Agency: J Walter Thompson Author: Fiona Bioletti

Big Boys' Toys - Making Game Boy something to do with your brain


Game Boy was already established as a children's icon when Nintendo asked JWT to send it zapping up the sales graph, which meant identifying a new audience. By understanding the tension between the child and the adult in your average bloke, JWT developed a strategy, and advertising that moved Game Boy from being a toy to being exercise for your mind.

WHAT WE WERE ASKED TO DO

Game Boy had worked its way firmly into the back pockets of over a million kids by the end of 1993. The run up to Christmas 1994 saw Nintendo facing a sales target that made this performance look like a warm up, so they briefed JWT to create advertising that would increase sales. Recent history told us that the only way to rapid growth in this market was brand new, more powerful hardware. Game Boy was neither of these things. So we needed to identify a new audience, then to devise a motivating strategy for that audience.

FINDING A HOME FOR GAME BOY