Promotions and Marketing
In order to stay on the top of the market, it is very important that a company promotes their product in a strong way. All three of these companies have allocated personnel and funds to their individual marketing campaigns. Since the Saturn was released in 1994, it has been a common trend for video game companies to have display units of the game machine in local retail stores. By doing this, consumers are able to go to Wal-Mart or Toys R Us and try the different systems out for themselves and make a good decision on the investment. It is standard to walk into a retail store and see kids testing out the different game systems. This hands-on experience has been brought to consumers before, but on a grander scale. In 1990, Nintendo held the first of two PowerFest tours in the United States. The first PowerFest was a large-scale video game contest. Nintendo representatives would travel around to the large cities in the United States. Each contest weekend was held in large convention centers. There were two purposes to the tour. A contest was held in which you could complete against other gamers for a chance to advance to the final round in California. The second purpose of the tour was the large display of Nintendo software available for public testing. Thousands of people attended the weekends just to have the opportunity to play the games. In 1994 Nintendo sponsored another PowerFest. This time, instead of holding the weekends in convention halls, touring trucks traveled the US giving gamers the same experience but in a close to home setting. The trucks stopped in large and small towns alike giving everyone the opportunity to try the software Nintendo had to offer. Currently, all three companies have participated in mall tours. Much like the PowerFest idea, but without the contest, teams of employees are setting games up inside malls and giving passers by the opportunity to try the games out. With the increase of Internet use by everyone in the United States, video game companies have started sponsoring web contests on their sites to help try to stir up enthusiasm about their product. All of these promotional and marketing tactics are in-your-face and exciting.