CAMPAIGNS: Consumer PR - Game Boy an 'essential' in festive push

Client: Nintendo Game Boy Advance

PR Team: Cake

Campaign: 'Accessory to Essential' Christmas drive

Timescale: March-December 2001

Budget: Undisclosed



Kids don't seem to be tiring of hand-held gaming, and Nintendo is the

market leader in this arena.



The Japanese hardware and software manufacturer sold its one-hundred

millionth Game Boy Colour unit in 2000. However, in order to retain its

global position and continue to provide the most up-to-date interactive

entertainment, Nintendo decided to produce a sister unit to Game Boy

Colour called Game Boy Advance (GBA), which launched in the UK in June

last year.



Objectives



To launch GBA and capture the Christmas market. To differentiate the GBA

from the Game Boy Colour which, with the Pokemon phenomenon, has been

snapped up by five to 10-year-olds resulting in hand-held gaming being

seen as 'just for kids.' One objective therefore was to make the GBA

appeal to an older audience, bringing the target market up from

six-year-olds to 17-year-olds.



Strategy and Plan



The six-month campaign was set to position GBA as an 'essential' piece

of entertainment, along with MP3 and mobile phones, so that it would

also make it into adults' Christmas stockings.



Activity was initially aimed at the top end of consumer men's, music and

style media, which would then filter into kids' media.



A VNR was created for European distribution to ensure older teens were

seen buying and playing the GBA.



Measurement and Evaluation



The pan-European PR campaign involved a mixed-media strategy with

activities including a racy Ibiza-edged E-Clip, the creation of a GBA

dedicated website through to celebrity endorsement including pop band

Steps and solo artist Dido.



The GBA also took to the outdoors with 'human-samplers' at UK festivals

and music events such as Ministry of Sound at Knebworth and V2001. There

were two methods of sampling; using body suits with six consoles

attached to it and briefcases containing six consoles that aimed to

attract the attention of the 18 to 25-year-old festival-goers to test

out the unit.



Results



GBA is set to claim pole position as the best-selling toy over the

Christmas period, according to the UK Toy and Game Council.



The council predicted in October that GBA would beat Lego's Harry Potter

range including the Hogwarts Castle and Hogwarts Express by a small

margin, with Tiger Electronics' Weakest Link game in third place and a

Candy Floss Machine in fourth place.



The top ten toys and games league was featured in The Mirror, The Sun,

The Daily Mail and The Daily Record in the run-up to Christmas.



Jamie Oliver was also seen wearing Game Boy Advance merchandise on his

cookery programme on BBC2 on 27 November.



According to Nintendo, 800,000 units were sold from June through to

December 2001, making the GBA one of the fastest-selling video games

consoles.



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