BRANDWEEK'S by wuyunyi




                                     4 Reginald Fils-Aime
                                  bet, now that we have Wii. Find out how a sleek, simple
                                  design and some quick-reflex marketing have put
                                  Nintendo sales back into hyperdrive. By Kenneth Hein


                                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                          and women: the latest videogame junkies? You

                                  this insurer is laying some rubber. By Steve Miller

                                                                        Senior citizens

                                           Ted Ward A lizard, a neanderthal and a vp
                                           of marketing’s irreverent and laid-back style mean

                                        Ann Mukherjee They call her the Corn
                                        Queen, but there’s nothing corny about this exec’s
                                  consumer-generated strategy. By Todd Wasserman

14                                NBC ENTERTAINMENT/UNIVERSAL

                                  18      Ben Silverman Retreads seldom win
                                          critical kudos, unless they’re Ben Silverman’s.
                                  His U.S. versions of foreign shows are just part of why
                                  this NBC exec is one to watch. By Becky Ebenkamp

                                  22      Ed Wunsch Who wants to wear cheap,
                                          homely shoes? Just the likes of Adam Sandler,
                         4        Jack Nicholson and President Bush. As this marketing
                                  director proved, ugly can be beautiful. By Eric Newman

                                  26 Andreas Ostermayr                       Staying regular
                                          is tough enough, but try using it as a branding
                                  message. Some smooth marketing of a yogurt’s helpful
                                  bacteria has been fruitful indeed. By Vanessa Facenda

      38                          STEVE & BARRY’S

                                  30 Howard Schacter                       They’re not Dave &
                                          Buster’s or Ben & Jerry’s, but the only names this
                                  exec wants you to know are those of the celebs behind
                                  his chain’s affordable clothes. By Barry janoff
                                  MERCK VACCINES

                                  34 Beverly J. Lybrand                    Who’s afraid of
                                           social controversy? Not this big-pharma vp, whose
                                  efforts have made millions for Merck—and saved thou-
                                  sands of lives in the process. By Michael Applebaum
                                  HEINEKEN USA

                                  38     Andy Glaser A light version of a 133-year-
                                         old European lager? This brand director brewed a
                                  branding risk into suds of success. By Mike Beirne

                             22   HANSEN'S NATURAL/MONSTER BEVERAGE

                                  42 Mark Hall               In the energy-drink sector,
                                          waving the flag at Red Bull took a big set of . . .
                                  nerves. But to this veteran beer distributor, the Monster
                                  mash wasn’t a dance, it was a marketing plan.
                                  By Gerry Khermouch

                                                                       OF THE YEAR   3   BRANDWEEK
>                                                                                                                                                                                          GRAND MARKETER OF THE YEAR REGINALD FILS-AIME                                                                                   >>

       By Kenneth Hein
       Photo by Corky Trewin
                                                                                                                                                                        WII DID IT!
                                                                                                                                                                        With its latest console, Nintendo didn’t just stay in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              About Mii
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reginald Fils-Aime
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nintendo of America

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Why him: For preaching the
                                                                                                                                                                        the game, it reinvented it.                                                                           gospel of gaming to the uncon-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              verted and turning moms and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          +                                                 +
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              older people on to the fun of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wii, a gaming console for those
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              of us who aren’t 18, male and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              counting the days until Grand
                                                                                                                                                                        DESPITE WHAT YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT THE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA,                                          Theft Auto 4 is released. And,
                                                                                                                                                                        ENTERTAINMENT IS GETTING MORE AND MORE COMPLEX. In order to jump into                                 for giving the faceless Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                        the latest season of Lost or 24, for instance, you have to watch about 60 hours of shows              an identity beyond Zelda and
                                                                                                                                                                        and bear in mind that a plot may hinge on an obscure scene from the first season.                     Mario Bros.
                                                                                                                                                                            Movies like Memento and Pulp Fiction also require work on the part of the viewer, who
                                                                                                                                                                        must assemble the movies in their head, like a puzzle, to account for a nonlinear narrative.          What makes him different
                                                                                                                                                                            But nowhere is this complexity more evident than in the world of videogames. The much-            from past Grand Marketers
                                                                                                                                                                        lauded Halo 3, for instance, has a back story similar in size to the Star Wars saga and sports        of the Year: He regularly
                                                                                                                                                                        34,000-plus lines of combat dialogue. Entities like The Sims seem less like games than                threatens to kick other people’s
                                                                                                                                                                        alternate lives that are as richly realized as a novel.                                               asses and has a mean backhand.
                                                                                                                                                                            There’s a corollary to this, however. The flip side of the phenomenon is that people also
                                                                                                                                                                        want their entertainment in smaller, simpler portions. ITunes, for instance, has led to the           Fun fact: When he was a senior
                                                                                                                                                                        growth of the single over the album. YouTube and mobile platforms have forced Saturday                director at Pizza Hut, Fils-Aime
                                                                                                                                                                        Night Live and Comedy Central to shoot for three-minute lengths for sketch comedy.                    would stay up into the wee
                                                                                                                                                                            So when Nintendo mulled the latest round in its battle against Microsoft and Sony, it             hours playing Legend of Zelda on
                                                                                                                                                                        had a choice: Simple or complex? Nintendo chose simple. Simple was good.                              his Nintendo Super NES system.
                                                                                                                                                                            In the fall of 2006, Nintendo’s Wii was thought to be an also-ran to the real gaming              ”One night I stayed up until
                                                                                                                                                                        console battle between Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3. By comparison, Nin-             2:30 in the morning. I had to put
                                                                                                                                                                        tendo's Wii was considered to have cruder graphics and a more basic selection of games                it down so I could go to work . . .
                                                                                                                                                                        than the other two. Nintendo, many thought, would merely peddle its Mario and Zelda                   I was all excited to get home
                                                                                                                                                                        games to its core audience: young kids.                                                               and finally beat the final boss,
                                                                                                                                                                            That thinking was proved false. By August, Nintendo had sold four million Wii units, ver-         and I got home to see my save

    > IN THE BLOGOSPHERE                                  Reggie is as tough as Chuck Norris
                                                                                                                                                                        sus six million for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (which had a year’s head start) and more than dou-
                                                                                                                                                                        bled the U.S. sales of PS3, per NPD, Port Washington, N.Y. In April, Nintendo reported that
                                                                                                                                                                        its sales for the previous fiscal year hit $8.1 billion, a 90% jump over the previous year. Net
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              spot wasn’t there. It was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              because my son, who was 8 or 9
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              at the time, saw where I was
          FROM KOTAKU.COM                                                               “Reggie Fils-Aime does not hunt because the word hunting infers the             income also rose 130% to $1.5 billion.                                                                and beat the final boss.” No
                            Like that Xbox 360 downloadable content? Nintendo           probability of failure. Reggie Fils-Aime goes killing.”                             Meanwhile, market researcher IDC, Framingham, Mass., predicts Wii will be the best-               word on how long he was
                            president Reggie Fils-Aime doesn’t! According to him,       “When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for          selling console in 2008, and Merrill Lynch forecasts that 30% of U.S. homes will have a Wii           grounded.
                            Nintendo "isn't going down the path of multi-               Reggie Fils-Aime."                                                              by 2011. Not everyone agrees: Yuta Sakurai, an analyst at Nomura Securities in Tokyo, expects
          media downloadable content. The Wii, it's a games machine. It                               “The chief export of Reggie Fils-Aime is pain.”                   Sony to sell 71 million PS3 units by 2011, versus 40 million for the Wii. But analysts concur
          doesn't need movies.” Xbox Live has movies. And what does                                   “When Reggie Fils-Aime sends in his taxes, he sends blank         that Wii has legs. “Despite what people say, ‘Oh, it's a novelty, PS3 and Xbox 360 will come
          Reggie think of Microsoft's downloadable service? “If you have                              forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and        back as the true gaming consoles,’ Nintendo seems to be holding them off,” said Paul Jack-
          decent game, Video Marketplace isn't worth a damn.” Snap!                                   ready to attack. Reggie Fils-Aime has not had to pay taxes        son, principal analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass.
          Take THAT high definition!!!                                                                ever.”                                                                This was precisely the ass-kicking that Reginald Fils-Aime (pronounced FEES-oe-MEY),
                                                                                                       “Superman owns a pair of Reggie Fils-Aime pajamas.”              president and COO of Nintendo of America, prophesied.
          FROM JOYSTIQ.COM                                                                                                                                                  Those in the industry know Fils-Aime as brash and competitive, and may recall his intro-
                                                                                                      “According to Einstein's theory of relativity, Reggie Fils-Aime
                                    Ever since Nintendo vp Reggie Fils-Aime                                                                                             duction at the 2004 E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles: “My name is Reggie. I’m about
                                                                                                      can actually roundhouse kick you yesterday.”
                                    used the phrase "taking ass and kicking                                                                                             kickin' ass. I’m about takin’ names. And this company is about makin’ games.”
                                    names" err . . . I mean "taking names and                                                                                               That was a shock to many who viewed Nintendo as a conservative company, but Fils-
          kicking ass" at 2004's E3 press event, the man has been per-
                                                                                        FROM NINTENDOWIIFANBOY.COM                                                      Aime knew “he had lightning in bottle” with Wii and wasn’t afraid to brag about it to the
          ceived as a bad-boy of videogame executives. Well just how bad is this guy?                                                                                   press, analysts and consumers. One half cheerleader for the brand, one half bully to the
                                                                                                            Nintendo's resident ass-kicker and name-taker Reggie
          And could he take on the beloved Chuck Norris? Well we decided to replace                                                                                     competition, he has become, arguably, as much a public figurehead for Nintendo as Mario,
                                                                                                            Fils-Aime sat down with the Wall Street Journal recently,
          Chuck's name with Reggie's on the now famed list of Random Chuck Norris                                                                                       Donkey Kong and (his favorite) Link from the Zelda franchise.
                                                                                        not only to discuss the state of the Wii, but to also comment on the
          Facts to see if it had the same effect. You be the judge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OF THE YEAR   5   BRANDWEEK
>>             REGINALD FILS-AIME

Lexus Shows
Wii Tennis Some Love
     With broad sunlight and a mild                                                                              weren't accessible or interesting to me . . . I was
breeze, it was a perfect summer                                                                                  prototypical of the consumer we were trying to
day at Arthur Ashe Stadium as well                                                                               get back into gaming.”
as at the mini-Arthur Ashe Stadium                                                                                   Of course, he wasn’t the only one at Nin-
located at Rockefeller Center. For                                                                               tendo who saw an untapped market. CEO Sat-
those unable to secure tickets to                                                                                uru Iwata has told analysts that he believes
the U.S. Open (as well as anyone                                                                                 that by creating ever-more complex games,
who just happened by), the Lexus                                                                                 the industry had been alienating lapsed- and
Virtual Open, held Sept. 4-6, was a                                                                              non-gamers. Working adults have little time
chance to get in on the action.                                                                                  for epic competitions, and mastering compli-
     Constructed at the base of the                                                                              cated controllers can make some long for the
General Electric Building, passers-                                                                              days of the Atari 2600.
by were encouraged to take the                                                                                       Iwata learned a lesson from Nintendo DS
court and try out Wii Tennis for a                                                                               which features simpler controls. Its Nintendogs
chance to win a one-year lease for                                                                               game, that let users train their cyberpooches
the new Lexus IS F as well as tickets                                                                            and enter them in competitions, proved to be
                                                  Net gain: Wii/Lexus promo woos tennis fans.
to the real Arthur Ashe Stadium for                                                                                       a huge hit that—rare for a
the U.S. Open finals. The goal of the                                                                                     videogame—strongly skewed female.
contest was to return as many serves as possible.
     “It's a fun, interactive event that gets people up, mov-
                                                                      “I attribute Wii’s success                              Iwata wanted to insure that Wii
                                                                                                                          appealed to not only kids, but also
ing and engaged,” said Vince Salisbury, auto shows man-               to one factor: It’s fun to                          moms who are the ultimate gatekeep-
ager for Lexus, Torrance, Calif. “You don't want them just
standing there and staring.”                                          play.”                                              ers for many purchase decisions.
                                                                                                                              Wii was built on such insights. Its
     Tennis pro and ESPN analyst Luke Jensen was in atten-                          —Anita Frazier, NPD wand-like controller contains motion
dance to instruct contestants and provide color commen-                                                                   sensors that translate physical move-
tary. “You'll see some of the same swings [here] that you                                                                 ment into on-screen action, particu-
would at the U.S. Open, because this game is interactive                  The role came naturally to Fils- larly games like Wii Sports Tennis and Bowling.
and requires similar motions.” His brother Murphy, with               Aime, who is driven to beat the compe- The controller, the focal point of Nintendo’s
whom he captured the 1993 doubles crown at the French                 tition, no matter whom they are, said marketing outreach, resembles a standard
Open, was also on hand.                                               those who know him.                        remote control, but can, for example, be
     This was Lexus' third year sponsoring the U.S. Open. It              “He's a larger-than-life character. swung like a tennis racket and emulate the
wanted to reach beyond Flushing, Queens, and into Man-                The bloggers love him because he's action with surprising fidelity.
hattan to promote its IS F performance sedan to a younger             prone to outbursts [about the compe-           Wii also was priced at $250, versus $600 for
consumer base. Launching early next year, the new Lexus               tition],” said Jackson. They have likened a PlayStation 3. (This summer, Sony cut the
is targeting those in their late 30s and early 40s.                   him to Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris (see price by $100 to $500. A Microsoft Xbox 360
     “We took a look at what the demographic is interested            sidebar, page 4) and one agency exec cut also is expected.) Wii games are also gen-
in,” said Salisbury.                                                  refers to him as the “Reggie-nator.”       erally about $10 less than Microsoft or Sony
     Tennis and gaming were both a natural fit with the Wii.              Fils-Aime is often spied practicing titles. But price alone can’t explain Wii’s
“It's a whole new way of gaming,” he said.                            his Wii Sports Tennis swing, as he’s talk- appeal.
     To promote the event, two weeks earlier Salisbury                ing on the phone in his office, so he          “I attribute Wii's success to one overrid-
brought the console to the Good Morning America show.                 can maintain his near undefeated ing factor: It is fun to play. With this whole
Chris Cuomo showed off his backhand as Robin Roberts                  streak when demonstrating his console transition, Nintendo has had one clear
stood nearby to add commentary.                                       beloved product.                           message [that they are fun for all ages] and
     Matthew Ringel, president of Gamesmediaproperties,                   “It’s different from the Nintendo they’ve been consistent with it,” said Anita
New York, which produces about 350 gaming events year-                deferential of the past, where the Frazier, NPD industry analyst for toys and
ly, said the Wii is perfect for such a promotions “because            mindset was: ‘It's not polite or proper videogames.
it's a platform that's appropriate for everyone. . . . [Plus] we      to bash your competition too overtly,’”        “There is a need for the industry to expand
wanted something that played up the performance aspect                added Jackson.                             its audience and to do that, you have to show
of the IS F. The Wii does that.”                                          But this is a new Nintendo. A Nin- that videogames can be fun, and not hard to
     Overall, the skill set was varied, judged Jensen.                tendo that is not only armed with the pick up and play. The Wii and its remote has
“What I've seen out here on our first day is a lot of peo-            best-selling Nintendo DS handheld done that beautifully, and now you have mul-
ple going wide and the ones that are good, they keep                  console launched in 2004, but also the tiple family members playing it.”
their eye on the ball and hit it sooner so they can con-              “killer app” in Wii.                           That didn’t happen by accident. Fils-Aime
trol it over the net.”                                                    To make Wii a success in America, challenged all of his agencies to work together
     During the three-day competition, contestants were               Fils-Aime drew on a humble realization: to come up with a strategy that let everyone,
pared down to the final 128. They then played against each            As he entered his mid-40s (he’s 46 now), young and old, know that the intuitive remote
other on center court until only two were left. New York-             he had to admit the multilayered Xbox was unlike anything ever before in the category.
er Benjamin Melinger apparently mastered the Wii swing,               and PlayStation games were a bit off-          Ad agency Leo Burnett, Chicago, public
as he ended up taking the car keys and the Lexus home.                putting. “I was finding the new con- relations agency GolinHarris, Los Angeles,
                                                                      trollers too tough to handle. The games

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