Nintendo and E4 show off Marios best moves

Nintendo challenged C4 to see if we could help them launch their latest, greatest iteration of the Mario Kart franchise, Mario Kart 8 (MK8) on the Wii U. The challenge was not just to let people excited about the launch of the game and drive pre orders, it was also to raise awareness of new in-game functionality and most importantly the new upload capability, Mario Kart TV, to enable players to show off their best moves through Social media.


The key insight: Gamers love to brag about how good they are, posting their gameplay across social media with real ambition to beat their fellow gamers and get their moment of fame. Key target audience: Mario Kart fans of all ages.

One major challenge was that we only had four weeks until the release of the game to create the campaign. Once launched we had a limited universe of Wii U owners who had bought the game and were eligable to participate.

The aim was to tap into the competitive nature of gamers by giving them something that they could really brag about. To do this we created a competition on E4 that would offer gamers who had bought Mario Kart 8 the chance to win a money can’t buy prize!

In a genuine media first we gave 5 lucky gamers the opportunity to have their moves featured in a personalised advert broadcast to the nation, a personal shout out and a ‘Real life’ Mario Kart Cup. To encourage pre orders, we started the competition before the launch of the game and explained that entrants needed to have bought the game to enter this unique competition which was only open for 3 days.

Working with The Picture Production Company we created three TV Ads. The first was a teaser that highlighted the imminent release and the competition to have your best moves featured in your own advert. We then picked five lucky winners to appear in five ads, 1 per night at 8.12 Monday to Friday on E4. Each advert was created from footage uploaded on the day and required an extremely fast turnaround and utilised Nintendo’s new upload technology. To help make these spots feel like an event we ran a reminder advert each night on Channel 4 in either the centre break of Simpsons or Hollyoaks to push to the winners best move advert .

We were also concerned that although we were creating a great competition it was very targeted to superfans and to overcome this we ran a second competition to win a Wii U Mario Kart 8 bundle that was open to all viewers.


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