Toysit

Who Are You? Nintendo

Question asked of video game players

"Who are you?" is a question that Nintendo of America will be asking video game players of all ages in a new multimedia campaign beginning this fall.

The campaign showcases the ability of Nintendo games to let players explore a wide range of emotions and personalities through Nintendo's stable of the most popular and diverse video game characters in the world. Beginning today, Nintendo will introduce its new tagline, "who are you?" through various marketing channels. More than $50 million will be invested in launching the "who are you?" campaign, part of a total marketing push of $100 million through the end of the year. The new campaign was developed in conjunction with Leo Burnett USA in Chicago.

The "who are you?" idea will be introduced nationwide through cinema advertisements, print ads, out-of-home elements that include wall murals and 30-sheet billboards in major cities, transit ads, mall banners and dioramas, in-store merchandising and other elements. An online component features interactive ads and a "who are you?" Web site located at www.nintendo.com/whoareyou.

"Nintendo permanently established video games as a key element of popular culture, and 'who are you?' embodies the emotional connection players have with their favorite games and characters," says George Harrison, senior vice president, marketing and corporate communications, Nintendo of America Inc. "This campaign celebrates what makes Nintendo unique -- the fact that we offer the widest range of personalities through which you can unleash your other self ... your game self."

"Who are you?" is the first Nintendo campaign that ties together both the Nintendo GameCube console and hand-held Game Boy Advance products under a single theme. Moving forward, the "who are you?" tagline will be an integral part of all Nintendo's marketing efforts, including game-specific campaigns.

"This is not about changing who we are," says Harrison. "Nintendo has been and always will be about making great video games for all ages. This campaign simply enables us to speak with one unified voice."

The campaign features a cinema commercial that is one of the most ambitious commercials ever produced by Nintendo, featuring more than 500 extras and notable talent such as the stunt coordinator for Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and the editor of Amelie. Filmed in Asia, the ad pays homage to Nintendo's heritage. The 60-second spot will run on nearly 10,000 screens in movie theaters across the United States beginning Oct. 30, prior to movies ranging from The Matrix Revolutions to The Cat in the Hat in order to reach a diverse group of video game players. In addition, 30- and 15-second versions of the commercial will be used on television in October to promote Super Mario Bros. 3: Super Mario Advance 4, one of the most anticipated new games for Game Boy Advance. A 90-second "director's cut" will be shown online.

In the campaign's print ads, Nintendo characters will be "taped" onto well-known photographs and images, including the Mona Lisa and the Berlin Wall, among others. The ads illustrate the point that Nintendo games allow players to take on a wide range of imaginative roles and reinforce Nintendo's position as an innovator that shapes pop culture. Print ads will appear in nearly 20 different magazines, including Rolling Stone, Stuff, Spin and ESPN.

Nintendo manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems.