'Wii Would Like to Play' Ad Campaign Wins Effie Award

by Les Thomas - June 7, 2008, 2:38 pm PDT
Total comments: 12 Source: Press Release

Highest honor in marketing bestowed to Leo Burnett's Nintendo Wii ads.

The 40th Annual Effie Awards were presented this week in New York City. Nintendo's "Wii Would Like to Play" campaign won the highest honor. Agencies Leo Burnett, Starcom Worldwide, and Golin Harris led the marketing campaign and won the Grand Effie for the "most effective" marketing of the year.

Nintendo's "Wii Would Like to Play" campaign tried appealing to a new audience, the casual gamer and family gamer, instead of focusing on the traditional young male demographic. The gamble paid off: the ads had definite resonance. "Leo Burnett’s marketing strategy for the Wii will forever change the gaming industry and its dialogue with consumers," said Deborah Meyer, Chair of the Grand Effie Jury.

The strategic challenge, idea behind the campaign, and bringing the ads to life comprise 70% of the award scoring. The remaining 30% is based on the effectiveness of the campaign. The risks that the "Wii Would Like to Play" campaign embodied may be a sign of the times, but is no less laudable. "Effie's 40th anniversary comes at a time of economic recession, when clients and agencies are striving for what the Effies stand for – results," said Mary Lee Keane, Executive Director of the awards. "The most memorable Effie winners from the last 40 years were also the most creative and innovative, proving that playing it safe isn't always the most effective approach."

Talkback

ZapJune 07, 2008

The classic undersell for the win :)

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJune 08, 2008

How ironic that the Wii ads won an award when it end a few months and now Cowboy Jed is all the rage.

...FOOTAGE!

MorariJune 08, 2008

Wanna win an award? USE THE WHEEL!!!

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 08, 2008

HAHAHAHAHA

"WII WOULD LIKE TO DESTROY GAMING"

AAHAHAHAHAHAH

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJune 08, 2008

Quote from: MADONNA

HAHAHAHAHA

"WII WOULD LIKE TO DESTROY GAMING"

AAHAHAHAHAHAH

Gaming was already destroying itself  during the end of last gen.

PlugabugzJune 08, 2008

NOE's recent ads are far better than what you have there.

I think that the Wii Would Like To Play campaign was a WONDERFUL introductory campaign for the Wii, and performed brilliantly in the capacity to introduce legions of people to the Wii.

Of course, I don't believe it's a perfect campaign for everything. Most would point out Metroid Prime 3 as a misuse of the campaign.

Consequently, perhaps Nintendo is "up-streaming" their marketing for games that need to be marketed beyond the "What's a Wii?" consumer. This is why we've got Cowboy Jed for Mario Kart Wii. Now that people own Wiis, Nintendo's marketing may shift to focus on "attaching" software, and consequently start selling the software more than the system as Mario Kart does with its excessive use of footage and lack of connection to the previous campaign.

mantidorJune 09, 2008

The ads were just horrible. I firmly believe the games and the console sold despite the ads, not because. However marketing on a bigger scale, like the appearances on shows (I remember ellen and good morning america I think?) were a good strategy that actually worked.

That's because Wii Would Like To Play is designed to sell the SYSTEM, not the GAMES. It's an entire ad campaign built around the Wii with the games as a secondary concern, and judging by the fervor for the system among all sorts of tradionally disinterested consumers, I'd say that the Wii Would Like To Play campaign helped sell the Wii hardware.

Ian SaneJune 09, 2008

Considering this is the first Nintendo ad campaign in years where sales were amazing around the same time the ad was playing I think I would consider it decent.  I think it probably worked quite well for the more non-gamer based demographics.  I agree that it really didn't make sense for Metroid Prime 3 and, like Kairon said, it was selling the system and not the games.

Though I think Wii Sports would have sold with a simple demonstration that explains "swing the remote to swing the racket" and the results would be the same.

The Mario Kart Wii ad looks like the typically ad Nintendo would do on the Cube so they still need some work.  I really don't know why they use the ad structure they have for so long.  You figure after the Cube was a big bust they would think "hey maybe our ads suck and we should completely rethink them" but Mario Kart Wii has pretty much a typical Cube ad (ie: annoying skit with 1.5 seconds of game footage).

I think videogame commercials should show practically nothing but game footage.  The "Wii Would Like to Play" ads demonstrate the console so it's different but straight up game ads should show footage.  Videogames have nice looking graphics these days.  This isn't like the NES where the art on the box was a huge exageration of the blocky graphics in the game.  The Wii may not be on the cutting edge of videogame visuals but it's nice enough for TV.  At stuff like E3 we always see these awesome trailers that get everyone excited.  Why wouldn't that work for TV ads?  Movies and TV shows just show footage in ads.

The Metroid Prime 3 ad really didn't seem to make much sense.  The actions one performs with the remote is really not so impressive.  Aiming with the remote is practical but not exciting, at least compared to swinging a remote to swing a bat.  I think showing Samus fighting cool looking aliens would do a better job.  But then Nintendo has to also acknowledge that a game like Metroid Prime 3 isn't for the casual crowd.  The middle-aged women at my office that love Wii Sports don't want to play Metroid Prime 3.  It's a "cool" game that will attract a more traditional young male audience, and that audience will be interested in seeing a space bounty hunter killing the f*ck out of aliens.

Ironically with the wheel Mario Kart Wii would actually be better served with the "Wii Would Like to Play" ad.

IceColdJune 11, 2008

What the EFFie?

ShyGuyJune 11, 2008

I just liked the music of the commecials. That should be played in every Radio Trivia podcast.

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