National support for the Game Boy game is through print, television and a promotion on YTV, Canada's top youth specialty channel. Handling is Leo Burnett, Toronto, which adapted U.S. creative for the Canadian market.
Slogan for the 15- and 30-second spots: "Gotta Catch 'Em All," a reference to Pokemon's 150 different monster characters that players can collect and trade. Game monsters get center stage in the live action and animation :30, which shows a bus driver squeezing a bus-load of the critters into a Game Boy.
Efforts for Canada and the U.S. launched simultaneously; North America is the first international market for Pokemon, which has sold eight million units in Japan since being introduced in February 1996.
A line of Pokemon toys will be launched in Canada in November in time for Christmas sales. The first toy will be Pokemon Pikachu, which is an electronic pet that needs a variety of attention in order to survive.
Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.