Skip to main content

Nintendo UK Unveils Its Largest Ever Sampling Campaign For Launch Of New Wii Console

One million people to sample revolutionary new games console by December launch

03 November 2006 - The new home console video games system from Nintendo, Wii (pronounced 'we') launches in the UK on 08th December 2006, backed by the largest ever sampling campaign for a Nintendo product in the UK. The two month sampling tour runs from the 10 November 2006 to the 13 January 2007 and takes in over 60 locations and events across the UK and Ireland to get the console into the hands of one million people by launch. Full dates and locations for the tour can be found at

Nintendo's Wii console will break down the wall that separates video game players from everybody else. A key feature of the new console is the innovative 'Wii Remote' controller that you wave in front of the screen to control the action. Because of the seismic shift in gaming and entertainment that Wii represents, sampling is key to the overall marketing campaign in helping people to understand Wii and just what it can do.

Nintendo's aim with Wii as with its handheld DS console, is to expand the gaming population and appeal to people who have never thought about picking up a games consol at all. As a result the focus for the sampling is on key mainstream and family events and destinations from shopping malls including Bluewater Shopping Centre, Birmingham Bullring and Sheffield's Meadow Hall to events including The Good Food Show, Ideal Home Exhibition and Glasgow's Irn Bru Carnival.

The six month integrated campaign is focused around the message of inclusiveness and 'gaming for everyone', from active and hardcore gamers right through to lapsed and non-gamers alike. The central campaign idea is based on the premise of real people experiencing and playing Wii in their homes. This idea flows through from the above-the-line campaign through to Nintendo UK's biggest ever sampling tour which is based on a household comprising of different household rooms for different types of people. The central PR platform at the hub of Wii's media relations strategy is a Nintendo house which again will reflect different rooms and ways to play Wii.

Taking its cue from the above-the-line strategy, Wii sampling will take place in two very distinct ways. The first is in a series of modular room sets that have been created to look like the living rooms, bedrooms and homes of people from across the UK complete with TV's, sofas, bed and all assorted paraphernalia. People can simply walk into the room (which only has two walls for access and visibility) sit down and play away. The second sampling mechanic is a series of portable 'busking units' that enables much more reactive and tactical sampling. These units can simply be unloaded quickly and easily wheeled to their destination, used for a short time and then move on.

In-store activity and POS will also follow the same direction as the ad campaign to ensure creative cut-through. Sampling Wii will also be a key element in the overall marketing strategy and brand new bespoke Wii interactive units have been created with over 1,000 of these eye-catching units placed in select stores across the UK before launch, meaning people can easily get to sample Wii, to see and feel for themselves!

Dawn Paine, Marketing Director, Nintendo UK comments:

"With each passing year, video gaming has become a more exclusive experience. The complexities of some of the newest games have alienated those who used to play games with their entire families. Wii changes all that. Nintendo has created the most inviting, inclusive video game system to date. Thanks to our unique controller, anyone of any age or skill level can pick up and play games on the Wii console and it's key that we message this in all our communications.

"Just as sampling and getting the hardware into people's hands was so important with Nintendo DS, the same is very much true with Wii and we are making our largest ever investment in sampling for this campaign to ensure by launch that nearly one million people will have experienced Wii"

The entire sampling campaign will be run by Nintendo UK's retained below-the-line agency BD-NTWK and overseen at Nintendo by UK Trade and Promotions Marketing Manager, Ben Taylor.

Wii will come packaged with the 'Wii Sports' software bundled in the box from launch. 'Wii Sports' features five great sports in one game - Tennis, Golf, Bowling, Boxing and Baseball offering great value out-of-the-box gaming for all the family.

At the UK launch, there will be a very strong line up of games for Wii suiting all tastes from Wii Sports, Wii Play and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess from Nintendo to a raft of great third party titles including Red Steel (Ubisoft), Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (SEGA), Need For Speed: Carbon (EA), Madden 07 (EA) GT Pro Series (Gameloft/Ubisoft).

Wii will launch in the UK on 08th December 2006 at the estimated retail price of around £179.99 packaged with the Wii Sports game. Software will be available at selected retailers at the estimated retail price of £34.99 or £39.99, depending on the specific title.

Click onto for all the most up to date official information on Nintendo.

For further information please contact Robert Saunders at Nintendo UK on

01753 472 765 / 07786 114811 /

Full Tour Dates - check for any changes before setting out for an event:

Toys 4 Big Boys, Dublin 10th-12th November

Good Food Show, London 10th-12th November

Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent (A) 16th-18th November

Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow 16th-18th November

Bullring, Birmingham 16th-18th November

Churchill Square, Brighton 16th-18th November

Good Food Show, Birmingham NEC 22nd-26th November

Lakeside, Essex 23rd-25th November

UK Golf Show, Birmingham NEC 24th-26th November

Meadowhall, Sheffield 30th November-2nd December

Cribbs Causeway, Bristol 30th November-2nd December

The Oracle, Reading 30th November-2nd December

Clotheshow Live 2006, Birmingham NEC 1st-6th December

Luton Airport (A) 4th-10th December

Gatwick North (A) 4th-10th December

Manchester Metropolitan University 6th December

UCD, Dublin University 6th December

Arndale Centre, Manchester 7th-9th December

Mahon Point, Cork 7th-10th December

Gatwick South (A) 11th-17th December

Stansted Airport (A) 11th-17th December

Centre MK, Milton Keynes (A) 18th-24th December

Irn Bru Carnival, Glasgow SECC 23rd December - 14th January

The Liberty, Romford 2nd-7th January

White Rose, Leeds 2nd-7th January

Castlecourt, Belfast 2nd-7th January

Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London 9th-14th January

The Gyle, Edinburgh 9th-14th January

West Quay Centre, Southampton 9th-14th January

Bristol University 17th January

St David's Centre, Cardiff 18th-21st January

Nottingham Trent University 24th January

The Shires, Leicester 25th-27th January

Sheffield Hallam University 31st January

Glasgow University 31st January

Trinity College Dublin 31st January

Luton Airport (B) 5th - 11th Feb

Gatwick South (B) 5th-18th Feb

Xscape, Braehead 17th-18th Feb

The Victoria Centre, Nottingham 19th-25th Feb

Gatwick North (B) 19th-25th Feb

Stansted Airport (B) 19th Feb - 4th March

Xscape, Castleford Leeds 24th-25th Feb

Centre MK, Milton Keynes (B) 28th Feb - 3rd march

Braehead Shopping Centre, Glasgow 5th-11th March

Crufts 2007, Birmingham NEC 8th-11th March

Ideal Home Show, Earl's Court London 9th March - 1st April

Quad Show, Birmingham NEC 16th-18th March

Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent (B) 16th-18th March

Vitality Show, London Olympia 29th March - 1st April

Memorabilia Show, Birmingham NEC 31st March - 1st April

About Nintendo:

Nintendo Co., Ltd. of Kyoto, Japan, is the acknowledged worldwide leader in the creation of interactive entertainment. To date, Nintendo has sold more than 2.2 billion video games worldwide and more than 375 million hardware units globally, creating such industry icons as Mario® and Donkey Kong and launched franchises like The Legend of Zelda® and Pokémon. Nintendo manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems, including the Nintendo 64, NINTENDO GAMECUBE, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Game Boy - the world's best-selling video game system which has sold over 193 million units. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of Europe, based in Grossostheim, Germany, was established in 1990 and serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in Europe.

Read this next avatar GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating and