Nintendo, the computer games company, is searching for a UK agency
to help it mount a serious challenge to Sony Playstation with its N64
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
N64 is more expensive than the Playstation and the Sega Saturn and
offers a smaller range of games titles than its rivals