Nintendo Game Cube Launch
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Holmes Report

Nintendo Game Cube Launch

While not the technical powerhouse of Microsoft’s Xbox or the extension of a previous hardware platform like Sony’s PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube would deliver what matters most – superior games and heightened game play experiences.

Paul Holmes

Nintendo continues to lead the video game industry with breakthrough design and innovative hardware and Nintendo GameCube would mark the eighth video game system introduced by the company. While not the technical powerhouse of Microsoft’s Xbox or the extension of a previous hardware platform like Sony’s PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube would deliver what matters most – superior games and heightened game play experiences and the hardware was designed from the ground up with these goals in mind. This was the edge Golin/Harris chose to work with in introducing Nintendo’s new hardware opus to consumers.
        Microsoft was set to introduce its own video game system to the market only days before the Nintendo GameCubelaunch
        Both Sony and Microsoft built their machines to be multimedia devices, allowing CD and DVD playback. Nintendo was focused on providing consumers with a dedicated video game console.
        Media and consumer expectations were enormous for Nintendo’s next-generation home video game system as the media were focusing on ‘horsepower’
        Golin/Harris would need to leverage a variety of tactics to strategically approach the different announcements and news angles and garner continuous coverage building to the launch of Nintendo GameCube

        Nintendo does one thing - make innovative and compelling video games for the mass market with strong heritage and franchises

        Nintendo GameCubewas set to be released at $100 less than competing systems, giving the product a mass market appeal.

        Nintendo set to launch with the largest shipment of units - 700,000 - to help feed consumer demand.

        Nintendo’s reputation for quality games and exclusive characters, which many consumers have grown up with Nintendo’s deep and loyal fan base

        Herald Nintendo’s unrivaled franchises and exclusive software that take advantage of the new technical abilities of Nintendo GameCube

        Maximize mass media and consumer sampling before November 18 launch

        Secure product placement in key media and analyst forecasts, during a time where Sony celebrates a two year anniversary for its PlayStation2 and Microsoft builds more hype surrounding its Xbox
Build early “buzz” and anticipation for Nintendo GameCubeamong the trade media with calculated releases of new game screens and game details
Ensure significant game play opportunities and interviews with Nintendo spokespeople to trade media
Early planning and pitching of feature stories and cover stories
Grow enthusiasm among trade media for Nintendo GameCubethrough highlighting Nintendo’s overall leadership position in the industry in effort to pre-empt or offset Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation 2 news
Losing attention in the trade media, Nintendo needed to recapture the video game headlines. Sony built an empire with its PlayStation products and strong third-party support. Nintendo reworked its business strategy to accommodate the developers, which in turn brought eager third-party companies to support GameCube.  Golin/Harris would need to focus trade media to the ‘”friendly” platform developers were talking about – Nintendo GameCube– offering state-of-the-art technology to design the next-level of video games.
E3 2001 (Audience: National and regional print, broadcast, radio, print and online trade media)
Positioned Nintendo GameCubeas the only dedicated video game console at industry’s largest trade show featuring exclusive Nintendo software titles and characters through “the Nintendo Difference” messaging. Including:

        Keynote speech with Nintendo of America vice president sales and marketing, Peter Main

        Mr. Miyamoto spotlight session, delivering the message and mission of Nintendo GameCubeto trade media

        Gathered standing room-only crowd of more than 1,000 media and analysts for the unveiling of Nintendo GameCube, highlighted by a live demonstration by Nintendo’s own video game legend Shigeru Miyamoto. 

        Secured and managed more than 400 media and analyst appointments with Nintendo executives onsite
Holiday in July (Audience: Freelance reviewers and Long lead media)

        Coordinated more than 25 one-on-one interviews with New York City-based top-tier long lead print outlets with key Nintendo executives including: Wired, Family PC, Maxim, Stuff, Spin, Source, Parenting and CosmoGirl

        Spaceworld (Audience: National top-tier print /broadcast and online trade media)

        Fed B-roll show to national broadcast media

        Went beyond the Japanese press and invited top-tier U.S. trade media based abroad

        Provided roundtable discussion with Mr. Miyamoto to trade press

        Set-up one-on-one interviews for hosted media with Nintendo executives
Japan Launch (Audience: National top-tier print /broadcast and online trade media)

        Developed media invites and outreached to U.S. correspondents in Japan; coordinated and pitched multi-national conference call-style press briefling with key daily consumer and national media and Nintendo of America’s executive Peter Main and Nintendo Company Ltd. executive Mr. Iwata

        Garnered footage from Spaceworld media briefing, edited for U.S. & European media and distributed multi-nationally via satellite
Press Kit/Materials (Audience: National top-tier print /broadcast and online trade media and analysts)
Created customized press kits to house nearly 15 press materials for the Nintendo GameCube, software titles, peripherals and artwork disk. 
Sent press kits to more than 300 key media contacts and analysts; distributed at PlayDate, Gerard Klauer Mattison Conference and Nintendo GameCubeevents, e.g., Cube Club locations, reactive media outreach, etc.
Gamers’ Summit  (Audience: Top-tier print and online trade media)

        Provided more than 45 consumer and video game enthusiast media an opportunity to preview and play
Nintendo GameCube, as well as new first-, second- and third-party games for the system

        Nintendo executives and developers and representatives from a number of third party publishers attended the Gamers’ Summit to act as spokespersons and take part in causal one-on-one interviews

        Viral Campaign and Culmination Event

        Created a “What Would YOU Do for a Nintendo GameCube?” contest that challenged consumers to perform wacky stunts to win a Nintendo GameCubebefore the Nov. 18th launch

        Distributed contest launch press release to generate interest from consumer print and online media

        Secured more than 17,000 contest entries in only three weeks and chose five winners to perform their “stunt” at the San Francisco Cube Club

        Garnered final event footage and fed via satellite nationwide with a more than 2.5 million audience reach
Media/Additional Outreach

        Issued national launch day b-roll feed garnering more than 21 million impressions

        Wrote and distributed Nintendo GameCubemilestone news releases including “Nintendo Ships More,” “Hotter than Potter,” and the “Fastest Selling Console System” each garnering national newspaper print coverage
More than 200 million audience impressions were generated for Nintendo GameCube, including television broadcast, print, and online media in just under six months.
“When you speak with the people who have programmed games for all three of the new consoles, they almost inevitably say they like GameCube the best.” - Steven Kent,
“GameCube’s oomph becomes apparent in such games as “Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2,” which puts players in the cockpit of various “Star Wars” fighters to combat the evil Empire. Some of the scenes look as if they are straight off the big screen.” - Aaron Curtiss, LA Times
“I love the design of the system. It looks/feels like a ‘game system’ instead of trying to be a piece of stereo equipment.” - Ricardo Torres,
Nintendo was touted as the “Big Winner” by top-tier media, key analysts and attendees at E3, and Golin/Harris secured more than a half dozen trade magazine covers—at times, Nintendo GameCubewas on multiple covers during the same month.  Nintendo GameCubesold nearly 600,000 units in the U.S. in 15 days, or an average of 27 per minute—nonstop—at launch, making it the fastest selling video game console in history.

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