CAMPAIGNS: Product Launch - Xbox console makes glitzy debut in NYC

Client: Microsoft

PR Team: Edelman PR

Campaign: US launch of Xbox

Timescale: November

Budget: Undisclosed

With three times the graphics power of existing consoles, a built-in

hard drive, and a plug for high-speed internet access, Microsoft's Xbox

claims to be the most powerful games console ever.


To 'take gaming into the future' and outsell brand leaders such as

Nintendo's Game Cube and PlayStation 2.

Strategy and Plan

There were two main challenges facing the PR team: doing battle with the

other console giants and successfully breaking into a market that is

increasingly competitive.

The launch event, however, proved that with enough glitz and glamour,

it's still possible to break into the big time.

Toys'r'Us opened the doors of its new international flagship store in

Times Square, New York City, at midnight on 15 November, just to sell

Xbox systems.

Times Square was illuminated with the Xbox logo and visuals from some of

its games.

It was attended by thousands of hopeful gamers, many of whom had waited

all day and night, to be among the first people in the world to get

their hands on the product and to watch Bill Gates facing off against

WWF wrestling champion The Rock in a friendly game of Dead or Alive


Measurement and Evaluation

Nearly every major newspaper in Britain picked up on the US event. The

product has also won high levels of support from retailers and games



As Xbox fever grows, it looks as though the console will be a must-have

item in the US this Christmas.

Unfortunately for UK retailers, it is not due to launch in Europe until

14 March 2002.

A total of 1.5 million consoles are planned for shipment to Europe for

the first three months of next year.

Prior to the launch, the Xbox Experience - providing a taster of the

console - will visit London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

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