another chance,” said Yamauchi. “But even in Japan, if results don’t improve, you can’t stay in a job.”

In a telephone interview with the New York Times, Nintendo of America’s advertising manager Don Coyner explained, “It came through pretty loud and clear that while we did a good job in our advertising explaining what our games were about, we didn’t do it in kid-speak, but like an adult talking to a child.

Ten years after Hiroshi Yamauchi’s Business Week interview, the GameCube would face similar problems. “Sales of GameCube software fell short in North America and Europe last year, and I believe that’s due to the popularity of violent games on other consoles,” said Yamauchi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From NES through Wii, Nintendo fought against the kids image with ad campaigns like “Play It Loud”, “Get N or Get Out”, “Touching is Good”, and “Wii Would Like To Play”.

Today’s Nintendo is different.  Nowadays, they don’t fight back against the kids perception, they embrace it. The company believes  they are the only video game company making software for children.

The criticisms that Nintendo’s games are too “kiddy” are not coming from adults who were born on Nintendo.  No, the kiddy criticism is coming from

are coming from children, the audience they are trying to target.

oesn’t run away from the fact that they make products for kids, and maybe that’s exactly why less kids are buying Nintendo’s products than before?

Where does the “Nintendo is for kids” criticism come from? Ironically, the criticism mostly comes from children and young teens, not adults.  Adults can look past the cartoon characters and the light-hearted themes, Today’s 8-year-olds were never born when the NES, SNES, N64, and GameCube were launched.

 

 

 

Today’s Nintendo doesn’t fight back against this perception.  They embrace the fact they are making games for kids, and they believe they are the only company targeting children., d

.. but today’s Nintendo is slightly different.  Today’s Nintendo embraces the fact that they make games for kids.

 

Some people view amiibo as Nintendo returning to its toy company roots, but let’s not forget that it was the ‘toy image’ that helped damage public perception of GameCube.  People laughed at GameCube’s purple lunchbox design, and they were quick to make jokes about how the controller looked like a colorful “Fischer Price toy”.  Nintendo publicly admitted that the GameCube looked too much like a toy, and the Wii was designed to look much more sleek and sophisticated than the GameCube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think adults are more forgiving about Nintendo being cheesy than kids are, and the problem is that kids are Nintendo’s

The main focus of this ad is about a dorky kid and his crush, but I have to wonder if kids

Kids dont want to look or feel like dorks, and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the “Luigi’s Death Stare” meme blew up, it’s no surprise that Nintendo would

 

Do most people in real life act like the people in the trailer? If they don’t, then does that make this an ineffective trailer?

 

 

 

 

 

Play It Loud

 

Play It Loud 2

This has always been the biggest problem with Wii U’s marketing since day one.

 

 

 

If people thought kids were growing up fast in 2005, can you imagine how much faster kids are growing up today with all of this new technology?  In 2005, the following did not exist for kids: Twitter, Twitch, Tumblr, Instagram, Hulu, iOS, Android, iPhone, iPad,  iPod Touch, Windows Phone, Roku, Amazon Kindle, Xbox Smartglass, and Google Chrome.

 

 

Let’s switch the discussion from the Wii U to the 2DS for a moment.

 

 

 

Is there any truth behind Reggie’s 2004 theory that marketing to 17-year-olds will attract more teens, kids, and adults?

“New 3DS” is Nintendo admitting that it’s much easier to convince core gamers to keep re-buying the same handheld than it is targeting small children with 2DS.  From Nintendo’s perspective, re-selling the 3DS to the existing 45 million 3DS owners is the easiest way for 3DS to reach Game Boy Advance’s 81 million units sold.  Just like Nintendo lumped Game Boy Color’s sales with Game Boy, they will probably lump “New 3DS” sales with 3DS/2DS regardless of specs or power differences. From what I can see, Nintendo knows that a simple revision is not enough to prevent the sales decline of 3DS, and that is why are developing exclusive games on “New 3DS”.

 

Do you know why people were impressed with E3’s Treehouse Live?  It’s because the internet was shocked that actual human beings with real emotions worked for the company.  Treehouse Live was like a huge revelation for most people; they had finally seen the human side of Nintendo of America. People were watching the Treehouse Live streams like they were observing animals in a zoo, and they were tweeting things like, “Whoa, so that’s what the non-executive Nintendo employees look like.  They look like us.”

Nintendo needs to get over it’s identity crisis,.  “Cool” is not an 80’s, 90’s, or early 2000’s thing ; cool is a kid’s thing, and kids will never stop acting like kids.

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t remember there being a huge emphasis on children

 

 

 

Fast forward to the 2013 holiday season, and the Wii U was on the market for an entire year at that point. Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime told the press that they needed to be more crystal clear about who Wii U’s target audience was. For the holiday 2013 campaign, Reggie explained that Nintendo of America was going to target parents and their children.

“The marketing has tremendously ramped up,” Fils-Aime said. “And really where it comes down to is being crystal clear in who’s your target. For us, this holiday with the Wii U, the target is parents and their kids. So if you’re watching primetime family entertainment, you’re seeing our marketing. If you’re a parent watching morning or daytime media, you’re seeing our content.”

Unfortunately, Nintendo was not happy with their 2013 holiday results, and they blamed it on the company’s failure to effectively target children and their parents.

In January 2014, Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata was quoted by a Japanese newspaper for saying that they weren’t targeting children enough.  The next month, Shigeru Miyamoto explained to investors, “Our biggest downfall last year (2013) was that we failed to communicate the true value of Wii U, failed to make children persuade their parents to buy our products for them, and failed to offer products that parents could not resist.  What we can do about it from now on is our theme”

Last year, Nintendo ran a 3DS Holiday TV commercial with the slogan “Because It’s Nintendo”. This slogan is somewhat ironic when you look at the company’s actions over the years. The Wii was the first console by Nintendo without the inclusion of the company’s name in the actual product name. The official press release explained, “No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.”  In 2005, the company name was considered a liability for their blue ocean strategy to expand their market. There was concern that the name “Nintendo” was perceived as a kids company, and this would prevent them from successfully expanding their audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://allthingsd.com/20111222/ninte…inks-of-zynga/

Let’s compare Nintendo of America’s launch campaigns.

 

 

http://hubmagazine.com/reveries/nintendo/index.html

 

 

 

 

I wish the Reggie Fils-Aime from the VH1 days (2001-2003) would re-appear because that Reggie understood the importance of marketing brands as “cool”.

 

“Fils-Aime specializes in marketing to youth — a skill he refined at VH1, where he led an initiative to refocus the channel on younger viewers. He says he loves the chaos of youth marketing, the constant challenge to stay completely aware of this unpredictable, ever-changing audience.”

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2003405192_nintendo12.html

Reggie Fils-Aime was responsible for a 30% increase in VH1 ratings by refocusing the channel’s content to appeal to younger viewers.

Reggie Fils-Aime was the Senior Vice President of Panda Express, a popular Chinese Restaurant chain in the United States.

Reggie Fils-Aime was the Head of Marketing for Guinness, A popular Beer around the world

http://www.belpoz.com/haiti-photos/reginald-fils-aime.html

GameSpot: When you were a senior VP at VH1, you raised ratings by going after younger viewers. How has that experience, developing programming for a major cable channel, helped in the preparation and execution of Nintendo of America’s Wii strategy?

Reggie Fils-Aime:

So, snap to the Nintendo business, I come on board and say “Boy, it seems like we keep doing the same thing over and over again, to a certain extent.” How do we broaden out our efforts, not only from marketing and sales standpoint but in challenging Mr. Iwata and asking “how do we push forward the envelope?” So that’s really the analogy in terms of some of the things I brought from my experience here to Nintendo: the ability to ask some hopefully pretty smart questions, to challenge the organization to try and do new things and do things in a different way, and to get grounded in some core business fundamentals that play to your strength and drive them forward. I think that’s what we’ve been able to do quite successfully for Nintendo DS and that’s what we’re prepared to do, hopefully, quite successfully on Wii.

He’d previously helped turn the fortunes of Vh1 around, so Nintendo brought him in for a similar purpose.

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/qanda-reggie-preps-for-the-launch/1100-6162027/

http://hubmagazine.com/reveries/nintendo/index.html

http://multichannel.com/news/orphan-articles/vh1-taps-new-brand-building-marketing-chief/132173

“A self-described “brand builder,” Fils-Aime said he will look for new ways to grow the VH1 imprimatur and make it more powerful. One of his first priorities will be “to help drive focus and clarity for what VH1 the brand means,” he said. – See more at: http://multichannel.com/news/orphan-articles/vh1-taps-new-brand-building-marketing-chief/132173#sthash.2yYiCESL.dpuf”

I was at MTV Networks from 2001 to 2003, and worked for its VH1 network, which was going after more of a 25- to -49-year-old demographic. That proved quite useful in my job here at Nintendo. Understanding that consumer group has proved critical in what Nintendo is trying to do now, in taking video games beyond the typical teenage boy and into a much more diverse audience. That experience was probably one of the major reasons I was recruited by Nintendo in 2003.

It’s important to consider markets that may have been overlooked by your industry. In the gaming industry, much of the focus had traditionally been on kids and young men.

We found that women and ”older” consumers — meaning those past their mid-20s — were very receptive when these products were presented in a way that would interest them. A surprising number of seniors are even playing these games now.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D04E0DA103FF93BA25752C1A9619C8B63

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Feeding Into The Toy Image

Amiibo

 

I believe Nintendo’s current success with amiibo is a double edged sword. Sure, the amiibo business will generate additional revenue for the company, but there is a danger of pandering too much to children. My biggest concern about amiibo’s success is that it will feed into Nintendo’s toy image, the same toy image that hurt them financially in previous console generations.  If consumers start associating your video games with toys and action figures, then you run the risk of alienating teens and young adults from your brand. This will lead to your audience becoming increasingly more niche. Activision (Skylanders) and Disney (Infinity) don’t have to worry about a “toy image” because they don’t make consoles.  It’s true that Nintendo has history as a toy company, but the toy image is poison if you’re trying to sell technology to a wider audience. Also, remember that consumers aren’t obligated to buy Nintendo’s hardware to collect amiibo figurines.

In a 1994 Business Week interview, former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi criticized Nintendo of America when the market share for SNES declined from 60% in 1992 to 37% in 1993.  He laid most of the blame on his son-in-law, Minoru Arakawa, the president of Nintendo of America.

Yamauchi told Business Week, “Arakawa allowed Sega to brand our games as children’s toys. It was a serious mistake.”

In a 2001 interview with Edge Magazine, Miyamoto clarified that Yamauchi was unhappy with the perception that Nintendo products were considered toys for children.

“But it’s true that [NCL president] Mr. [Hiroshi] Yamauchi kind of hates for Nintendo to be called a toy for elementary school children—that’s one thing Mr. Yamauchi hates to hear,” said Miyamoto.  “As a matter of fact, we’ve never made a Mario game for school children. It is true that these school children are playing a central role as core Nintendo users, but we will always make efforts to widen the audience.”

The GameCube is a great examples of the toy image pushing children away from Nintendo. During an Iwata Asks feature, Nintendo’s Mr. Ashida admitted GameCube was designed like a toy which turned many people away from the system. Ashida explained to Iwata that the age range of the company’s users were changing which convinced them to design the Wii more like a piece of AV equipment.

The most recent example of the toy image hurting the company is the Nintendo 2DS. The majority of the media including Engadget compared the 2DS to a Fischer’s Price toy.

According to Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime, the target market for 2DS is small children, but how did targeting this demographic boost 3DS sales in the long run?  CVG reported in October 2013 that 3DS sales declined year-after-year, and the company missed their 3DS sales targets in May 2014.  November’s NPD results were released last week, but 3DS hardware sales were absent from Nintendo’s press release. The cheaper 2DS hardware was suppose to help Nintendo reach their forecasts, but it’s not making the impact that Nintendo had hoped for.

In late 2013, Satoru Iwata spoke to investors about the lack of awareness for 2DS: “We are yet to create sufficient awareness among prospective purchasers of this new product.  It appears that there are some among those who saw the pictures on our official website that mistakenly believe that the product is perhaps too large and heavy to carry, and we therefore strive to achieve higher awareness without causing misunderstandings.” In other words, the toy design of the 2DS is repelling children away from the product.

Here is the number one rule when marketing to children: Even if you’re selling a toy, you don’t market it as a toy. Kids want experiences — not toys — and the first Wii promised experiences that they couldn’t get anywhere else. Websites like Daily Finance and Business Insider have reported studies that children don’t want toys for Christmas, they want technology. The New Yorker says children are much more drawn to tech than toys. This is why products like Leap Frog’s LeapPad tablets are so popular with children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urban Gaming Hours: Through Nov. 17, Nintendo is hosting a gaming take on “happy hour” at gatherings for urban influencers in fashion, music and media, such as Vice magazine and Def Jam Records. The on-site events let participants experience Wii with their colleagues.     which had a large female audience, and it was the highest rated show in that year.   The commercials will be posted to Nintendo.com and YouTube.com. The first place that viewers can see all four of them together in a two-minute film will be Nov. 15 on MTV2’s Sucker Free. To accomplish Wii’s goal of bringing gaming to the masses, ads will air on ABC, NBC, Comedy Central, BET, USA, TBS, Discovery, Animal Planet, ABC Family, Nick at Nite, Sci-Fi, TLC, Fox, The CW, MTV 10 Spot, MTV, MTV2, MTVU, Adult Swim, Fuse, Si TV, The N, VH-1 and Black Family Channel.

Reading that sentence made me realize that everyone has suffered amnesia, and nobody remembers what was going at Nintendo from 2003 through 2007.

“Comedy Central will once again exploit the properties of tryptophan with its “Thanxgiveaway Wiikend,” an event designed to expose the turkey-tranquilized toNintendo’s Wii gaming console and Toyota’s Scion.The cable net will give away 48 Wiis and 48 TomTom portable GPS devices over the weekend of Nov. 23-27.
To enter, viewers have to tune in to interstitials running throughout the weekend that will include code words they can enter online. The interstitials will feature four families in a reality TV spoof that takes place on Thanksgiving Island and is hosted by comedian BrianUnger. “It’s sort of Gilligan’s Island meets Survivor; it’s our own kind of take on reality shows,” said Heather Zarnett, CC vp-promo marketing.The interstitials also will work in plugs for Wii and the Scion. A grand prize winner will receive a tricked-out Scion that looks like aWii console.”
The Wii For All campaign was developed at Leo Burnett Chicago USA, by executive creative director/art director William Stone, executive creative director/copywriter Dominick Maiolo, executive producer Mary Cheney. Filming was directed by Stephen Gaghan via Form, with producer Matt Blitz. Gaghan is known for his direction of Syriana.

Call your friends, cancel your plans and set your cell phone on vibrate. The first TV commercial for Nintendo’s amazing new Wii� video game system is set to air Tuesday night. The first in a series of four 30-second ads runs during the performance finals of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

The commercials feature two Japanese men who show up at homes across the United States and announce: “Wii would like to play.” The fun ads demonstrate the motion-sensitive abilities of the Wii Remote controller while a cool Japanese pop tune plays. “The fact that we have people all but begging to see Wii commercials demonstrates the huge amount of interest in our new system,” says George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. The commercials will be posted to Nintendo.com and YouTube.com. The first place that viewers can see all four of them together in a two-minute film will be Nov. 15 on MTV2’s Sucker Free. To accomplish Wii’s goal of bringing gaming to the masses, ads will air on ABC, NBC, Comedy Central, BET, USA, TBS, Discovery, Animal Planet, ABC Family, Nick at Nite, Sci-Fi, TLC, Fox, The CW, MTV 10 Spot, MTV, MTV2, MTVU, Adult Swim, Fuse, Si TV, The N, VH-1 and Black Family Channel.

Nintendo has focused on hands-on marketing efforts like the Nintendo Fusion Tour and viral sampling events in cities across the country. Now the Wii experience moves into people’s homes for the holidays. Even as these new ads run, experiential sampling events will continue into 2007. For more information about Wii, please visit Wii.com.

Looks like Comedy Central sees the potential of the Wii just like most people who know about it. Has anyone even seen a US commercial for the Wii yet? I haven’t, but it seems that everyone knows about the Wii regardless. Are you finding that people know about the Wii in your area, even without commercials helping to promote it? Wii ad on MTV.com http://gonintendo.com/?p=3781 http://www.gonintendo.com/s/7770-wii-in-rolling-stone Spike TV awards http://www.joystiq.com/2006/12/09/sony-ignored-among-2006-spike-tv-awards-winners/http://www.joystiq.com/2006/12/02/tivo-promo-goes-behind-the-scenes-of-wii-ad/ The “meet the people” clip is part of an offer to “Experience Wii … the season’s hottest gift” that shows up at the bottom of the main TiVo menu in a random cycle with other TiVo-sponsored ads. In the clip, the silent “average joe” characters featured in the Wii TV spots finally speak about their experience with the creepy Japanese guys. Unsurprisingly, each participant harps on how easy-to-use the Wii is and how much unexpected fun they had playing it. http://mynintendonews.com/2006/09/21/nintendo-plans-wii-move-you-web-assault/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j9qiSFoU-Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XczSBIMvjsw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blR2q6yrNzQ   http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-12-18-nintendo-targeting-wii-u-marketing-to-kids-families

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The company cut their sales projections for the fiscal year in January and STILL missed their 3DS sales targets in May. Selling 2.5 million units worldwide in nine months is not impressive considering how cheaply priced it is, and all of the great bundles that Nintendo has been promoting.

 

 

Today’s ten-year-olds

think like 13-year-olds, an

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the Wii U launched, it was never marketed as a high-tech, sophisticated product, and it still isn’t marketed that way today. The television commercials did a poor job of advertising Wii U as a lifestyle product that offers: Netflix, Hulu, Nintendo TVii, internet browsing, Wii U Chat, Wii Street U, and Miiverse. Instead, Nintendo kept focusing on how you can flick ninja stars off the GamePad’s touchscreen in Nintendo Land’s Takamura Castle.

Nintendo and Leo Burnett unintentionally advertised the Wii U as a $300 children’s toy, and multiple studies indicate that children want gadgets more than toys.  The Wii was a toy just like any other game console, but the main difference is that Nintendo never advertised it that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a personal theory that the more Nintendo markets directly to children, the less children will want to give Wii U a chance.

 

Activision will never admit this, but Call of Duty is a kids brand that is positioned as a modern-day G.I. Joe with licensed toys being sold at Toys R’ Us by MegaBloks.  But why stop there when there are toys for Gears of War, Halo, and Assassin’s Creed flooding toy stores to get kids acquainted with Mature-rated games? Whenever Nintendo loses out on franchises like Call of Duty, they are losing a popular kids brand, and that hurts Nintendo’s ability to grow their kids audience.  And yes, I realize that calling “Call of Duty” a kids brand sounds crazy, but that is currently the world that we are living in.  Did kids view Nintendo as ‘kiddy’ when the first Mortal Kombat for SNES didn’t have blood?  They sure did, and I can assure you that today’s children haven’t changed that much since 1993.

 

 

 

 

For example, the company launched the Wii with a darker, semi-realistic Teen-rated Zelda called “Twilight Princess”.  The Wii U’s big hardcore Nintendo game was a cartoony, colorful, 2D Mario called “New Super Mario Bros. U”.  For Wii’s launch, Nintendo published an arcade racing game called “ExciteTruck” which didn’t have any cutesy graphics, cartoon characters, or lovable mascots.  For Wii U’s launch, Nintendo published a colorful singing game aimed at girls called “Sing Party”.  The Wii launched with a game called “Wii Sports” which was cartoony, but didn’t feature any Mario characters or Nintendo franchises.   Although Wii Sports was cartoony,  it was nowhere near as colorful or cutesy as the mini games in Nintendo Land like “Mario Chase” or “Sweet Day”.  The Wii and Wii both launched with exclusive first person shooters — Red Steel and ZombiU — aimed at the hardcore gamer.  One of those games sold a million copies because the console was effectively marketed to young adults.  The other game failed because the console was unable to attract an older demographic at launch. What about the Nintendo published “Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge” — a violent, M-rated Wii U title released during launch? When consumers don’t know that games for adults exist on the Wii U, then that’s just as bad as M-rated games not existing at all.

As of today, Nintendo will target the kids market because that’s the safest thing to do when your product is struggling.

 

 

 

In 2011, Reggie Fils-Aime spoke on the Wii U’s price and what kind of consumers would want a Wii U:

The market is going to continue to differentiate based on the types of experiences that consumers want. As an example, if I’m the head of a household of a family of four, and my disposable income is $50,000 to $60,000, I’m going to continue to look at the Wii because of the software, and it’s a great entertainment device. For consumers who want to have the latest gadgets and have a higher disposable income, that’s for the Wii U.We haven’t announced pricing or availability or any other details, but given the current pricing of the Wii, it’s not going to be there. We’ve been very clear, the market is going to decide how long these products will coexist side by side. Our goal is to launch the Wii U and drive it into the marketplace, but it will speak to a different consumer than the one that is buying the Wii today during the holidays.

 

 

 

Mature-rated games did not exist on day one of the Wii’s launch; marketing for Mature-rated games did not exist during the Wii U’s North America launch.    If most people didn’t know Nintendo published Ninja Gaiden 3,

 

Did Nintendo really publish an M-rated game called Ninja Gaiden 3 if no one knew it existed?

 

, and those who knew it existed were scared away by poor reviews of the Xbox 360/PS3 versions.

 

The Wii U’s Nintendo Land

 

 

 

 

 

Which launch strategy — Wii or Wii U — proved to be more effective at generating buzz and creating positive word-of-mouth? The Wii’s marketing portrayed the product as an experience while the Wii U’s marketing strategy portrayed the product as a child’s toy.

Fast forward to the 2013 holiday season, and the Wii U was on the market for an entire year at that point. Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime told the press that they needed to be more crystal clear about who Wii U’s target audience was. For the holiday 2013 campaign, Reggie explained that Nintendo of America was going to target parents and their children.

“The marketing has tremendously ramped up,” Fils-Aime said. “And really where it comes down to is being crystal clear in who’s your target. For us, this holiday with the Wii U, the target is parents and their kids. So if you’re watching primetime family entertainment, you’re seeing our marketing. If you’re a parent watching morning or daytime media, you’re seeing our content.”

Unfortunately, Nintendo was not happy with their 2013 holiday results, and they blamed it on the company’s failure to effectively target children and their parents.

In January 2014, Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata was quoted by a Japanese newspaper for saying that they weren’t targeting children enough. The next month, Shigeru Miyamoto explained to investors, “Our biggest downfall last year (2013) was that we failed to communicate the true value of Wii U, failed to make children persuade their parents to buy our products for them, and failed to offer products that parents could not resist. What we can do about it from now on is our theme.”

I’ve been told me that Nintendo shouldn’t worry about “being cool” because they are the Willy Wonka of colorful, quirky, video games.

 

 

1988

The company researched and developed the Hands Free controller, making the NES accessible to even more Nintendo fans. The game library for the NES grew to 65 titles, helping to broaden the system’s appeal to include more adults.

https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Corporate/Nintendo-History/Nintendo-History-625945.html

 

 

 

 

 

I am not surprised that Nintendo lost significant mind-share among children.

The irony is that Reggie allowed the Wii brand to get “old” by

 

;

 

 

 

 

——————————————————————————————————————————–

 

 

http://23.23.192.186/news/2011/09/27/happy_1st_birthday_gameboy_advance_sp

Nintendo’s new Game Boy Advance SP is targeted at adult gamers and incorporates a flip-top design,. Nintendo hopes to lure business travellers, university students and other players willing to pay a bit more (almost $200) for appearance.

Nintendo’s new Game Boy Advance SP is targeted at adult gamers and incorporates a flip-top design,

http://megagames.com/news/nintendo-flirting-gba-sp-adults

They’ve been around since 2000 B.C, over 10 million Americans have one and celebrities such as Eminem, Robbie Williams and Angelina Jolie can’t get enough of them. What are they? That’s right, tattoos – coming to a Game Boy Advance SP near you soon! 

http://creativity-online.com/work/nintendo-breath/9619

“It’s very important, when you look at the audience we’re targeting, to be culturally relevant and to have a hip, sexy, cool edge,” said Molly Smith, a spokeswoman for Sony Computer Entertainment of America.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/22/technology/22nintendo.html

http://hello.typepad.com/hello_nintendo/2004/03/

How do you attract a new generation of female gamers? Why, you market to them directly packaging everything in pink! At least, that’s Nintendo Spain’s ingenious new marketing ploy.

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t want to change how Nintendo develops games, but their marketing is

 

I don’t want to change how Nintendo develops their games, and I don’t want

They create these colorful and quirky games that no one else in the

that no one else in the industry that no one else in the industry is interested in making.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2012-13, Nintendo of America did not advertise the Wii U as a game console for hardcore gamers.

 

 

 

 

 

The Blurring of Demographics

 

42% of NFL fans are parents with children under 18.  (Source: Harris Interactive, Fox Sports)

– The Wii U won’t be getting anymore NFL games because EA won’t publish Madden on Wii U anymore.

According to WWE’s corporate site, 24% of WWE’s audience is under 18 years old.  (Source)

– 2K Sports won’t publish any WWE games on the Wii U.

Cartoon Network ranked as television’s #1 network in early prime (7-9 p.m.) among boys 9-14.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that

We have a strong feeling that Nintendo 2DS is going to be a force in further propelling the popularity of Nintendo 3DS in the overseas markets.

As for the 3DS handheld, Nintendo now expects to sell 15 million units during this fiscal year, compared to its previous estimate of 17.5 million.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/185684/Nintendo_cuts_Wii_U_3DS_sales_projections_for_full_fiscal_year.php

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/131031/02.html

Fils-Aime talked about the company’s overall strategy for the holiday 2013 season.

“More than just the dollars, we’re putting our product where the consumer can see it, touch it, and feel it,” Fils-Aime said. “We’re in over 20 malls across the country. We’re creating an opportunity for consumers to see the product, because that, for Nintendo, is where the ‘wow’ happens. It’s not when you talk about specs or technology.”

Nintendo aired television commercials called “The Pitch” showing kids pitching the Wii U console to their parents.

Earlier this year, Shigeru Miyamoto explained why he believed the Wii U was struggling.

http://www.marketingcharts.com/traditional/four-in-10-us-adults-own-game-console-more-women-play-wii-9630/

Wii Tops Among Online Adults

Among the current game consoles on the market, Nintendo Wii was the #1 console owned by online adults, with 14.3% . However, Playstation 2 – despite being an older console – continues as the top console game owned, with 17.3 % of online adults in possession of one.

Targeting children in marketing is, in a sense, targeting adults. Parents take the children, or the entire family, and purchase meals for the entire family. This means marketing a kid’s meal turns into a multiple meal purchase which is costly and guess who makes a fortune. This type of marketing also puts psychological pressure on the parents who want to give their child what they want, to please and make them happy,  a hamburger and french fries but probably more so the toy. This scenario is a no win situation for parents, children, physical health and medicine. – See more at: http://healthpsychology.org/what-is-in-my-food/#sthash.xohllMgx.dpuf

http://healthpsychology.org/what-is-in-my-food/

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/195747/kids-to-marketers-we-want-tech-gadgets-not-toys.html

 

 

 

 

.

Nintendo’s marketing doesn’t suck because they are targeting kids; the marketing sucks because

For a company that has spent over 30+ years distributing products to kids, I don’t think today’s Nintendo of America understands kids at all.

When I look at Nintendo’s official website, they try their hardest to to make awesome Nintendo software look lame with these phony families, little kids, and generic Mii characters.   Have you ever noticed that the only time Nintendo presents their games as “cool” is when they do Nintendo Directs, “Live @ The Treehouse” streams, or that recent Smash Bros E3 tournament? Unless you follow Nintendo news religiously, most people don’t even know when these Directs and Treehouse streams are happening, and the majority of these Directs/streams are scheduled during times when normal people either go to work or school. For this week’s “Live @ the Treehouse”, there were only 30,000 people watching the Twitch stream at any given time, while the YouTube stream only had 4,000 people watching at any given time.

Honestly, I can’t tell whether Scott Moffitt or Ned Flanders is running the marketing at Nintendo of America. They should put a giant sticker on Wii U consoles that says, “Approved by America’s Soccer Moms” because that would sum up NOA’s marketing initiatives.

 

 

 

 

Here is the number one rule in marketing to children: Even if you’re selling a toy, you don’t market it as a toy. Kids want experiences, not toys.  Small children are attracted to smartphones and tablets because it makes them feel grown up when they play with mommy’s phone or tablet.  Children like the experience of feeling like an adult and doing adult things.  You will even find plastic, toy smartphones on Amazon for babies.

In 2012-13, Nintendo of America did not advertise the Wii U as a game console for hardcore gamers. The Wii U was not marketed as a high-tech, sophisticated product. Nintendo did a poor job of advertising Wii U as a lifestyle product that offers Netflix, Hulu, Nintendo TVii, internet browsing, Wii U Chat, Wii Street U, and Miiverse.

Nintendo and Leo Burnett unintentionally advertised the Wii U as a $300 children’s toy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reggie: The market is going to continue to differentiate based on the types of experiences that consumers want. As an example, if I’m the head of a household of a family of four, and my disposable income is $50,000 to $60,000, I’m going to continue to look at the Wii because of the software, and it’s a great entertainment device. For consumers who want to have the latest gadgets and have a higher disposable income, that’s for the Wii U.We haven’t announced pricing or availability or any other details, but given the current pricing of the Wii, it’s not going to be there.

We’ve been very clear, the market is going to decide how long these products will coexist side by side. Our goal is to launch the Wii U and drive it into the marketplace, but it will speak to a different consumer than the one that is buying the Wii today during the holidays.

lol, even Reggie doesn’t want to pay for the Wii u! If he doesn’t want to, why should you want to?! That’s not displaying very much confidence in your product! 😄

http://allthingsd.com/20111222/ninte…inks-of-zynga/

 

2007

“Nintendo is also working hard to woo new types of gamers. Figuring the hardcore crowd would need little motivation to check out the Wii, the company devoted about 70% of its $40 million TV, print, and online launch marketing campaign in the U.S. last fall to older and less experienced gamers. “We have been able to satisfy existing gamers and add the expanded audience of adults older than 25,” says George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice-president for marketing.”

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007-01-26/nintendo-storms-the-gaming-worldbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice

 

The sales and marketing move may shake up the company more than some think. In fact, rumors have been circulating that several key members of the marketing and communications departments may be leaving — including George Harrison and Perrin Kaplan. Our message is that everyone’s a gamer,” Fils-Aime said. “Whether it’s bringing joy and happiness to mothers and fathers as they experience Wii for the first time playing Wii Bowling or Wii Tennis, or whether it’s bringing a game like Nintendogs to a fifteen or sixteen year old girl who has a puppy that responds only to her voice.” “It’s essential to spend physical time with people from other companies, to be involved with them as neighbors and do business with them face to face,” said Fils-Aime. As fans we will wait and see how this change in location and strategy affects the ongoing console war with Sony’s PS3Source

 

 

 

http://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/ign-graphs-nintendos-image-25366305/

 

 

‘full spectrum of hipsters, budding enthusiasts and hard-core gamers’

http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/DS/DS+Lite/news.asp?c=1770

 

“It is apparent from this graph that the younger the customers are, the more actively they play. As they grow older, many tend to play less or quit playing altogether.”

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/090508/02.html

“Thousands of teens and college students will have the opportunity to sample, play and enjoy the hottest new Nintendo systems and games,” describes George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. “Nintendo is reaching out to teens and college students, and now they’re making us a part of their lifestyles.”

http://www.ign.com/articles/2005/03/15/nintendos-hip-marketing-plans-2

 

 

“Our goal is to have as many teens and young adults as we have 40-plus-year-olds excited about the platform. We’re trying to expand this business here in the U.S in a way that it really hasn’t been expanded … for the health of this industry.”

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2006-08-14-nintendo-qa_x.htm

 

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.

 

 

 

When Reggie Fils-Aime talked to Gamespot about his experiences working at VH1 in the early 2000’s, here is what he said to them: “So, coming from outside the industry, I was able to say smart things like “We need to broaden our development slate. We need to get the brand focused back on 25 to 35 year olds because that’s what it’s all about.” In the media business, you can’t allow your channel to get old, because media companies will go somewhere else to buy a 40- to 50-year-old audience. They won’t go to VH1.”

The irony behind Reggie Fils-Aime’s VH1 comments is that he allowed the Wii brand “to get old” when the marketing stopped focusing on young adults teenagers and young adults, but Nintendo started marketing Wii as this product for middle-aged soccer moms and senior citizens.  They even hired Cammie Dunnaway because they thought moms could relate to her better.   Reggie allowed the Wii’s brand image to transform into what VH1 was when it struggled in the early 2000’s.  Video games and television might be separate forms of entertainment, but they are still both entertainment.

 

 

 

I have a problem

Nintendo has software for different audiences and different age-groups, but the Wii U’s marketing campaigns in North America always did a poor job of reflecting this.

 

 

Speaking to Hub Magazine in 2005, former Nintendo executive Perrin Kaplan talked about how people are obsessed with growing up faster and staying younger longer. She believed that there was a sweet spot — the early 20’s — where people were actually happy with their age.  She claimed that kids and teens aspire to feel older until they hit their early 20’s, and then become obsessed with staying younger after their early 20’s.

 

The answer was yes.

 

 

 

With the DS, Nintendo (NTDOY) is starting a whole new product line, targeting older teens, people in their 20s, and early adopters.

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2005-01-26/nintendo-ds-got-game-will-travel

“It’s going to do pretty well,” said Schelley Olhava, an analyst with International Data Corp. Reviews from game publications and Web sites have been positive, she says. “The DS is a very distinctive product. It doesn’t look like a kid’s toy.” The target market for the device will be people 17 to 25, Kaplan says. To reach them, Nintendo is using an edgy $40 million ad campaign with the double-entendre “Touching is good.” It has placed ads on young-adult-oriented cable networks like MTV and in magazines like Maxim, Blender and Stuff.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/technology/111904-403190-nintendo-prepares-for-handheld-to-handheld-combat-with-sony-latest-device-debuts-sunday-its-dual-screen-game-player-aims-to-move-beyond-kids-to-the-young-adult-market.htm#ixzz384yenneP

Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

http://news.investors.com/technology/111904-403190-nintendo-prepares-for-handheld-to-handheld-combat-with-sony-latest-device-debuts-sunday-its-dual-screen-game-player-aims-to-move-beyond-kids-to-the-young-adult-market.htm

 

he heart of the marketing effort is a multi-media campaign  entitled “Brilliant,” referring to the new built-in lighted screen.  Television ads will begin airing the week of March 3. Additional  advertising elements will include consumer print ads debuting in April  issues of high-profile consumer publications, outdoor billboards in  major markets, including New York’s Times Square, signage in airports,  a complete outdoor campaign flooding a main Chicago train station, bar  advertising and bar interactives, as well as a national radio  promotion. Grass roots outreach will include Snapple’s “Yard Sale”  promotion, where consumers are encouraged to return Snapple bottle  caps in exchange for GBA SP and other premiums. Leo Burnett Chicago  developed the creative for the advertising campaign.

 

 

“Actually, I have noticed that

there are now a lot of teens who hang out

at Starbucks in the afternoon. Teens aspire

up, and do what the adults are doing,

and Starbucks is a really good example of

that.

 

 

Fils-Aime talked to Gamespot about his experiences at VH1:”So, coming from outside the industry, I was able to say smart things like “We need to broaden our development slate. We need to get the brand focused back on 25 to 35 year olds because that’s what it’s all about.” In the media business, you can’t allow your channel to get old, because media companies will go somewhere else to buy a 40- to 50-year-old audience. They won’t go to VH1.”

The situation with VH1 being stereotyped as a “brand for old people” in 2001 isn’t much different from Nintendo being stereotyped as a kids brand during the GameCube era. In both situations, public perceptions were preventing Nintendo and VH1 from experiencing any further growth or market expansion. In the year 2003, financial analysts blamed Nintendo’s financial problems on the company’s inability to appeal to older demographics. Reggie was determined to fight the stereotype that Nintendo’s products were only for children, and he was focused on making the Nintendo feel cool by the public.

In a separate interview, Fils-Aime elaborated on how his experiences at VH1 is one of the main reasons he was recruited at VH1: “That proved quite useful in my job here at Nintendo. Understanding that consumer group has proved critical in what Nintendo is trying to do now, in taking video games beyond the typical teenage boy and into a much more diverse audience. That experience was probably one of the major reasons I was recruited by Nintendo in 2003.”

Let’s move on to Scott Moffitt, the executive vice president of sales and marketing at Nintendo of America.

Scott Moffitt was Mountain Dew’s former director of marketing where he helped create the “Dew the Dew” ad campaigns targeting teens and young adults. These campaigns helped Mountain Dew become the third largest carbonated soft drink at retail in 1999.  Moffitt launched products like Mountain Dew Code Red, AMP Energy Drink, and Aquafina Essentials. Scott Moffitt explained, “There’s a level of conviction out there [among Dew fans] that you can’t fake. You can’t preach to them or tell them what’s cool. You have to connect with them on a level that’s beyond the superficial.”

From 2004 through 2006, Pepsi Co. appointed Scott Moffitt as the general manager of SoBe because they weren’t happy with the company’s performance.  Pepsi Co. was hopeful that Moffitt would do for SoBe what he had done with Mountain Dew — make it popular with teenagers. After leaving Mountain Dew/Pepsi Co, he later joined Henkel to manage the personal care division which sells bar soap, body-wash, deodorants (Right Guard), hand sanitizers, and liquid hand soap. Again, this was a business where the marketing is mostly targeted at adults since they are the ones who typically buy those products for their families.

 

 

 

http://hubmagazine.com/archives/the_hub/2005/jul_aug/the_hub_roundtable.pdf

I’m sure that Starbucks would like to

be known as ageless in a certain way. It’s

hard when companies get labeled when in

fact there’s something for everybody.”

 

“Our competitors are always saying that Nintendo is just for children. To counter that, what we really need to do is explain to customers and potential customers [that we do not just make games for kids],” says Iwata. “I think that the shift from Game Boy Advance to Game Boy Advance SP has attracted more and more young adults to play with the Game Boy product line. “To answer your question, in the short term, there is some impact [from Nintendo’s inability to reach older audiences]; but in the long term, I think it is most important for Nintendo to reach the widest variety of customers. That is our main emphasis right now, and it will be in the future as well.”

http://www.likelyanswer.com/6023130/Iwata-Interview—Nintendos-New-Direction

 

 

 

Wii parties, as well as Wii competitions at local bars, have surfaced as well. Nintendo has even partnered with Norwegian Cruise Lines to bring Wii competitions to the high seas. Players can assemble in its ships’ ballrooms to play one another in their favorite game. “One of the best visuals is seeing a group of people on a cruise ship in their 20s, all the way up, gathered around playing Wii bowling,” said Fils-Aime. “I don’t think anyone could have predicted that.”

http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/article/511129/nintendo-targets-girls-starcom+-cross-media-deal

“Nintendo has aligned itself with powerful media partners that target a hip, male demographic.”

Whilst we’d hate to cast aspersions over the integrity of the plan, which purportedly “will market Nintendo DS to the full spectrum of hipsters, budding enthusiasts and hardcore gamers.”

http://spong.com/article/7858/Nintendo-DS-to-target-full-spectrum-of-hipsters

. The “Touching is good” strap-line has got obvious cheeky connotations, and these ‘powerful media partners’ clearly target an older demographic than might usually be expected. With MTV, Maxim, Blender and Stuff carrying assorted advertorials, American hipsters should know plenty about the machine in time for its launch.

http://www.coolmarketingthoughts.com/category/marketing/page/61/

wii ad japan

We’ve been saying from the start that we wanted to position the DS toward an older audience,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, executive vice president for sales and marketing for Nintendo of America, “but the market didn’t believe that’s where we wanted to go.”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/21/technology/21game.html?_r=0   What will the marketing mix look like? It’s going to be a fully integrated campaign. There will be sampling and other interactive activities. There will certainly be advertising — both traditional media as well as non-traditional media. There will be a lot of guerilla marketing elements that bring the message right to this young adult consumer. It’s going to be a totally integrated plan to do the job of driving intrigue, trial and purchase. Certainly one of our business strategies is to work with other marketers as a way to help them to reach the key consumer target in ways that are truly new and innovative. We’re doing a number of things like that with some key partners that I can’t name. But certainly that’s an area that I know, as a marketer, is of interest to a number of key players and certainly something that we’re looking to push on aggressively. In general, what would you look for in a marketing partner?

Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo

There needs to be a consistency in terms of whom we’re trying to reach, and in the messaging. I’m focused on growing Nintendo’s image and making the brand feel cool and vibrant. So other brands that are cool and vibrant are certainly more up our alley than brands that, if you will, try to hold onto our coattails. It really is an opportunity to work with other brands that are trying to reach this key consumer audience in new and provocative ways.

Might this new platform attract more adult usage, or even within that, more women? In fact, we envision the consumer target for Nintendo DS to be slightly older, and by that I mean a core audience of 18-25. It’s going to be a consumer who is an early adopter — not only of media, but also of other innovations. It will be a consumer who is likely well educated, and slightly more affluent. The price point hasn’t been decided, but it will certainly be above the price point for our current handheld. Will we attract more women? Certainly more women are playing computer games than ever before. We will certainly have some software titles that will appeal to women. One of our key franchises — the Metroid franchise — is very appealing to women. And certainly that’s one of the games we highlighted at E3. So yes, against a traditional 14-, 15-, or 16-year-old consumer, this will open up slightly new markets. But this product truly is in the wheelhouse of your traditional gamer. And we expect a lot of 14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds to be buying this product as well. “Will we attract more women? Certainly more women are playing computer games than ever before. We will certainly have some software titles that will appeal to women. One of our key franchises — the Metroid franchise — is very appealing to women. And certainly that’s one of the games we highlighted at E3. So yes, against a traditional 14-, 15-, or 16-year-old consumer, this will open up slightly new markets. But this product truly is in the wheelhouse of your traditional gamer. And we expect a lot of 14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds to be buying this product as well.” http://www.reveries.com/reverb/kids_marketing/fils-aime/

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/wiiu/wkej/index.html of between 2004 through 2008. I hate Wii U’s marketing because it aggressively pushes the “kiddy image” that When people say that the Wii and DS were heavily focused on small children and families, these people only remember   biggest issue with Nintendo directing all of their commercials like they are straight out of the 90’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a time when Nintendo cared about whether people viewed them as “cool”

 

There was a time when Nintendo cared about being cool,

Throughout Nintendo’s history,

 

 

 

 

 

I was watching the commercial for the original Donkey Kong Country (SNES) on YouTube when I suddenly realized something.  Nintendo doesn’t know how to frame kids games as cool anymore.

 

http://www.n-sider.com/contentview.php?contentid=220

There once was a time when Nintendo knew how to market kids games

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, Nintendo’s emphasis on the family market is stigmatizing their products as “toys for children”

 

 

Some people like to pretend that the “kiddy image” doesn’t exist because many gamers today are parents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/technology/091905-411839-nintendo-set-to-shrink-playing-field-releasing-its-game-boy-micro-company-faces-increasing-competition-in-handheld-games-vs-sonys-portable.htm#ixzz3B7J9TP3N

Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

“Nintendo is ramping up its marketing activity in the run-up to Christmas with a &£5m-plus advertising blitz aimed at fashion-conscious young adults, women and dog lovers. The strategy aims to broaden the appeal of the brand’s gaming devices and consoles.The campaign will include television, print and in-store activity to support the launch of consoles and games as well as its existing products. The aggressive marketing plans come as Sony prepares to launch its PlayStation Portable into the handheld sector (MW last week). The first wave of activity launches today (Wednesday) with the sponsorship of Channel 4 show, It’s Me or the Dog, and supports the launch of virtual pet game Nintendogs. Nintendo is also running a Nintendogs on-pack promotion with Baker’s Complete dog food and has teamed up with the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, the Dogs Trust.The strategy comes ahead of the launch of the GameBoy Micro, the world’s smallest handheld console, in November. Nintendo is planning to use celebrities to promote the Micro as a must-have fashion accessory and will target young women with advertising in the fashion and women’s press, a nationwide outdoor campaign and advertising in changing rooms.”

 

 

http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/nintendo-seeks-broader-appeal/2004746.article

“Consumers lately have tended to buy particular hardware because it is stylish or fashionable,” he said, adding the popularity of the Micro reflects that trend.

Read more at http://www.redorbit.com/news/sci-fi-gaming/238662/nintendos_new_game_boy_micro_makes_solid_debut/#TurQRvczJJW4pWHd.99

“Despite (the Micro’s) functions being the same as the existing models, it is popular,” said Hirokazu Hamamura, president of Enterbrain, publisher of Famitsu.“Consumers lately have tended to buy particular hardware because it is stylish or fashionable.”

Read more at http://www.redorbit.com/news/sci-fi-gaming/238662/nintendos_new_game_boy_micro_makes_solid_debut/#xWt31Yr3DCmK4x28.99

“The company aims to expand the gaming population, and with the Micro it wants to attract adult players, especially those who used to play games but stopped because they got busy or for other reasons,” said analyst Yuta Sakurai at Nomura Securities.

“Adults have different budgets (from kids),” he said.

“Micro represents yet another morphing of the Game Boy brand, this time to the image-conscious consumer,” he said, speaking at a news conference before the opening of the E3 annual industry trade show. “Game Boy Micro features a 2-inch, crystal-clear screen, and Start/Select buttons that glow with the cool, neon-like blue found on many cell phones.” http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/pr/10725/game-boy-micro-in-september-at-99

 

 

, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.

“This is another morphing of the GameBoy for the fashion-conscious consumer.”

 

 

The Wii U’s marketing campaigns are not just examples of bad marketing.   They spit in the face of everything that Nintendo successfully changed.

 

What makes Wii U’s marketing tragic

, and the company was determined to fight this.

 

 

Nintendo was determined to fight the stigma because it was preventing them from

 

This was the reputation that prevented Nintendo from expanding beyond children and hardcore Nintendo enthusiasts.

 

 

 

 

 

“We’re trying to get them to be more diverse in their marketing spend, like the markets I specialize in. We’ve been trying to build a market space so Japan can see more equity in emerging markets. The fact that their product is innovative and a phenomenon… there’s so much they can do to expand. They have a tremendous business in America and Japan and a growing business in Europe, but I still think the emerging markets are an untapped industry that game companies should look at more as they seek fertile ground.

Our relationship right now with Nintendo is dependent upon some investment internally into research for the target audience I want them to pursue aggressively. The costs are rising, which is making it tough to make certain decisions. There’s a willingness and a desire, but I don’t think that they’ve done the business case yet, so we’re helping them build that to show the value of those emerging markets and get a full buy in from senior leadership. I don’t think they’ve approached the market right, and I think that’s a problem with the whole of the gaming market. That’s where we’re at right now – helping Nintendo understand emerging trends better.

I talked to Reggie, and I asked how much [of the Wii’s success] is a byproduct of it being hot as sh** and how much is it his marketing department kicking ass, and he thought it was a combination of both. If you have a great product, it makes it that much easier to market. I always think in Field of Dreams terms for consumers: ‘If you build it, he will come.’

I consider Reggie one of my mentors. I’m a person of color and so is he, and he’s reached the top of the corporate ladder for Nintendo of America, so what he’s done is impressive. To move from Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing to President and COO of NOA is impressive, so I have a lot of respect for him and I hope I can do more work with him. He’s a good, down to Earth guy, but he also brings a rebel mentality. It’s not brash; he’s just willing to throw down the content, and he’s passionate about trying to find the ways to win.” – Joseph Anthony, CEO of Vital Marketing

http://www.gonintendo.com/s/43590-vital-marketing-talks-about-nintendo-marketing-and-the-urban-approach

 

http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2013/12042/75-of-american-children-under-8-have-access-to-a-smartphone-or-tablet

 

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/10032/nintendo-tells-players-touching-is-good

http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2007/01/trendspot_simpl.html

 

Let’s do the math: There were zero M-rated game available at the Wii’s launch, but it was reported that Nintendo spent 80% of their marketing launch budget on adults — not children.  If you take a moment to check out the Wii’s early launch commercials, you will notice that most of the actors in those televisions were teenagers or young adults.

Now, compare this to the Wii U’s launch, where you have six M-rated games, and the North American marketing focused on children and families.  You will notice that most of the people seen in the Wii U’s North American launch campaigns were seven-year-old children.

 

http://www.gonintendo.com/s/10503-marketing-is-the-reason-nintendo-lost-last-gen-battle

http://nintendo3dsdaily.com/nintendo3dsnews/most-japanese-pokemon-x-and-y-buyers-are-college-students/

“The majority of people that bought Pokémon X and Pokémon Y at launch in Japan were college students, the reason being that school kids have been busy with exams.

Read more at http://www.siliconera.com/2013/10/18/pokemon-x-y-sold-mainly-college-students-japan/#3v1U8dmGamp3q6Th.99″

 

An icon of pop culture, the Game Boy Advance SP has also been a favourite in celebrity circles, with the likes of Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, Justin Timberlake, Ronan Keating and Christina Aguilera all getting in on the fun. Even designers Mulberry and Kimchi have vied for a piece of the action in the first year, both designing unique bespoke cases for the stylish console.

Industry experts are united in their belief that the Game Boy Advance SP has been the biggest success story in the video game industry over the last year.

http://www.ragol.co.uk/forums/archive/index.php/t-1753.html

 

 

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The long history of characters and franchises had always been Nintendo’s strongest asset. But over time, they slowly came to the realization that Mario, the company’s Mickey Mouse, was slowly losing his magic. The “Super Mario” brand may have tons of value, but numerous Mario spinoffs such as Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Mario Tennis did not prevent the decline of the company’s market-share during the GameCube days.

Satoru Iwata talked about Mario’s image during the GameCube days:

To give you some background information, I understand that Mario had a rather childish image in Japan. I recall that it was my second year as the president of Nintendo, when we did research on Japanese consumers which showed us the result that they have this childish image of Mario. Of course, we really appreciate the fact that our characters are loved by children. On the other hand, it does not make us happy if adult consumers say that Mario is childish. They felt that our products were too childish to be relevant, which was the issue we needed to work on. I believe that the situation surrounding this image has largely changed. Initially, our research in Japan suggested that 3D Mario was childish but that the original 2D Mario, who was drawn in the NES era as a group of pixels, was cool. The company tackled this issue in various ways at such occasions as the 20th anniversary campaigns for the Japanese launch of NES and by the reintroduction of the original “Super Mario Bros.” game for Game Boy Advance. Such efforts led to the smash hit of “New Super Mario Bros.” for the Nintendo DS. This title became the first huge-hit Mario game in a while in Japan since the original “Super Mario Bros.” game. From this sales result, we can say that Mario has become a franchise which can be accepted by both adults and children.

Before GameCube launched, there was a belief that Super Mario was becoming too cutesy, and it was hurting Mario’s ability to reach an audience beyond small children.

Shigeru Miyamoto explained, “Don’t you agree that in recent times, both Mario and Luigi have become a little too cutesy? I feel like it is time that they became a bit more grown-up. That’s where the Dolphin comes in. For example, right now, Mario always does the Victory sign with his fingers. I think that’s a little too childish now.”

In 2006, the same year that the Wii launched, George Harrison talked about the perception of Nintendo being for children.  He talked about how young adults would play Mario Kart, but they were too embarrassed to admit that they played Mario in public.  Instead, young adults would tell their friends that they were playing Need for Speed or something else.

Nintendo’s George Harrison’s explained to Game Informer, “The number of people who are in college fraternities and in their 20s and 30s playing Mario Kart is kind of astounding. But if you go out to talk with your friends, you’re, “oh yeah. I don’t play Mario Kart, I play Need for Speed: Underground,” or something.”

Nintendo told Game Informer that college kids were buying Mario Kart: Double Dash, but they were too embarrassed to tell their friends that they were playing a Mario game.

Let’s analyze the Wii U’s day one launch software: The console launched with Super Mario Bros. U. Numerous mini-games in Nintendo Land featured Mario and friends (Luigi, Yoshi). There were Mario costumes in the Wii U version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2.  There were Mario characters featured in the Wii U version of Scribblenauts: Unlimited.

Let’s analyze the Wii’s day one launch:  There were NO 2D or 3D Super Mario game on launch day, and there were no spin-offs like Luigi’s Mansion or Mario Kart either.  Mario does not make any cameos or special appearances in Wii Sports, Excitetruck, or any third party launch day Wii games. Games like “Super Paper Mario” didn’t even release until April 2007 – six months after launch. Day one of the 2006 Wii launch was practically Mario-free if you don’t count the Virtual Console.

Was Mario’s absence during the first six months of Wii’s launch intentional? Was it part of a bigger strategy to attract more adults to the Wii brand at launch?  For Wii U’s launch, did Mario’s numerous appearances (games + cameo appearances) have the opposite effect?

 

 

Here is what Nintendo’s George Harrison said back in 2006, seven months before the Wii was released.

George Harrison explained, “But for us it’s somewhat mystifying because we look at the demographics of who has bought our hardware systems and it’s 40 percent over the age of 18 for GameCube and that type of thing. So it’s never been as complete as people make it seem or seem to believe. I think it’s in terms more of all family and approachable. The number of people who are in college fraternities and in their 20s and 30s playing Mario Kart is kind of astounding. But if you go out to talk with your friends, you’re, “oh yeah. I don’t play Mario Kart, I play Need for Speed: Underground,” or something.”

 

This led to the creation of “Miis” which were generic, visual representations of the player. The “Mii” was Nintendo’s new philosophy that the player experience should be more important than a game’s characters.  The strategy behind Miis was, “Focus less on our iconic characters, focus more on the players.”

 

 

Before the Wii launched, there was a belief inside Nintendo that the Nintendo brand name was becoming a liability for them.  The brand name, “Nintendo” had been unfairly associated with children and toys, and the company believed that this was preventing them from from reaching a larger, broader audience. The “Wii” and “Mii” brands were specifically created so Nintendo could distance itself…from itself.  Between the years 2003 through 2007, the marketing executives at Nintendo thought people weren’t playing the company’s software “because it’s Nintendo”. The Wii brand was created because Nintendo felt that their history and legacy was pushing people away from playing their software.

Journalists asked Nintendo if the console was called “Nintendo Wii”, but the company’s spokespeople responded, “No, it’s just Wii”. Unlike Nintendo’s previous controllers, the word “Nintendo” wasn’t found on the front of any Wii or Wii U controllers. Instead, the Nintendo logo was super small and hidden on back of the controllers.  You won’t find the Nintendo logo on the front of the Wii or Wii U consoles. The Nintendo logo is hidden away on the side or back of these consoles — away from your eyes. Behind the scenes, Nintendo was concerned that broader audiences would dismiss the Wii remote if they plastered the Nintendo logo everywhere. I’m pretty confident that if Nintendo DS had launched closer to when Wii was released, then Nintendo would have taken the word, “Nintendo” out of the Nintendo DS. The Nintendo DS released in 2004 before Nintendo made the decision to rebrand their image.

 

 

 

This reveals the most significant difference between the Wii’s launch marketing campaign versus  Wii U’s launch campaign.

———————————————————————————

 

Nowadays, Shigeru Miyamoto might say that

 

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/111028qa/03.html

Nowadays, Shigeru Miyamoto says Nintendo doesn’t care about being trying to be cool, but the company has always tried to

e when being “cool” was important to the company.

 

 

 

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The original Donkey Kong Country for SNES is an example of how a company can frame the marketing of a kids game as “cool” or “edgy”. The North American commercial begins with the earth shaking and a stampede of animals are running to their safety. The words, “He’s coming…Out of hibernation” appear on the screen.  The commercial makes it clear that this isn’t just another kids game from Nintendo; this is a major event that everyone should care about. The commercial wants you to know that Donkey Kong Country is BIGGER than the launches of PlayStation and 32X, and it will smash any competition that stands in its way.

The drums keep getting louder and louder, and large words are flashing across the screen:

“Where you gonna find it??”

“Not Sega.”

“Not on 32X adapters.”

” Not on CD-Rom.”

” It’s only for Super NES.  Jungle Fever spreads November 21st.  PLAY IT LOUD”

Donkey Kong Country for SNES was marketed as a major event — not just another kids game. The commercial is loud and aggressive.

Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES) is marketed as “It’s even tougher than the original”. The commercial shows a gorilla becoming scared off by DKC2’s difficulty, running off to suck his thumb, and holding his teddy bear close to his chest. The commercial is loud and aggressive with a gorilla slamming a television into a wall.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) is marketed as “just another kids game” — instead of a big event to get excited about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“If you look at the Pokemon games, then it looks like Game Boy is a very kid-centred market … The reality is about 40 percent of Game Boy owners are over the age of 18. There has always been a very healthy adult component.” — George Harrison

s. http://megagames.com/news/nintendo-flirting-gba-sp-adults In addition to billboards across the country, these adverts ran as two-page spreads in magazine titles including FHM, The Face, Dazed and Confused and Maxim. All specifically targeted to reach the male consumer and leaving females interested in the device questioning their intended relationship to the product. http://www.eludamos.org/index.php/eludamos/article/viewArticle/vol2no1-6/53

 

“We’re making the gorgeous Game Boy Micro for image-conscious folks who love video games, the ones who want the look of their system to be as cool as the games they play on it,” says George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. “Because of its diminutive size and industrial-hip look, Game Boy Micro immediately identifies the person playing it as a trendsetter with discriminating style.”

http://nerdmentality.com/article/1184/game-boy-micro-announced/

 

 

They’ve been around since 2000 B.C, over 10 million Americans have one and celebrities such as Eminem, Robbie Williams and Angelina Jolie can’t get enough of them. What are they? That’s right, tattoos – coming to a Game Boy Advance SP near you soon! Confused? Well, Nintendo today announces the latest variation of the successful Game Boy Advance SP range, the limited edition Game Boy Advance SP Tribal Edition. Guaranteed to meet the needs of the coolest gamers this summer, the hip new console customised with a tribal tattoo pattern will launch across Europe on June 18th 2004.

 

 

 

Rip roaring parties, all-nighters, caffeine and sugar binges … these are just a few of the ingredients that get college kids to dare to bare – well, their talent and adventure (T and A), that is. As it rolls out its strongest game lineup ever for older players, Nintendo of America Inc. today kicks off something a little bit different – a nationwide Metroid Prime Talent and Adventure (T and A) Contest.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/7937/nintendo-wants-college-students-to-show-some-tna

 

 

“…thrilling, exciting, fun, weird, interesting. Sometimes a bit taboo. It’s how we connect – with each other, the stuff around us and now, our games. Here, we celebrate the most under appreciated of your five senses. We make contact. We get in touch with touching. Because with the Nintendo DS, touching is good.”

 

http://www.touchingisgood.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything about the Game Boy Advance SP’s marketing was about being cool,

 

The plan was to

REDMOND, Wash.–March 5, 2003–As the country gears up for Spring  Break, Nintendo heightens the anticipation for Nintendo’s Game Boy(R)  Advance SP (GBA SP) through a marketing initiative targeting teens and college students, as well as an advertising program highlighting the  “Brilliance” of GBA SP.  

The heart of the marketing effort is a multi-media campaign  entitled “Brilliant,” referring to the new built-in lighted screen.  Television ads will begin airing the week of March 3. Additional  advertising elements will include consumer print ads debuting in April  issues of high-profile consumer publications, outdoor billboards in  major markets, including New York’s Times Square, signage in airports,  a complete outdoor campaign flooding a main Chicago train station, bar  advertising and bar interactives, as well as a national radio  promotion. Grass roots outreach will include Snapple’s “Yard Sale”  promotion, where consumers are encouraged to return Snapple bottle  caps in exchange for GBA SP and other premiums. Leo Burnett Chicago  developed the creative for the advertising campaign.  

Nintendo is also taking its new system straight to consumers via  several hot spring promotions with Stuff magazine during Mardi Gras,  Black Entertainment Television (BET) for their “Spring Bling” activities, and College Television Network’s (CTN) “Music Binge” Tour,  complete with giveaways and human interactive “Street Teams.”  

To kick off Mardi Gras, GBA SP blew into New Orleans with Stuff  magazine, Heineken and Amstel Light, for a star-studded weekend V.I.P.  party at the Mardi Gras Mansion in the heart of the Garden District  (February 28 – 30). Celebrities and partygoers alike checked out the  latest in portable video games with the new GBA SP systems located  throughout the mansion. Nintendo’s “Party Patrol” combed Bourbon  Street to pass out flyers to droves of bead-barers, giving them the  opportunity to party celebrity-style at the mansion.  

 

Nintendo’s official press release explained: “Nintendo “flashes platinum” with both urban and college audiences when GBA SP makes scheduled appearances at BET’s “Spring Bling” event  in Daytona Beach, and tours 10 colleges across the country with the  CTN Music Binge Tour this spring. BET’s “Spring Bling” combines  outdoor concerts from hip-hop chart toppers, such as Busta Rhymes, 50  Cent, Fabolous and Smilez & Southstar, with GBA SP sampling  opportunities, while CTN will bring alternative music to 10 colleges  from coast-to-coast.

 

 

 

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/71603/campus-invasion-rolls-with-rock-hip-hop One of the concerns at Nintendo was they were  ake-anywhere game play,   This was the press release describing the entire promotional strategy for the  Game Boy Advance SP:

 

 

 

The common belief is that children and families were responsible for the initial success of DS and Wii, but I’ve always been very skeptical about this.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve decided to make a chart to emphasize my point.

 

 

 

For the firm’s largest client, Nintendo, Vennegaard and her team implemented a celebrity and entertainment industry outreach program that includes participation in awards shows, celebrity parties, and movie sponsorships. The campaign has aligned the Nintendo brand with teen influencers such as Mark McGrath, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and The Osbornes and has generated coverage in outlets such as MTV, Extra, Access Hollywood, People, and Teen People. The firm has also placed product on MTV’s TRL and other shows. – See more at: http://www.holmesreport.com/opinion-info/4528/As-Marketers-Target-Younger-Consumers-Ethical-Issues-Arise.aspx#sthash.lNoAEbKF.dpuf

Vennegaard says she’s not comfortable with marketing to kids in grammar school, but “once you get into high school and college, certainly these kids can think and make purchase decisions for themselves and we’ve designed some very successful initiatives for Nintendo over the years.”

For example, Golin/Harris works with the game company to provide product to 100 high schools throughout the country for journalism students to review in high school newspapers. The firm works directly with the high school advisors to ensure this program will help students build valuable journalism and writing skills while giving them the opportunity to write about topics interesting and exciting to the students.

More recently, Nintendo hosted its first ever Nintendo College Media Day, bringing college journalists to tour Nintendo headquarters and get an exclusive inside look at upcoming Nintendo titles. “The students were very excited to have the opportunity to meet with Nintendo representatives to get a sneak peek,” says Vennegarrd.

– See more at: http://www.holmesreport.com/opinion-info/4528/As-Marketers-Target-Younger-Consumers-Ethical-Issues-Arise.aspx#sthash.lNoAEbKF.dpuf

 

 

I want to talk about why the years 2003 through 2007 (five years) are important.

  • These years include the first four Christmases for the Nintendo DS.
  • These years include the first two Christmases for the Wii.  In most cases, the first two Christmases decide whether a console will be a huge or moderate success.
  • These years represent the end of the Game Boy brand.

 

Reggie had a few comments on the deal saying, “With our proud history as pioneers in the gaming industry, we want today’s consumers to know that not only is Nintendo their preferred brand of the past but also the future. Vital Marketing’s ability to reach the urban consumers who have become today’s trendsetters will be crucial in positioning Nintendo as a cutting edge brand that has cultural relevancy among today’s urban inspired consumer.”

The founder and CEO of Vital Marketing, Joseph Anthony had this to say. With our experience and presence in the urban market, we look to bring Nintendo into the lives of the 17-24 year old gamers. Through culturally relevant experiential marketing initiatives we will build upon Nintendo’s history as the leader in the video game industry and position them as the premier video game company.

http://gonintendo.com/?p=216

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vital-marketing-selected-as-urban-agency-of-record-for-nintendo-of-america-55650247.html

 

 

 

Around 2009, the company realized that it was Nintendo switched their focus to become more aggressive with marketing to families and children.

 

The Census Bureau expects fewer boys in that age group in the future, Fils-Aime said. “That’s why we’re stepping back and saying more of the same is not going to drive this industry,”

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2002650625_nintendowifi28.html

 

Toward the end of Wii’s life, the “Wii Mini” was launched to target small children and low income families.

 

 

This is why many of the later DS and Wii commercials kept skewering younger and younger.

 

people_playing_wii

 

 

Young adults were responsible for the Wii and DS becoming Nintendo’s best selling hardware in the company’s history. The Wii brand began life as a hip, stylish new brand for young adults, but Nintendo allowed it to slowly become stereotyped as a brand for grandmas and seven-year-olds. The first half of Wii’s life was mostly aimed at young college kids and young adults.  The company assumed that kids would buy their products anyways so they didn’t need to aggressively market to children. Around 2009, Nintendo switched their marketing focus to families and children, and many of the DS and Wii commercials began skewering younger and younger.  The second half of Wii’s life why people tend to remember the Wii as the “kids/family console”.

with games like New Super Mario Bros Wii.                   “If you look at the Pokemon games, then it looks like Game Boy is a very kid-centred market … The reality is about 40 percent of Game Boy owners are over the age of 18. There has always been a very healthy adult component.” — George Harrison

 

 

=

 

 

This was around the time when New Super Mario Bros Wii was being bundled with Wii consoles.

During the second half of Wii’s life, games like New Super Mario Bros Wii were being bundled with Wii consoles.

 

 

 

Q: Can the Wii take Nintendo back to the top of the mountain?

A: Our goal is to have as many teens and young adults as we have 40-plus-year-olds excited about the platform. We’re trying to expand this business here in the U.S in a way that it really hasn’t been expanded … for the health of this industry.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2006-08-14-nintendo-qa_x.htm

With more than 40 per cent of Game Boy Advance SP players over the age of 18, the system is enjoying an expansion toward an older demographic, said George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. It’s easy to see how these celebratory silver-and-black versions will appeal to an older audience. And with a limited supply, they’re likely to become collector’s items.http://megagames.com/news/nintendo-flirting-gba-sp-adults In addition to billboards across the country, these adverts ran as two-page spreads in magazine titles including FHM, The Face, Dazed and Confused and Maxim. All specifically targeted to reach the male consumer and leaving females interested in the device questioning their intended relationship to the product.http://www.eludamos.org/index.php/eludamos/article/viewArticle/vol2no1-6/53   The Game Boy Micro, according to Nintendo, is being targeted to the mass market consumer – young adults between 25 and 35. http://news.softpedia.com/news/A-Great-Debut-For-Nintendo-Game-Boy-Micro-8347.shtml   http://gonintendo.com/?p=216

“With its folding, portable size for take-anywhere game play, Game  Boy Advance SP is the perfect game system for young, hip people on-the-go,” says George Harrison, senior vice president, marketing and  corporate communications, Nintendo of America Inc. “These events create the perfect environment for college students to become better  acquainted with Nintendo and its new gadget.” http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/forums/index.php?topic=1754.0;waphttp://www.nintendoworldreport.com/forums/index.php?topic=1754.0;nowap

 

 

http://kaluszka.com/photos/Nintendo%20DS%20Launch%20LA%202004/

Aaron Kaluszka

http://kotaku.com/5792350/nintendo-portables-are-breeding-grounds-for-sexy-fun

Most analysts were under the impression that the Nintendo DS was going to aim older than Nintendo’s past handheld devices.

 

“My name is Reggie. I’m about kickin’ ass, I’m about takin’ names, and we’re about makin’ games.”

“It was so out of left field and it was even a little cheesy, but it was so unusual for a Nintendo executive,” said Peter Moore, who runs Microsoft’s Xbox division. “I think he’s exactly what at that time Nintendo of America needed.”

“It excited people,” he said. “It signaled that Nintendo was going to be much more aggressive and much more combative in this space.” said Brian Crecente, who was editor at Kotaku at the time. “He walks into this environment where you have all these Nintendo fans who are just miserable because they love their company and their company is doing horribly,”

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2003405192_nintendo12.html

 

oday’s internet savvy children are carrying smartphones on the playground before they can learn to tie their shoes. Thanks to mobile technology, widespread internet access, and the popularity of social media, children are growing up much faster than when we were kids in the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s.  These kids are constantly keeping up with the same trends as adults, and they are not sheltered away from the rest of the world. They are not oblivious to the news that Nintendo is missing out on games like Destiny, Assassin’s Creed, Madden, or Call of Duty; they are fully aware that “Batman Arkham Knight”, “Star Wars: Battlefront”, and “WWE 2K15” won’t appear on Nintendo hardware.

In the 1990’s, it was easy for Nintendo to sell kids on their products because many families still couldn’t afford computers, and the internet wasn’t nearly as widespread and mainstream as it is today.  But in 2014, any kid can grab his mother’s tablet, type “Wii U” in Google’s search engine, and see a flood of negative articles talking about how lame the console is. When your primary market is children, then “cool” is the most important thing that a kid cares about, and the negative stigma surrounding Wii U is the complete opposite of “cool”. If you look back at the early years of Wii and DS, there was a serious effort by Nintendo to make those products look “hip” and “cool” with adults.  If you don’t believe, then you should read the rest of this article to see what I’m talking about.

 
Read more at http://www.redorbit.com/news/sci-fi-gaming/238662/nintendos_new_game_boy_micro_makes_solid_debut/#TurQRvczJJW4pWHd.99 For the firm’s largest client, Nintendo, Vennegaard and her team implemented a celebrity and entertainment industry outreach program that includes participation in awards shows, celebrity parties, and movie sponsorships. The campaign has aligned the Nintendo brand with teen influencers such as Mark McGrath, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and The Osbornes and has generated coverage in outlets such as MTV, Extra, Access Hollywood, People, and Teen People. The firm has also placed product on MTV’s TRL and other shows. – See more at: http://www.holmesreport.com/opinion-info/4528/As-Marketers-Target-Younger-Consumers-Ethical-Issues-Arise.aspx#sthash.KgrEweUS.dpufhttp://www.holmesreport.com/opinion-info/4528/As-Marketers-Target-Younger-Consumers-Ethical-Issues-Arise.aspx

 

 

 

 

Fast forward to November 2013 when the Wii U had been on the market for an entire year at that point. Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime told the press that they needed to be more crystal clear about who Wii U’s target audience was. For the holiday 2013 campaign, Reggie explained that Nintendo of America was going to target parents and their children.  They wasted money hiring Wayne Brady to do goofy internet ads aimed at families, and they did commercials where kids “pitched” the Wii U to their parents.

“The marketing has tremendously ramped up,” Fils-Aime said. “And really where it comes down to is being crystal clear in who’s your target. For us, this holiday with the Wii U, the target is parents and their kids. So if you’re watching primetime family entertainment, you’re seeing our marketing. If you’re a parent watching morning or daytime media, you’re seeing our content.”

Unfortunately, Nintendo was not happy with their 2013 holiday results, and they blamed it on the company’s failure to effectively target children and their parents.

In January 2014, Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata was quoted by a Japanese newspaper for saying that they weren’t targeting children enough.  This was strange because their entire 2013 marketing campaign was specifically targeted at children. The next month, Shigeru Miyamoto explained to investors, “Our biggest downfall last year (2013) was that we failed to communicate the true value of Wii U, failed to make children persuade their parents to buy our products for them, and failed to offer products that parents could not resist.  What we can do about it from now on is our theme.”

The family-focused marketing strategies proved to be unsuccessful for two years in a row, but that didn’t stop the company from attempting it again for a third Christmas.  In 2014, Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto promised investors that the company’s main theme for the year would be focusing on attracting children to their products.

Did pandering to kids bring more children to their hardware?

  • This past November, Wii U hardware sales only increased by 10 percent over the same period last year.
  • Even with Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros, the Xbox One sold more in November (one month) than the Wii U sold for the entire year.
  • The company’s press release refused to acknowledge November hardware sales for 3DS. That doesn’t seem like a good sign to me.
  • I wonder what percentage of amiibo sales are coming from older hardcore Nintendo fans (collectors and scalpers) instead of children (the audience amiibo is aimed at).

 

In an interview after Nintendo’s briefing, George Harrison, a senior vice president at the company, said he expects the Micro to appeal to image-conscious consumers, particularly preteens and younger teens.

“Because of its size, it could have fashion cachet,” he said.

“The cell phone-sized Game Boy Micro is a retooling of the company’s popular Game Boy Advance SP product. Instead of the SP’s boxy clamshell design, the Micro is a thin, candy-bar shape.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/21/technology/21game.html?_r=0

 

 

 

 

If people thought kids were growing up too fast in 2005, then you can imagine how much faster kids are growing up today due to advances in technology.

 

 

http://www.zeropaid.com/forum/thread/nintendo-to-launch-new-system.19649/

The Game Boy Micro, according to Nintendo, is being targeted to the mass market consumer – young adults between 25 and 35. http://news.softpedia.com/news/A-Great-Debut-For-Nintendo-Game-Boy-Micro-8347.shtml

 

Viral marketing http://gonintendo.com/?p=216

“The company aims to expand the gaming population, and with the Micro it wants to attract adult players, especially those who used to play games but stopped because they got busy or for other reasons. Adults have different budgets (from kids).”

http://www.pinoytechblog.com/archives/game-boy-micro-debuts

The Game Boy Micro was created as a response to the booming popularity of the iPod, and the target market for the GBA Micro was young adults.  Nintendo explained to CNN,

 

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/6377664-post9.html

“Adults have different budgets (from kids),” he said.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2005/09/13/micros-launch-solid

targeted at young adults and women unlike the current 3DS and 2DS marketing which is aimed at small children

 

“The cell phone-sized Game Boy Micro is a retooling of the company’s popular Game Boy Advance SP product. Instead of the SP’s boxy clamshell design, the Micro is a thin, candy-bar shape. The $99 Game Boy Micro measures just 4 inches wide, 2 inches long and 0.7-inch thin. It weighs 2.8 ounces. It’s slim enough to fit in the pocket of your tightest jeans, the Kyoto, Japan-based company says. ” More Than Teens With the Game Boy Micro, Nintendo hopes to appeal more to older users than its main demographic of preteens and teens. Adults won’t feel embarrassed to pull out the edgy-looking Game Boy Micro on the train and play it in public, Llewelyn says.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/technology/091905-411839-nintendo-set-to-shrink-playing-field-releasing-its-game-boy-micro-company-faces-increasing-competition-in-handheld-games-vs-sonys-

 

With a nod to the design of Apple’s iconic iPod, the sleek Game Boy Micro weighs just 85 grams (3 ounces) and Nintendo says it is the world’s smallest console. “Certainly the iPod has done a lot to stimulate broad social acceptance of devices like PDAs and MP3 music players,” said Merrick. But will people be willing to carry a mini games console around as well as, or instead of, an iPod — on top of a mobile phone and possibly a PDA or a Blackberry? “We’re not only competing for people’s money, we’re competing for share of pocket.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/011248.html#ixzz3B7PT5zvR

“It’s a nice little feature, but who’s the market?” asked Michael Pachter with Wedbush Morgan Securities. “I don’t think it’s going to do a lot. It’ll be OK.”

 

Wii U’s marketing reinforces the “kiddy image” that been responsible for the decline of Nintendo’s market share every generation since the NES.

 

 

http://forums.khinsider.com/video-games/62357-nintendo-getting-hawt-ds-very-odd-advertising-campaign.html

http://www.qj.net/qjnet/wii/new-wii-ad-makes-rounds-in-uk-magazines.html

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/11/13/nintendos-wii-blitz-campaig

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/11/12/nintendo-wii-marketing-to-exceed-200-million/

DS promotion pepsi

http://devkits.handheldmuseum.com/NintendoDSPepsi/index.htm

 

 

 

Let’s fast forward to today.

If you took every negative stereotype about Nintendo’s products and fans, and you turned those negative stereotypes into TV commercials and YouTube trailers, then that would perfectly describe the company’s marketing campaigns for the past three years. Most of the videos on Nintendo’s YouTube feel like they were written and directed as a satire or parody of what Nintendo fans are like. The ad campaigns portray everyone as socially awkward people, and parents are always portrayed to be dumber than their young children. If today’s Nintendo ads existed in the 1990’s, kids would be fooled into believing Sega created them to poke fun at Nintendo.

This year, the only Wii U related commercials that I liked were for Bayonetta 2 and Hyrule Warriors because they didn’t promote stereotypes about Nintendo (kiddy image, socially awkward gamers, toy image, etc). Those two commercials only promoted the actual games, and they were much better commercials because of it.

 

2013 marketing

“The marketing has tremendously ramped up,” Fils-Aime said. “And really where it comes down to is being crystal clear in who’s your target. For us, this holiday with the Wii U, the target is parents and their kids. So if you’re watching primetime family entertainment, you’re seeing our marketing. If you’re a parent watching morning or daytime media, you’re seeing our content.”

Fils-Aime declined to give specifics about Nintendo’s marketing spend, but did expound on the company’s overall strategy.

“More than just the dollars, we’re putting our product where the consumer can see it, touch it, and feel it,” Fils-Aime said. “We’re in over 20 malls across the country. We’re creating an opportunity for consumers to see the product, because that, for Nintendo, is where the ‘wow’ happens. It’s not when you talk about specs or technology.”

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-12-18-nintendo-targeting-wii-u-marketing-to-kids-families

http://www.marketingcharts.com/traditional/four-in-10-us-adults-own-game-console-more-women-play-wii-9630/

Wii Tops Among Online Adults

Among the current game consoles on the market, Nintendo Wii was the #1 console owned by online adults, with 14.3% . However, Playstation 2 – despite being an older console – continues as the top console game owned, with 17.3 % of online adults in possession of one.

Targeting children in marketing is, in a sense, targeting adults. Parents take the children, or the entire family, and purchase meals for the entire family. This means marketing a kid’s meal turns into a multiple meal purchase which is costly and guess who makes a fortune. This type of marketing also puts psychological pressure on the parents who want to give their child what they want, to please and make them happy,  a hamburger and french fries but probably more so the toy. This scenario is a no win situation for parents, children, physical health and medicine. – See more at: http://healthpsychology.org/what-is-in-my-food/#sthash.xohllMgx.dpuf

http://healthpsychology.org/what-is-in-my-food/

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/195747/kids-to-marketers-we-want-tech-gadgets-not-toys.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are yet to create sufficient awareness among prospective purchasers of this new product. It appears that there are some among those who saw the picture on our official website that mistakenly believe that the product is perhaps too large and heavy to carry, and we therefore strive to achieve higher awareness without causing misunderstandings.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wii U’s marketing represents

 

As their marketing reached out to younger kids, they ended up repelling older kids away from their products,

did a wonderful job alienating older children from their products while focusing on younger children

 

The Wii U’s marketing had successfully sabotaged that message.

For the past two years, the Wii U’s marketing sabotaged Nintendo’s

 

 

 

that Nintendo products are for everyone.

 

 

 

The past two years of Wii U’s marketing sabotaged everything Nintendo accomplished at

It’s amazing to think about how much money was spent

 

Unfortunately,the last two years of Wii U’s marketing has reinforced the same kids image that Nintendo spent six years and millions of dollars trying to kill.

 

 

Last year, Nintendo ran a 3DS Holiday TV commercial with the slogan “Because It’s Nintendo”. This slogan is somewhat ironic when you look at the company’s actions over the years. The Wii became the first console by Nintendo without the inclusion of the company’s name in the actual product name. The official press release explained, “No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.” From the NES through the GameCube, the Nintendo brand logo was clearly visible on the front of the controllers. For the Wii, the Nintendo brand logo was hidden away on the back of the Wii remotes. On the actual console, the logo is not found at the front or top like previous consoles.  Instead, the small company logo is found on the side of the console where it’s out of sight and nobody will pay attention.

They didn’t want the company logo staring casual gamers in the face to keep reminding them that they were playing “a Nintendo”. Consumers were aware that Wii was “a Nintendo”, but the Wii brand name was created to make them forget that they were playing “a Nintendo”.

In 2005, the company name was considered a liability for their blue ocean strategy to expand their market. There was concern that the name “Nintendo” was perceived as a kids company, and this would prevent them from successfully expanding their audience.

 

When I watched Nintendo’s E3 show this year,

The past two years of Nintendo’s marketing made a serious effort to show

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