Nintendo reach a wide audience and underline the 'for everyone' proposition of the Wii console through sponsorship of Gladiators
The video gaming market is one of the fastest growing entertainment sectors and in 2008 was worth around £2.7 billion in the UK alone. Consequently, competition for platform penetration and software sales is extremely high. Nintendo's development of Wii, a console which put physical interaction at its core has opened up the young, male dominated market to a much broader audience. Nintendo wanted to reach this wider audience and underline the 'for everyone' proposition of the console. Sky1's big budget revival of 90s TV classic Gladiators was the perfect fit for Nintendo.
- Communicate the social gaming credentials of Wii and its associated games by positioning Wii as a console that family and friends can enjoy together.
- Showcase the extensive and diverse range of games available for Wii, underlining the 'for everyone' proposition of the console.
- Illustrate the level of physical interaction the Wii experience offers; delivering a clear and positive point of difference from other consoles in the market.
Sky Media were able to pull together a sponsorship campaign that included linear and on-demand TV, online, publicity and marketing; providing Nintendo with the opportunity to reach their audience via multiple platforms in both the UK and Ireland. The return of Gladiators provided Nintendo with a property that was guaranteed to be talked about. The campaign comprised the sponsorship of the entire first series of Gladiators including celebrity specials and two additional documentaries aired prior to series launch.
A two wave independent research project was conducted to analyse Awareness, Message Take Out, Brand Image and Purchase Intent of the sponsorship. Sponsorship awareness for Wii was very strong. Research showed that 62% of viewers were aware of the association, exceeding the Sky1 norm by 12%. This demonstrated the effectiveness of the sponsorship in correctly communicating the main brand and product messages. Message take out was excellent for Nintendo. 72% of respondents aware of the sponsorship stating the main message was 'fun to play', 'for families' or 'an active game'.
The broad audience appeal and extensive reach of the Gladiators brand, combined with Sky Media's multiplatform approach, guaranteed a successful campaign for Wii. The choice of Gladiators delivered Nintendo's message to exactly the right audience and the active nature of the programme was a perfect fit for a console based around physical interaction. Nintendo's association with Gladiators was seen as a great success and the sponsorship has been renewed for the bigger, bolder and more demanding second series.