Putting the ‘we’ into Wii: Tech names make themselves more family friendly

Click here to read the cover feature: Is your brand ready for some home truths?
Click here to read about marketing and nostalgia
To see how brands use real families, click here

Nintendo took a new tack when it launched its Wii console in 2006, moving its image from the stereotypical male gamer to embed itself as a part of modern family life. It made a conscious decision to broaden its audience by focusing on home life as a whole.

/p/n/k/Nintendofamily.jpg

Arguably, the growth of the Wii sub-brand has achieved this, from its campaign to find ’Britain’s brainiest family’ in 2007 to reviving the board game via its electronic platform.

The launch of Wii Fit in 2007 further promoted the brand as one that encourages users to be social and active, rather than stuck on the sofa playing video games, as Nintendo UK marketing manager Rob Lowe explains.

“About five years ago we were getting beaten quite soundly by PlayStation, which successfully went after a 16- to 34-year-old male audience. Since then we have left PlayStation and to an extent Xbox to go after that male audience because there is a much bigger opportunity to appeal to everybody else. A family is at the very heart of that, including parents, grandparents and children of all ages,” Lowe says. The goal, he says, has been to take the anti-social stigma away from gaming, which will continue to be a priority.

“We had looked at the way that kids had gone to their bedrooms to play video games, and the family unit was not quite what it had been,” he says. “I’m not saying that we have brought families together as a whole, but we might have done a bit. It was very much about having Wii in the living room and kids playing it with their parents.” One in three UK households now has a Wii, Lowe claims.

The portable Nintendo DS has also appealed to an audience of non-traditional gamers, helped by using more mature celebrity brand ambassadors such as Terry Wogan, Helen Mirren and Patrick Stewart.

Nintendo is not alone. PC World in 2009 launched its ’Family World’ ads, featuring a dad looking for a laptop for his daughter to take to university, while Microsoft’s campaign for Windows 7 showed a mother using ’cloud’ technology to create an acceptable family photo from a series of botches.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here