Nintendo of America is mapping the biggest product launch in its history, budgeting $50 million to market the long-awaited Nintendo 64 game player between late August and December, including $20 million in media advertising.
TEAMING WITH KELLOGG
Trying to regain leadership in the $6 billion videogame market with its hot but delayed new player, Nintendo will team up with Kellogg Co. on a cereal box sweepstakes and stage promotions with Viacom's Blockbuster Video and Nickelodeon cable TV network.
George Harrison, Nintendo VP-marketing and corporate communications, said the campaign from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, will be "95%" TV.
Because of production constraints, Nintendo expects to ship only 500,000 of the $250 devices before Christmas, not enough to meet demand.
But the heavy spending is meant to build momentum for the new product, which will be going up against the hot-selling Sony PlayStation and less successful Sega Saturn.
"In our industry," Mr. Harrison added, "a little product shortage is always a good thing--the Cabbage Patch phenomenon," referring to the doll that became a media darling when demand outstripped supply.
Nintendo hopes the new machine will vault it past Sega of America into industry leadership.
However, Nintendo expects two-thirds of revenues this year to come from old products or new versions of older devices; it will spend $40 million advertising these offerings.
Copyright May 1996 Crain Communications Inc.