Brand reinvention: Nintendo is about to lurch out of the tomb once more with Wii U GamePad

Nintendo is doing its own zombie act: coming back from the dead with the new Wii U, writes Arthur Goldstuck (@art2gee)

Are you prepared for the Zombie apocalypse? It’s a concept that has long been viral on the Internet, inspiring numerous guidebooks on how to prepare for both the day and night of the living dead. You can even explore a version of Google Maps adapted to show the level of likely zombie infestation across the globe, and highlighting resources like pharmacies, hardware stores and police stations, where you would find handy resources to help survive the undead onslaught. Medicine, guns, axes and baseball bats will be high on your shopping list.

Sadly, preparing for the apocalypse only by reading a map is like learning to drive using a mapbook. You also need on-the-job training.

Enter an unlikely ally: Nintendo. It is the old-timer of the gaming console industry, and rapidly falling behind Sony and Microsoft. These global giants have brought the industry back to life, respectively, with a new version of the PlayStation Portable, called the Vita, and an add-on to the Xbox, the Kinect.

Brand Journeys: MWeb – not quite ‘just like that’

For many people MWEB is still the big black box, which it launched in 1997, the same year the business was established by MIH Limited (a Naspers company). The big black box, in case you don’t get it, was a box, and black, and offered wary South Africans everything they needed to connect to the Internet via dial-up modem, with the payoff line “Just like that” (I still hear the finger snap in the background).

The commercial Internet was new, exciting, and big business was getting in on the act. The first dot com bubble had yet to burst and MWEB was spending large swathes of money buying up rival ISPs before its 1998 listing on the JSE.

Today it is a friendly consumer brand wholly owned by Naspers. Its pay-off line has changed to Connect & You Can to reflect the growing acceptance and integration of the Internet into daily lives. It serves a user base of over 300 000 subscribers (which is not that much higher than figures available for 2005 – although it has had success in converting many of those to ADSL) of whom more than 200 000 sits on ADSL. They consume 4.5 petabytes (4,500,000,000,000,000 bytes) of bandwidth per month.

SA gamers punk’d by new broadband provider

The truth is out – the debate that has been raging across the South African gaming community (see below) about who are better gamers – boys or girls – was in fact a marketing campaign planted by new IS broadband provider PLuGG. PLuGG targeted the gaming community as a core niche in its customer base. It planted posts on gaming forums and blogs, and even put out YouTube videos supporting one side or the other, with the help of agency Hello World. PLuGG conceived the campaign to conclude around a first-of-its-kind Girls vs. Guys Game-Off event that was held at the end of 2008.

Online CPD Courses Psychology Online CPD Courses Marketing analytics software Marketing analytics software for small business Business management software Business accounting software Gearbox repair company Makeup artist