Well advertising is the most simple and obvious answer, but it’s important to note that they have little TV presence here in the UK. It’s hard to say if Nintendo are promoting their games in a wrong way when hardly anyone sees what they are currently doing. Nintendo are relying too much on social media to promote their stuff and it getting lost among everything else. TV ads may seem increasingly outdated and Radio advertising not suited for gaming, but both remain 2 of the most effective means of advertising, they have to be better utilised.
The other problem is that what advertising they have done is all too similar to they way they advertised DS and Wii games, only adding to the confusion created by the names 3DS and Wii U. Whatever they do they need a whole new style, although keeping the celebs may be a good idea.
Nintendo should be less fearful of spoilers. Their promotion videos can often be rather reserved out of fear of giving too much away and while there’s a logic to this and one that many follow, it might not be the best thing for Nintendo to do. Take Thunderbirds that gave away all its big scenes in the intro. It was considered madness by American producers but proved to be the show strongest selling point. Nintendo’s trailers could learn a lot from the Thunderbirds intro. Bring out the big guns and put your games strengths more on show.
Nintendo should also think about promoting games in multiple ways. Take Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. A game that visually appeals to children, but in terms of gameplay can be throughly enjoyed by anyone. I’m not sure how the current advertising tactics for this game is getting through to anyone besides little children and fanboys. There’s more than one way to promote anything and I think games in general are often in need of being sold differently to different people. This applies most to Nintendo due to the fact most of their games appeal to young people, girl gamers, families, retro gamers and gamers who seek out quality titles…For the most part each of the demographics need speaking to in a different way and thus a variety of ad’s for any given game has a logic to it.
As for us in Blighty, Nintendo definitely need to connect with the UK culture more in order to better promote themselves. Sponsoring a premier league football team is a tried and tested tactic. I also highly recommend sponsoring a popular show such as X Factor or Big Brother. Nintendo should be hands on during our big 2 charity events too, Children in Need and Comic Relief. There’s also plenty of iconic British things that Nintendo could make a game for….The team behind Mario Kart making a Top Gear game is the kind of news that would make lots of British gamers pay attention to Nintendo again.
On that topic Nintendo need to get the BBC back on side. When it comes to technology and gaming the BBC is anything but impartial, it’s hard to find a positive articles about Nintendo, if you can find one among all the Xbox and Playstation stories.
I also feel Nintendo is probably unaware of where its potential customers are hiding. Any suggestions would be speculation on my part, but I personally know many single mums who like Nintendo as well as people who like reading celebrity gossip magazines. Lot’s of Whovians are Nintendo fans too. I don’t think Nintendo knows where its potential customers are but I’ pretty sure they are hiding in the most unlikely places.
As a pre school teacher I can vouch for the fact that Nintendo still resonates with children. We have Mario and Donkey Kong toys and the kids want to know everything about them. Alas they all have I pads – Yes 4 year olds with I pads, it’s depressing. Still it raises that point that Nintendo need to take advantage of this technology more. It really would be a great way to introduce kids to the world of Nintendo. God forbid they bring games out on the darned things, but there’s plenty else you can do…I for one promote the idea of digital story books using Nintendo characters. I get asked to tell stories about Mario, Donkey Kong and the Pikmin often.
Overall however and particularly in Britain the reuse of Wii branding did the damage more than anything else. Nintendo might not like to admit it, but the reputation of the Wii was bad in the UK, everyone called it a dust collector. People felt like they weren’t going to be fooled twice. I’d urge Nintendo to shorten the Wii U’s name to just ‘U.’ This may seem silly, but it’s obviously too late to fully change the name but Nintendo should hide from the Wii Branding like Ford likes to forget about the Edsel. The brand is toxic in the UK and there’s no fixing that.