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Nintendo Boosts Ad Spending

Redmond, Wash – Looking to keep pace with Sony’s PlayStation2 and Microsoft’s Xbox, Nintendo said it would increase its marketing budget 25 percent to $140 million for the holiday season, over the same period a year ago.

The company said it would direct a substantial portion of the expenditure targeting ‘teen and 20-something players,’ and audience the company has been trying to develop since launching its GameCube console platform last year.

The focus the effort will be on several new GameCube titles slated for release in the remaining weeks of 2002. These include ‘Metroid Prime’ (teen rated) and the ‘Resident Evil Zero’ (mature). The company said it expects to have 80 game titles added to its GameCue library before the end of the year.

‘As our game library grows to 180 by New Year’s Eve, Nintendo will have the largest concentration ever of games designed for players in their teens, and older,’ said Peter MacDougall, Nintendo sales and marketing executive vice president. ‘By significantly boosting our fourth quarter spending over last year, when we launched the Nintendo GameCube, it’s clear Nintendo is serious about the serious gamer.’

The holiday marketing program will include:

  • A 15-city Nintendo Cube Club program presenting live music and game play;
  • A celebrity filled Nintendo GameCube anniversary celebration in Hollywood.
  • Advertising behind a wide range of older-appeal titles.
  •  Distribution of over 3 million promotional DVDs with 80-plus minutes of game footage on 25 new titles.
  • Movie theater advertising in Nov. and Dec. on more than 6000 screens.
  • Sponsorship of the USSA Snowboarding Grand Prix, from December through April
  • Promotional partnerships with Heineken, Keebler and Kraft Easy Mac & Cheese.
  • Multi-market radio promotions
  • Internet and print advertising
  •  November distribution of an 80-page, full color consumer booklet at thousands of retail outlets.

The company reported that in August its ‘Super Mario Sunshine’ GameCube titles moved to No. 2 on the sales charts, after only six days on the market. The 2002 U.S. video game market at retail is expected to surpass $10 billion, Nintendo reported.

The company typically spends 60 percent of global marketing budget in the last four months of the year.