Nintendo Europe picks Leagas Delaney

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FRANKFURT -- Frankfurt-based Nintendo Europe is to mount its first umbrella branding campaign across Europe and has appointed Leagas Delaney, London, to start its counterattack against Sony PlayStation.

The London agency is understood to have battled for the multimillion- dollar account in a final pitch against one other U.K. agency and two German shops.

First work to reposition the brand to an older audience (its core target of 17-to-18-year-old males) will appear at the end of October. It will run across at least 10 of the main European Union markets in cinema, with 30-second adaptations for TV in some countries.

Leagas Delaney's appointment is funded by additional resources to Nintendo Europe's usual ad budget, and Nintendo managers in individual markets will continue to run local ads from different agencies. Media which also varies from country to country - is unaffected.

"Nintendo failed to capitalize on the [N64] console's superiority by having an image that hasn't grown up with its audience," says Shaun Herbert, Leagas Delaney's account director on the business. "We've been tasked with building the brand into a more consistent, motivating and attractive image for the core audience."

The cinema campaign is the first step in a long-term process to create a unified voice for Nintendo in Europe, he adds. "Nintendo doesn't really have an image; the image is just the product, and that's not enough in this youth market."

Werner Rudolph, Nintendo Europe's advertising and PR manager, says the agency's appointment is a "very promising start." Initially, Leagas Delaney will create commercials backing the launch of four new games.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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