GameCube – The Only Game in Town
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GameCube – The Only Game in Town

Amidst fierce industry competition from Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo challenged The Jeffrey Group (TJG) to develop a creative and forceful strategy for its Latin American launch of the Nintendo GameCube – the company’s first new product launch in two years. Competitive differentiation was essential since the successful Sony Play Station 2 had just been launched the year prior.

Paul Holmes

Amidst fierce industry competition from Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo challenged The Jeffrey Group (TJG) to develop a creative and forceful strategy for its Latin American launch of the Nintendo GameCube – the company’s first new product launch in two years. Competitive differentiation was essential since the successful Sony Play Station 2 had just been launched the year prior.
In a comprehensive five-month plan, TJG rolled out the program in eight Latin American countries, beginning with phone interviews between key Latin American journalists and Nintendo executives in Japan, where the Nintendo GameCube was formally presented to the public.
 The Jeffrey Group was charged with the task of developing a creative way to launch the Nintendo GameCube in Latin America, communicating consistent product messages simultaneously across multiple markets, all within a limited budget. TJG worked closely with Nintendo to map out a launch plan, designed to function as the climax of Nintendo’s regional media relations program. The fact that Nintendo was the only industry player ready to introduce a new console product provided an opportunity for highlighting competitor differentiation among consumers and within the industry, especially among competitors like Sony and Microsoft.
 The primary objective was to stimulate Nintendo GameCube sales in the Latin American markets as well as to generate consumer awareness of enhanced features and availability of new titles. We began by researching how competitors were introducing their products in individual markets and evaluating their effectiveness among consumers. This background allowed TJG to tailor a communications plan that tackled competitors head-on regarding issues of product superiority, user-friendliness and affordability.
 Planning for the Nintendo GameCube launch strategy began with multiple brainstorming sessions which took place prior to E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in May. The timeline for the plan was based on the timing of the product launch. Ultimately, in-market press conferences were coordinated to take place immediately prior to the official launch date of the console in Latin America.
 During the months prior to the Nintendo GameCube launch, TJG focused PR efforts on building enthusiasm among consumers and journalists across the region. With the formal unveiling of the Nintendo GameCube taking place at the annual Spaceworld conference in Tokyo, Japan, just weeks before worldwide availability, our plan was designed to be centrally coordinated in Miami, but executed with precision in various Latin American markets. This unique approach ensured that media coverage would run within a few weeks in the eight markets.
 The strategy was uniform throughout the region:
· Position Nintendo GameCube as the ultimate videogame console.
· Present Nintendo GameCube as the embodiment of state-of-the-art technology in video game technology
· Pursue overall brand presence for Nintendo as the company presenting the most important videogame offering in the region.
· Reaffirm Nintendo as the electronic entertainment industry leader, the only company whose business is focused entirely on videogames and the only player with local market presence.
 The plan for the Nintendo GameCube launch was executed across several diverse media outlets during a five-month time period. The roll-out of the plan was conducted by The Jeffrey Group’s local offices and contracted service providers in eight Latin American countries: Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Dominican Republic.
Nintendo GameCube was formally presented to the public at the Spaceworld annual videogame conference in Japan. TJG coordinated the participation of a dozen key Latin American media from the major markets in an international conference call with top Nintendo executives, live from Japan.
 Continuous dissemination of messaging to media in Latin America included up-to-date information about sales of the console in Japan and plans for upcoming title releases. TJG also supported the company’s on-air media buy through product placement on key cable TV programs in the region.
TJG publicized a retail “pre-sale” program in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, conducted in coordination with local Nintendo distributors.
The Nintendo GameCube launch strategy for primary markets (Argentina, Chile, and Mexico) included coordination of event logistics for press conferences, including invitations and RSVP, presentation, and on-site support; press kit production and dissemination; coordination of twenty-five in-depth interviews with the Nintendo spokesperson; and follow-up.
 The Nintendo GameCube launch strategy for secondary markets (Colombia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela) included press kit production and dissemination; coordination of fifteen interviews with the Nintendo spokesperson; and follow-up.
Post-launch activities focused on follow-up with key media in order to generate maximum consumer media coverage in the weeks leading up to the holidays.
 TJG successfully achieved the goal of creating widespread exposure for the new Nintendo platform via a media campaign that generated broad exposure through a total of 212 articles in Latin America’s top media outlets. 
Total regional readership surpassed the 100 million mark (total circulation of 104,398,976). Nintendo news reached virtually every home in multiple formats: print, broadcast and Internet. Nintendo continues to invest in its Latin American PR program, and has committed to continuing its current five-year relationship with TJG, in recognition of our success in effectively communicating top company key messages throughout the Latin American region in a cost-effective manner.
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