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Monday, Oct. 22, 2007 at 8:40 am

Nintendo & Women: A Love Story

By Holly Buchanan
October 22nd, 2007

wiimen in controlThere she is, standing in the piazza called Video Gaming. Sony saunters by without so much as a nod hello. Microsoft rushes past her so fast it sends her spinning. She’s surrounded by gunfire, stolen cars, electronic creatures with huge shoulders and small, perfect waists. (If only real men were built like that…)

With a heavy sigh, she heads toward the subway, back to Tetris Land, when something catches her eye. Is it? Could it be? Nintendo is walking straight toward her. Does Nintendo actually . . . see her? Nintendo strides right up, makes eye contact and, (gasp!) starts a conversation.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Don’t you just love a good love story? (Sniff.) The best part is that this is no fairy tale. According to Advertising Age, The Nintendo Wii ended the summer selling 403,600 units in August, compared to 276,700 units for Xbox and 130,600 for PlayStation 3. Wii unit sales to date have topped 9 million. And, to top it all off, Ad Age recently crowned Nintendo “Marketer of the Year.”

While everyone seems to love the Wii, women have been especially vocal with their praise. Nintendo specifically reached out to women early on to enslist them as ambassadors for the Wii.

Nintendo executives and designers conjured up a new target. And it began to look like, of all people, a mom. They settled on the household power purchaser — or at least the one with veto power.

“When Nintendo contacted me, I said to them, ‘You must have the wrong person; I don’t even know what Nintendo does,’” says Tracey Clark, a mom, photographer, and blogger who was one of the first Wii Ambassadors.

The “ambassador” title, though lofty sounding, basically meant hosting a Wii party for 30 or so like-minded friends. Ms. Butler’s, “Moms Night Out” drew 27 maternal units — no kids or dads — and was a “huge, smashing success,” says Ms. Butler, mother of a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old. “Everyone who came who didn’t already own a Wii … ordered one or two. Plus a lot of them are bloggers, and they all blogged about what a great experience it was.” Ms. Clark says the same thing happened at her party.

So what is it about the Wii that women love so much? Karen Bennett has some thoughts:

The revolutionary Nintendo Wii launched in late 2006 has introduced an new concept in video gaming and has seen more and more women getting involved. The physical nature of the game play with the Nintendo Wii has the added appeal of ‘achieving something’ – maybe the thinking is that you can get fit and lose calories while having fun, and all from the comfort of your front room! It would certainly be more cost effective than going to the gym. The social side of gameplay with the Nintendo Wii creates another plus point also, as the whole family can get involved, removing the ‘isolation’ factor of other video games consoles.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift? The Wii ranked 8th on the women’s top 10 list, receiving 9% of the vote and beating the likes of a new Apple laptop and TiVo.

And the Wiimen lived happily ever after.

The End

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Comments (12)

  1. [...] Nintendo & Women: A Love Story » This Summary is from an article posted at Future Now’s GrokDotCom / Marketing Optimization Blog on [...]

  2. [...] Grok Dot Com on Woman and Wii – sounds like a marriage made in heaven [...]

  3. [...] came across this post – Nintendo &amp; Women: A <b>Love</b> Story – and thought it was worth sharing. I hope you find it interesting too and take the time to read [...]

  4. A different kind of love story…

    One of the brightest people I know is Holly Buchanan. We first met many years ago at a conference in Los Angeles. At the time Holly was working as Production Manager for a group of radio stations. In the years since, she’s demonstrated again and …

  5. [...] came across this post – Nintendo & Women: A Love Story – and thought it was worth sharing. I hope you find it interesting too and take the time to read [...]

  6. The challenge with this is to find a way to do this with your own brand.

  7. I dont blame them! I think this is the best gaming gadget ever.

    Anyway I am sure that my girls going to love it more than me!
    They are already looking at it!

  8. Wow that was really a very nice story and a nice article too Holly Buchanan..
    I also love to play the games on PSP..

  9. Yeah thats a great story

  10. The PSP is the future now!

  11. Nintendo have always aimed to be accessible by all sorts of people. I remember fighting over a Gameboy with my grandma cos we both used to love playing Tetris.

  12. You are absolutely right about Nintendo games providing a sense of achievment. The Wii Fit is all the rage since women can lose weight while having fun. Most overweight people hate working out, but who can resist playing a game and losing some inches in the process? ;)

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Holly Buchanan is a marketing to women consultant specializing in marketing to women online. You can read her blog at She is the co-author, along with Michele Miller of The Soccer Mom Myth - Today's Female Consumer - Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys.

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