Winner Gold Reggie Award

Big Fat provided consumers a hands-on opportunity to play the new Nintendo GameCube system and games in a way that has never been seen before.  From September to November, we introduced GameCube to the masses with The Cube Clubs.

Nintendo Cube Clubs were set up in vacant storefronts, warehouses and lofts in cool, hip neighborhoods across 12 markets and allowed consumers to truly experience the new system.  Each club was designed as a “mini E3” and offered guests a unique opportunity to play Nintendo GameCube before its launch.

Adding to the excitement and capitalizing on a passion to party, each club featured a dance floor, furniture and specially designed lighting to give it an authentic club-like atmosphere.  And, to top it off, the hottest local DJ’s were spinning cutting-edge music each night, all of which was sure to make The Cube Club the hottest ticket in town.

To promote The Cube Clubs, Nintendo GameCube Hype Teams, wearing branded outfits equipped with portable flat-screen LCD monitors, allowed consumers to sample GameCube on the spot –where they live, where they work, where they play.  The Hype Teams helped reinforce the portability and size of the system, while featuring the top rate graphics and game play.  The Hype Teams passed out invitations at local target relevant hangouts.

 

At nintendogamecube.com, consumers were able to get event times and information, download tickets and customize a map to the venue.  Over 56,000 tickets were downloaded on the site. Each event was sponsored by a national media partner who promoted the clubs, distributed invitations and provided giveaways and prizes.  Club nights were promoted by GamePro and Stuff Magazine.  Yahoo! sponsored the lounge areas in each city. Maxim hosted Saturday nights with contests, models and free beverages, while MTV was on hand for the kick-off and launch parties in Los Angeles and New York.

Local radio stations provided promotional spots and live remotes; morning shows gave away tickets and VIP passes to listeners.  On-air giveaways included Nintendo GameCube systems, games, Panasonic TVs and CD players.

In the clubs, interactives showcased the hot new launch titles.  Special demo suites provided an experience where we controlled the sight, sound and temperature, creating the ultimate gaming experience.  Panasonic provided HDTV’s and top-of-the-line surround-sound systems that, when teamed with GameCube in a pitch black, air conditioned room, created a “Cubistically Correct” gaming environment.

Panasonic used this “Cubistically Correct” mythology to showcase their products.  Uniformed Cubistic Counselors staffed information counters, providing consumers with advice and suggestions for creating their own cubistically correct rooms.  Handouts featured Panasonic product information, and included a 3-D cube puzzle.  In each city a Cubistically Correct PT Cruiser, featuring a custom Nintendo GameCube entertainment center in the backseat, transported the Hype Teams throughout the city each day and offered the crowds outside the club each night a sneak peek at what was awaiting them inside.

As far as knowing whether or not we were successful, let me quote Nintendo’s entry for the Reggie Award:

“Were they successful?  Absolutely.  But beyond the 91,000 people who attended, the 116 million impressions, the $1.8 million in added value support from media partners and the $.03 cost per impression, this promotion drove sales.  It was the cornerstone of a campaign that changed the way people viewed Nintendo.  A campaign that broadened the appeal of GameCube, re-invented the way video games are marketed and drove awareness numbers in excess of 90% in just 10 weeks.  A strategy that ultimately led to what was arguably the most successful hardware launch in video game history. 

Building a successful brand takes time and energy.  But in every brand’s history, there are a few marquee events that forever change the brand.  The Nintendo Cube Club was one of those marquee events in the long and successful history of Nintendo.”