Sega is making the most of Nintendo’s current vulnerability with the launch of a press campaign which is a blatant attack on Nintendo’s much-delayed Ultra-64, now re-branded Nintendo 64.
The national press campaign, breaking on April 24, has been devised by McCann-Erickson which denied earlier speculation that Sega was reviewing its 20m pan-European account out of the agency.
The campaign’s headline, “Who in their right minds would wait over two years for a plumber”, is a direct attack on Nintendo’s postponement of the Nintendo 64 launch until the end of this year. The delay gives rivals Sony and Sega more than 12 months’ headstart with their consoles.
Nintendo has been running press ads urging games players to be patient over the delay. McCann account director Mark Dibsdall says, however: “Our response is to play on the delay and encourage gamers to buy into Saturn.
“Nintendo has been incredibly slow off the blocks. The European launch date is still unconfirmed.”
Nintendo says Sega’s campaign shows it is nervous and notes that the push acknowledges demand for Nintendo products.
Total Home Entertainment, which is responsible for Nintendo’s UK sales, marketing and distribution, has merged its marketing and corporate communications department. Julia Brown, who was marketing controller, has quit, leaving Barbara Buckley, who was in charge of corporate communications, to head the merged divisions.