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June 14, 2007

Nintendo serves Wii Sports cinema experience

Electronic games giant Nintendo recently used innovative interactive live cinema advertising to promote its Wii Sports package.

The campaign was launched in cinemas nationwide in conjuction with Carlton Screen Advertising. The purpose of the live ad was to demonstrate to target audiences how easy and how much fun it is to play Wii Sports. Released in November 2006, the games package offers five distinct sports experiences, each using the Wii remote controller to provide a natural, intuitive and realistic feel. To play a Wii Sports game, all you need to do is pick up a controller and get ready for the pitch, serve or that right hook.



Big screen experience: Nintendo takes Wii into cinemas

The campaign featured two actors playing Wii tennis live, with the game they are playing projected onto the big screen itself. It ran during late May in cinemas to coincide with the opening weekend of Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Altogether, there were five teams of two performers operating nationally across nine different Picturehouse cinema sites over two weekends – in Clapham, Greenwich, Stratford East, Cambridge, Liverpool, Edinburgh, York, Southampton and Brixton.

Dean McKain, managing director of live marketing agency CommentUK, which created the campaign, described the scenario played out in the live ads. “The cinema advertising reel plays in the darkened auditorium as usual, but the two actors are present amongst the audience,” he explained. “Steve, an achingly cool teenager sits near the front. Unbeknown to him, his mother, Elsa, enters the auditorium in search of her son. At the appropriate moment during the on-screen commercials, the ad reel is stopped and the house lights come on. Steve’s mum bustles in and calls her son embarrassingly from the darkness…”

What follows is a living hell for Steve as his mother challenges him to a rematch of Nintendo Wii tennis there and then in front of an audience of total strangers. Preferring to lose some of his cool rather then look cowardly Steve takes up the challenge. He soon forgets his embarrassment as he becomes caught up in the game.

“The live, interactive ad superbly illustrated that Nintendo Wii Sports is for all ages and demonstrated just how exciting and easy it is to play,” added McKain. “We reached thousands of cinema goers during the two weeks of the campaign, and as the recall rates for this type of live communication are huge (as much as 89% after four weeks), we feel sure that the word of mouth viral effect of the activity will have a very positive impact for the brand.”

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