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INTERVIEW: Rob Lowe

Ben Parfitt
INTERVIEW: Rob Lowe

Obvious question first: why now? Was there a concern that Wii hardware sales needed a boost?

Wii is continuing to sell well across Europe. We have sold 3.5 million units in the last six months alone. We just wanted to make sure that the appeal of Wii is as broad as possible, and the new Mario Kart bundle is designed to be a great value proposition to anyone who is interested in getting a Wii.

What sort of effect do you expect the new price point to have?

Obviously we hope the new Mario Kart Wii bundle, and the repositioning of the black Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort bundle, will have a very positive effect on the sales of the console.

We have a very robust and carefully targeted marketing and retail campaign which will support this activity to try and maximise
the impact.

The Wii has always had a competitive price point, so do you think there’s another tranche of consumers who will be prompted to buy by a new low price? If so, what sort of consumers do you think they will be?

We believe that Wii will continue to appeal to a very broad audience over the next couple of years. With this specific campaign, we are targeting families with young kids looking to buy their first games console. This is a very large potential audience, and the new Mario Kart bundle will be the perfect proposition for them.

Why is Mario Kart the perfect game to bundle with a new low price?

Mario Kart is one of the most popular pieces of software with people who have previously bought a Wii. Everyone loves it, and it seems like the perfect title to refresh our hardware bundle proposition with – given its universal appeal and focus on social gaming.

What will the marketing push consist of and who is it targeting?

We have a huge TV campaign which airs for four weeks from the evening of Thursday, May 19th. It showcases various first and third party titles, which focus on various reasons why Wii is perfect for a young family – it’s creative, social, active, safe and fun. We will also have an outdoor and in-store campaign that focuses on the great value found in the new Mario Kart bundle.

On the Nintendo website there will be a new guide to buying your first Wii, and what games to get with it – along with a search campaign. This will focus on directing those people looking to buy their first games console toward this site.

Overall it’s the biggest Wii hardware campaign we’ve run outside of peak season.

What is the strategy behind Nintendo Selects?

These are games that have been popular with Wii gamers in the past, and will hopefully also appeal to the new Wii users that come in over the next year or two. The great value that the range offers (each game has an ERP of £19), combined with the quality of the titles, should create a compelling proposition.

You’ve started with four titles. When will you expand the range and how big will it be by, say, this Christmas?

We’ll see how the current range does and we will take it from there.

Is there a separate Selects marketing campaign? And if so, can you give us the details?

The Nintendo Selects messaging is integrated into the overall marketing campaign, but it will receive it’s own dedicated TV ad within this campaign.

With a new Nintendo console due to be unveiled at E3, is all this activity a timely reminder that there is plenty of life left in the Wii yet?

We will continue to try and find new audiences for the Wii for the foreseeable future and we will continue to try and broaden the gaming universe.

There are great new pieces of software launching this year such as Wii Play: Motion in June and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword later on in 2011.

Plus, there are plenty more surprises in store for 2012 from us – Wii has got a great future ahead of it.

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