Gaming for the masses is seen in every element of the marketing campaign, from an online social-networking community and sampling events in average people's homes to urban "gaming" hours, retail midnight madness events, a multi-city music tour and extended hands-on opportunities in malls nationwide. Across the country, men and women, young and old, experienced and not, are getting their hands on Wii and helping usher in a new generation of video gamers.
Already Nintendo's viral efforts have paid off. In a 24-hour period in early November, Wii served as the centerpiece of a multipart South Park episode, appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, made People magazine's Style Watch gift guide issue, was featured in an NPR report about hot holiday gifts and had a BusinessWeek feature note: "industry execs and analysts are already calling a winner: Nintendo's Wii." And all of this before the system has even launched.
"Our plan to market Wii broadly with hands-on experiences continues to pay off," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Wii introduces new ways to play to expand both the appeal of games and the audience of gamers, and our marketing campaign is central to that."
Wii Ambassador Program: The yearlong initiative identified ambassadors in markets throughout the country. These ambassadors are of three categories: multigenerational families, hard-core gamers and modern moms. During the initial phase, Nintendo hosted events for each...