Nintendo kicks off agency search

Nintendo, the computer games company, is searching for a UK agency to help it mount a serious challenge to Sony Playstation with its N64 console.

Nintendo, the computer games company, is searching for a UK agency

to help it mount a serious challenge to Sony Playstation with its N64

console.



The much-vaunted N64 was launched in February 1997, after a series of

delays, using advertising by Leo Burnett in London.



However, sales were hampered by product shortages after the launch, and

the N64 has not achieved the same success as the Playstation, which was

backed by an advertising spend of around pounds 9 million last year

through TBWA Simons Palmer.



THE Games, the UK distributor of Nintendo, has approached a number of

agencies over the past two weeks about pitching for its pounds 8 million

business. Nintendo’s advertising moved from Burnetts last August, citing

differences over future creative direction, and during the crucial

pre-Christmas period, Nintendo imported ads from Burnetts in the US.



Most of the pounds 7 million Nintendo expenditure over the Christmas

period prom-oted three new games: Lylat Wars, GoldenEye 007 and Diddy

Kong Racing. A multi-game ad also ran.



Burnetts took over Nintendo’s advertising in May 1996 in preparation for

the N64 UK launch. Its first creative work - for the Gameboy - attracted

complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority due to its depiction

of a woman tied to a bed.



Austin West Media won the planning and buying for Nintendo last

September, at which time Nintendo insisted it was not looking for a new

creative agency. Media is not included in the current review.



Nintendo was once a major force in the industry alongside Sega, but the

duopoly was shaken up when Sony launched its Playstation console in

1995.



N64 is more expensive than the Playstation and the Sega Saturn and

offers a smaller range of games titles than its rivals



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