PRWeek Awards - Technology Campaign of the Year

Winner

GolinHarris and Nintendo of America: Nintendo Helps Seniors and Baby Boomers Get Their Game On

In marketing its Brain Age video game, Nintendo and GolinHarris had...

Winner

GolinHarris and Nintendo of America: Nintendo Helps Seniors and Baby Boomers Get Their Game On

In marketing its Brain Age video game, Nintendo and GolinHarris had a unique challenge: Grandma isn’t exactly the top target in the gaming space. As a matter of fact, baby boomers are probably last in the key demographics for video games. PR abilities were tested when they launched the new “mental fitness” game Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, which is designed for consumers 35 and older.

The campaign’s objectives were to drive sales of 600,000 units of Brain Age within six months of the launch, stimulate interest and video game adoption in those over 35, generate early, positive coverage in mainstream and senior-focused publications, and foster the perception of Nintendo as a market disruptor and industry innovator.

Golin and Nintendo sought to reach baby boomers and seniors directly, but found that the majority favors traditional media such as daily newspapers and nightly television news programs. So they launched a desk-side media tour, demoing Brain Age for 18 outlets such as AARP: The Magazine, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal. To add credibility, it aligned with Dr. Elizabeth Zelinsky, dean of USC’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, as a third-party spokeswoman.

Golin and Nintendo hosted “Grandparents Get Their Game On,” an event held at the Nintendo World Store in New York City. They also partnered with Emerald Heights, a senior center in Nintendo’s home of Redmond, WA, to show the game to seniors. A CBS Evening News crew attended. Judges called these events “really creative,” and added that the PR plan had good tie-ins. The results showed in sales. Brain Age debuted strongly, having sold 600,000 units in the Americas and 4 million worldwide. Four-fifths of registered users are over 18.

AARP has run four feature stories, Scientific American Mind ran two and a half pages, and 20/20 featured Brain Age as well. Even Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal, a baby boomer himself, called the game “fun and invigorating.”

In all, Brain Age saw 1 billion hits, via Internet, print, and broadcast. “This was very effective at going after a nontraditional target,” noted one judge.

Honorable Mention

Fleishman-Hillard and Zillow.com: Zillow.com and Fleishman-Hillard Build the Best (Web) Home in Town

The founders of Expedia hit a hot market when they created this home-valuation Web site to give the average consumer an edge on buying, selling, and owning real estate. And the early 2006 launch was no more conventional: It was completely devoted to PR. The PR team aimed for 1 million unique visitors per month in the first six months and sought to maintain a neutral relationship with real estate agents, make Zillow.com synonymous with home valuations, and gain national recognition in the real estate sector. The target market was US homebuyers and sellers. The execution involved operating in stealth, so The Wall Street Journal was given exclusive access. The team used the Real Estate Conference for pre-launch buzz, leveraged the founders’ Expedia fame for media interest, and launched a corporate blog. The result? Hitting it out of the park. It hit its mid-month goal in the first three days of operation, got a positive review from the Journal’s Walt Mossberg, and totaled 102 million impressions. Judges were highly impressed , calling it a “big bang.” Said one, succinctly: “Nailed it.”

Finalists 2007



  • A & R Edelman and Adobe Systems: Sidestepping Apple’s Shadow… Adobe’s Lightroom Steals the Spotlight

  • Fleishman-Hillard and Zillow.com: Zillow.com and Fleishman-Hillard Build the Best (Web) Home in Town

  • GolinHarris and Nintendo of America: Nintendo Helps Seniors and Baby Boomers Get Their Game On

  • Kaplow Communications and Skype: Skype Me

  • Outcast Communications and RSA Security: Go Phish


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