"They're Buying What They're Advised To"
According to Nintendo's UK marketing chief, a key part of their Wii U Christmas push is targeting mums who don't really know what the console is yet. Dads get it, though, apparently.
“Retailers need to start seeing Wii U sales picking up," Nintendo's Shelly Pearce told MCV. "Everyone is looking for that. We haven’t had the sales we have wanted on Wii U hardware. We haven’t had the software for the beginning part of this year. But we have some quite ambitious targets, particularly as we have some of our biggest franchises coming.
“We are delivering a really strong software line-up. Retailers are feeling Wii U is in a much better place than last Christmas.”
Conflicted communication and brand awareness has lead to many consumers believing that the Wii U is simply a Wii upgrade, an illusion that Nintendo are keen to shatter - targeting mums with younger children as a key demographic. "There was a big misconception at launch about what Wii U is", Pearce continued. "And one of the big messages is to explain to mum that this is a new console and a new controller.
“In terms of the marketing work we’ve done against dads, there is now a pretty good understanding there," she continued. "But many mums don’t know what this is. They’re buying what they’re advised to and going into shops, so we are relying a lot on retail to explain that this is a new piece of hardware.”
Pearce explained that the Wii U has to appeal to both families and core fans in order to succeed, and they have their work cut out. "Perhaps sometimes as an industry we don’t see it, because we are so focused on core fans who are obviously not the ones that are still playing. I sit in this target audience as a mum that has kids of this age, and amongst my peer group I have people that are just buying their first console and people who are still playing their original Wii sometimes."
"Wii U is very different to these other consoles. Our heartland is with family and kids, but we must not forget core Nintendo fans are a fundamental part of it. Yes, there’s a cross-over with the core fan and those that buy the other consoles, but generally those are quite different audiences. I imagine our marketing activity will look and feel very different."
A major Tesco deal will see Nintendo getting some serious store space over the Christmas season, and we reckon they'll have a fairly decent time of things sales-wise.