Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Apparently Leo Burnett has resigned the Nintendo account in the US.

"Weeks before the Wii launch, it insisted that ads for the console were reshot to 'look more like ads', rather than the documentary-style spots Leo Burnett had created (Marketing, 22 November 2006). Leo Burnett had subsequently been unhappy with the lack of creative authority it had on the account."

Which is ironic as they are the best ads Nintendo had in years...

From: Kotaku


Anonymous said...

They may have been the best ads in years, but they were still miles away from where they should, or could have been. There are a number of reasons for this but I think there was always a cultural between Leo and Nintendo. This press release only really talks about the US, so I don’t know the in’s and out’s of the relationships between NOA and Leo Burnett but I always had the feeling that, in Europe, neither side really understood each other. The “cultural fit” didn’t fit.

I distinctly remember a six hour meeting in London with the NOE brand managers and the guys from Leo Burnett. It was so obvious that neither side understood each other. With hindsight I would say that Nintendo were extremely generous with LB and spent a huge amount of time giving the kind of insight that you would want and expect from a client but Leo just didn’t understand it. At the time, however, I thought that we NOE were being a bit in of a pain and Leo were just being a bit lazy – or dumb.

I would suggest that there are very view brands out there that understand their consumers as well as Nintendo. They call their consumers “fans” for a start. The fact that sales for the N64 and the GameCube were lame is simply down to the fact that the console was lame and Game producers distanced themselves from those consoles because they just weren’t up to scratch. Game producers in turn are the motor of console sales and the deals that are made behind the scenes make or break a new console.

The point here is; Nintendo were dictating the creative and no agency likes that but the fact of the matter is if Leo Burnett were not in a position to fight for their work, didn’t have suitable argumentation to battle it through or were just being wanky for the sake of it then it was Nintendo’s responsibility to step in. It is also interesting to note that they have pulled out after the campaign launch and after the billings instead of having the balls to pull out of the relationship before hand.

Quite frankly, the Wii console would have been a success regardless of what Nintendo or Leo Burnett had come up with, because, as I have said before Nintendo have developed a console that completely changes the way we regard gameplay, it looks cool and it has a “social functionality” that no other console currently has. It’s the Nintendo console the gaming community have always waited for and the one Nintendo always wanted to build. Everybody was waiting for it, and if I’d been in charge of the creative I would have called the campaign:

“Wii did it.”

Now don’t ever say that I don’t bloody well comment on your blog ever again.

[legal stuff: these are the view of the writer and not those of NOE]

lauren said...

jesus christ marcus!

Anonymous said...

I have a sneaky feeling Marcus is quite passionate about Nintendo.

Anonymous said...

I love Nintendo with all my heart.

Anonymous said...

Which is another reason why Marcus kicks ass.

I [heart] Ninty.

I agree with your point Marcus. Though a lot of Nintendo's market ARE fans. Im one. You are. Most people I know who buy their stuff (esp n64 and Cube) were.

Considering Cake have done good work with Nintendo, I think LB werent trying or (as you say) werent creating good enough ideas to persuade the big N otherwise.

Anonymous said...


You are so right. Nintendo know their consumer inside out.

How else could two lame consoles sell enough to be highly profitable and STILL be considered a (gaming) success by their core market.

Anonymous said...

see, I don't comment often, but when I do...

Anonymous said...

A bit like the N64 and Gamecube release schedule...

Will said...

Big Nintendo fan here. Ever since I had a SNES when I was a nipper.

Loved the N64, thought the Cube was a bit rubbish (but still had one) and want a Wii.. when I get a job, I'll have one.

Nintendo's consumers are definitely fans.

Great comment Marcus, btw.