Nintendo switches Wii U ad focus to revive sales

Nintendo has set out to prove the controller for its Wii U games console is more than just a gimmick with an advertising campaign created to spark demand among disinterested gamers.  

The Japanese gaming firm has partnered with comedian Rufus Hound to front the first in a series of YouTube videos that showcase how the touch-pad Wii U controller can enhance the gaming experience. Hound demonstrates how Nintendo’s controller is the “difference” between experiences on its own machine and those on rival platforms.

The strategy is a shift from the company’s previous ads which have focused on positioning the machine as an entertainment hub for children and families.

The UK campaign is part of a global push from the business to address the console’s struggling sales. Nintendo revealed the Wii U sold only 10,000 units across Europe in its first quarter and admitted its marketing activity had failed to sell the console’s unique features. Elsewhere, Asda pulled the console from all its stores in the UK last month because of poor sales. 

Nintendo is in a race against time to consolidate its share of the market before the launches of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 machines later this year. The business launched its sixth console last year to much fanfare. However, a lack of strong launch titles and entertainment services not being immediately available stunted demand.  

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here


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