CONSUMER CAMPAIGN: 'Home workout' gets gamers off the couch

Nintendo faced a major challenge before the launch of its groundbreaking workout/computer game hybrid Wii Fit.

Giant Wii Fit board
Giant Wii Fit board

Campaign: Launch of Nintendo Wii Fit
Client: Nintendo
PR team: The Red Consultancy
Timescale: March to April 2008
Budget: Undisclosed but believed to be more than £100,000

Could a company in an industry strongly associated with inactivity fight the media cynicism and be credible in the health-and-fitness debate?

Retained agency The Red Consultancy was asked to grab the health agenda for Nintendo with a key message: fitness can be fun - and you can do it in your front room.

To make Wii Fit the biggest event for Nintendo since the launch of Wii and Brain Training. To create a 'must have' frenzy and drive unit sales. To reach a new audience - not stereotypical teenage gamers, but families and body-conscious middle-aged women too scared to go to the gym.

An advocacy programme secured credibility in the health-and-fitness market. Matt Roberts, leading personal trainer, obesity specialist Rosemary Conley and Dr Ian Campbell were hired to give accurate views. Liverpool John Moores University was also given a Wii Fit for a clinical trial.

Red also worked with BD Network to make a giant Wii Fit Balance Board, which was situated along the South Bank outside the This Morning studios. Consumer demos took place throughout the day, much to the amusement of both Sir Paul McCartney and Graham Norton, both of whom were out walking their dogs.

Nell McAndrew, Sarah Harding, Rosemary Conley and Gabby and Kenny Logan were chosen to appear inside the giant Wii Fit board to appeal to the young mums, older women and families.

To date, there have been 204 pieces of coverage, including seven double pages, eight full pages in nationals, 50 minutes of mainstream consumer broadcast and 94 online pieces. The coverage all focused on the product and reviews were positive. Crucially, Wii Fit had pieces of coverage in health, features, and women's pages. Red estimates the campaign generated 360 million OTS.

The campaign sent sales of Wii Fit through the roof before it had even reached the shops. More than 101,000 units were pre-ordered before the launch date.

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