Wii and Nintendo DS Top 10 Tour pop up showrooms
This is funny. Type “nintendo westfield london” into google and it’s hard to find anything about the Nintendo “Wii Top 10 Tour” and the “Nintendo DS Top 10 Tour” School’s Out. Nintendo’s in! through the UK in early 2009.Even on the www.mynintendo.co.uk web site there is no information about the brilliant pop-up showroom at the Westfield shopping mall in London. By chance I encountered the pop-up tour, which seems to be designed for pure accidental discovery. It was planned for the school half term from Wednesday 18th till Sunday 22nd February 2009 at the Westfield shopping mall in White City, London. No surprise it was packed with kids and parents. The whole set-up was there only to showcase Nintendo’s amazing product line-up. What really got me excited was that they, a games and software company, had a cook demonstrating recipes from the Cooking Guide™.
There was no way that you were able to buy a Nintendo Wii nor a Nintend DS on the spot. Not even any of the software titles. When I asked where I would be able to buy one of the Wii Fit ™ outfits that afternoon, the attendants only could give me a leaflet with various details about the top 10 titles. They could not even name a place within the Westfield shopping mall where I would be able to buy the products that afternoon. On the back of the folder was a list of logos of the usual suspect retailers. Interestingly no direct link to any online stores to buy any of the top 10 titles. My real surprise was to see on the leaflet both Ocado and Cineworld, seemingly the co-sponsors of the event, hardly places to purchase Nintendo products, but companies that see themselves as being aligned with the Nintendo brand type of users and offering their wares as prize incentives.
What was really inspiring about the set-up that there were plenty of different types of seats to facilitate different types of experiences. There were benches, comfy sofas, bean bags and bar stools. Each of the set ups are inviting potential customers to spend some time, and not just walk past, the games on show. It takes time to learn about an experience. Experiences are difficult to sell with just a good Logo and catch phrase or a cool screenshot. It requires more than a moment or the blink of an eye and Nintendo yet again demonstrates how to attract the crowd. They first demonstrated this when launching the Wii they took over a complete house in London in 2006 to showcase the Wii in its natural habitat. Sure this is an expensive event to run, each cluster demonstrating a separate title with a dedicated attendant at hand, trained to engage anybody of any age with the products.