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Harnessing YouTube Celebrity for Product Launch

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It seems that a new gaming console is launched every year – just in time for the holiday season (coincidence? we think not). This year’s door crasher was Nintendo’s Wii U, the next generation of the Wii console. The defining feature of this console is the “Gamepad” control, which takes the place of the Wii Remote – promising to make user experience even more enjoyable for gamers. Since being released on November 18th the Wii U has sold close to one million units.

Bringing Product to its Target Market

YouTube is a haven for pretty much everyone who uses the internet. People are constantly posting a wide variety of videos from hair/makeup tutorials to product reviews/unboxings. So naturally, Nintendo decided to include YouTube in the marketing plan for the new Wii U console. The concept for the campaign is simple: Nintendo gave 50 Wii U’s to 50 well-known YouTubers, tasking them to create a video based on one of the games offered for the console. The videos must then get 10,000 views to be considered to advance to the top 12. The top 12 are flown to L.A. to compete. Four YouTubers will eventually be chosen to attend the Sundance Film Festival where their self made video will be shown. The winners will also be declared Nintendo Brand Ambassadors, providing Nintendo with on-going promotion.

Stealthy Marketing Tactics that Work

This marketing plan is a genius way to get Nintendo’s new product out into the minds of consumers. Who doesn’t spend far too much time on YouTube procrastinating daily? We all have YouTube channels we watch regularly and love to support, so helping them achieve something like screening at Sundance is engaging for both audiences and content creators. Additionally, by harnessing the creativity of 50 different people, Nintendo garners unprecedented creativity in appealing to potential buyers. Who better to communicate with teens, young adults and/or avid gamers than one of their own? It’s almost like a celebrity endorsement – but better because a YouTube celebrity is someone “just like us”. We know they actually used and enjoyed something if they make a video about it. They are a trustworthy source viewers are probably more inclined to listen to. The videos themselves are not presented as advertisements for the Wii U either, which is becomes even more appealing to the casual viewer. Who wants to watch an advertisement on purpose anyway? Here are some screencaps of video entries:

The cut off for views on the 50 entries is Friday, so it will be interesting to see the cumulative views vs. any correlations in sales for the Wii U. Overall, this marketing plan is a win for Nintendo – worldwide exposure for their product on the Internet for the cost of 50 units.

What other internet-based marketing plans have you noticed in 2012?

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    1. [...] a month ago I wrote a post about Nintendo harnessing the power of YouTube to create videos to promote the new WiiU console. In the article, I [...]

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