November 30th, 2012, 01:26 Posted By: wraggster
"We know the people who are buying a Wii U at launch are core Nintendo fans."
Tonight at midnight, stores across the UK will open at midnight to begin selling the Wii U, the first home console to hit the market in five and a half years. For Nintendo, it's something of an odd prospect - how to emulate the runaway success of the Wii's launch when so much of the market share it cornered was outside any other console's target demographic.
Are the millions of families who invested in that console ready to buy another one, do they understand the differences and do they care? We chatted to Nintendo's UK Marketing and PR director Shelly Pearce about the company's plans to reinvent the wheel again, who is being targeted and how, and came away with some interesting answers.
Q: You've got the official midnight launch tonight, at HMV Oxford St, as well as other stores which are opening too, what sort of turnout are you expecting?
Shelly Pearce: Well, we've already got people down there now, I think they've been down there since Saturday - so certainly the queue outside HMV is building up already. We've got a lot of pre-orders, but we do have stock available for launch day tomorrow. We're anticipating that there's going to be a good turnout tonight at the official launch, but we also know that there are GAME stores opening all across the country, so we're giving plenty of people the opportunity to pick up the Wii U as the clock strikes midnight.
Q: Events like these highlight the strong relationship between yourselves and bricks and mortar retailers, something which has undergone both scrutiny and change over the last couple of years. How do you feel that relationship has changed?
Shelly Pearce: Retail is still very important for us, I think it's really important to have presence on the high street, and we know that a lot of people still choose to go into a store to buy. While we are seeing more people shopping on line and downloading games directly through the console, retail is still a very important sector and I can't see that changing in the years to come. I don't think that there's going to be any dramatic change, certainly not in the immediate future.
"Retail is still very important for us, I think it's really important to have presence on the high street.
Q: In terms of the Wii U's marketing, I would imagine that you can't talk specific numbers, but how does the budget and portfolio compare to the marketing for the launch of the Wii?
Shelly Pearce: The campaign for the the Wii U is a very similar size to the one we had for the Wii, it's a very similar spend. In terms of the focus... for this launch we have been on TV but we've very much focused a lot of our activity on sampling, trying to get the Wii U into the hands of as many people as possible because it's so important to play it and try it for themselves.
Also, I think the big difference with the Wii launch is that a lot of our marketing has been online. Obviously we've been very much out there talking to core Nintendo fans and we know that online is where a lot of them are gathering most of their information. So it's become a much more important tool for talking to them. So we've had a lot of traditional online advertising etc, but we've also been filming the sampling activity and people's responses and reactions once they've played Wii U - we've been uploading those to YouTube.
We hope to launch tonight a YouTube channel that's very specifically focused on the Wii U and people's reactions, building up a bank of those. We hope people will be encouraged to be a part of that, adding their own reactions and comments to it. So that will be a large part of our marketing activity post-launch. Obviously we'll also be moving into more traditional mediums for advertising like TV and print.
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