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PRWeek Awards the Best: Yes, That’s Right, Nintendo, “Wii would like to play.”

Posted At: April 9, 2008 12:13 PM
by Chelsea Worley

Executives at Nintendo and GolinHarris celebrated Thursday night, March 6, as PRWeek, a trusted, staple publication of the everyday PR professional, honored their work at its annual awards ceremony in New York City. The awards honor the best planned out and orchestrated campaigns of the year in several different categories and subcategories. The biggest award of the night, Campaign of the Year, went to Nintendo and GolinHarris for their campaign titled, “Wii Launch: How Wii Helped Nintendo Get Its Game Back.”

Nintendo, the king of the gaming industry 20 years ago, set out to plan a campaign that would help to reinvent the company and its image by promoting a gaming system that would attract not only gamers, but non-gamers. They wanted to reach the ultimate goal of game development, which is to tap into the wealth of people who have never before ventured into the video gaming world. To achieve this interaction they designed a game system playable by everyone, a system where play is based on actual upper body movement.

Here’s a scenario:

Imagine you’re standing in your living room facing your television. In your hand is the Wii motion-censored controller and you’re ready to take your turn. All you want is to make that glorious strike. So, you aim and throw your ball up the virtual lane.

What are you doing, you might ask? You’re bowling, Wii Bowling. It’s that simple—just like real bowling, you aim and throw. The only thing missing is the smoky atmosphere and faint smell of stale french fries that only a bowling alley can bring. And all Wii games are played in this same fashion: you move as if you’re playing the game in reality.

This design strategy obviously had mass appeal. I mean, let’s face it; Wii is widely popular. Pretty much everyone knows what it is or has one of his own. This was exactly the goal that the developers were hoping to achieve. To promote the new system, account directors planned a major social media campaign targeting MySpace users and bloggers. Nintendo got huge amounts of free coverage pushing the message that Wii appeals to everyone. In the end, the product launch was a huge success, and overnight, a Wii became the must-have gaming system. Nintendo’s dreams of being back on top finally became reality, defeating competitors Microsoft and Sony with their game systems, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, respectively.

So, I guess what is to be learned from the gaming mogul Nintendo is that if you want to get back on top, you have to find a way to reinvent yourself and make your brand and company stand out from the competition. Breaking the mold is key, and Nintendo did this by offering its gamers a new, family-friendly gaming experience. Nintendo built a better name for itself through the development of a new, outstanding product, rather than breaking down the competition, and it is that exemplary strategy that deserves a nod.


“Wii for All” [Commercial]. (2006). YouTube. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from

“PR Campaign of the Year 2008.” (2008). PRWeek. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from
Radd, D. (2008) Nintendo/GolinHarris Honored for Wii PR Work.

“Nintendo/GolinHarris honored for Wii PR work.” (2008). GameDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from

What do think about companies using new forms of social media, such as social networking sites and video sharing sites, to promote their products?

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