The Challenge

Announcing the latest episode in a historic franchise required something special from Candyspace. Launching on a totally new format, this campaign needed to reach old and new fans alike whilst driving hardware and software sales.

Racers have enjoyed the Mario Kart franchise on successive consoles since its launch 1992 on the SNES. To celebrate the launch on Wii U, Nintendo needed an eye-catching campaign playing on the heritage of the franchise, the excitement of the new game, and the enjoyment of the iconic characters seen for the first time in HD.

The Solution

We built a fully-phased campaign grounded in mobile, where we knew so many of these fans would be, and then extended its reach through wider display and into a developed social campaign. Centring our creative around a timeline of the franchise, we created expandable banners that showed character development across the game’s history, and gave gamers a first look at engrossing content from the newest game. Our in-house experts provided detailed knowledge and insights into both game and audience, and the resulting content developed for social proved hugely absorbing to both cognoscenti and newcomers alike.

The Results

Content was delivered over a period of 5 months, and was continuously monitored and optimised as the campaign progressed. Content phases encompassed initial awareness, pre-launch and the big launch itself. Features of the new game were teased and then announced as the release date approached, driving engagement which delivered in terms of pre-orders and sales at key stages. Judged against a hugely successful launch weekend, and a consequent uplift in Wii U hardware sales, racing truly had been re-invented.

THE GREATEST FRANCHISE

With over 100 million copies sold worldwide since launch in 1992, the Mario Kart series needs no introduction. However, for its first big screen outing in six years, a whole new approach was required in order to keep pace with the ever-evolving digital landscape, guided by the tagline of 'Racing Re-invented'.

REDISCOVERING THE PAST

Our interactive timeline banner was seen by 2 million people. It was delivered to hardcore gamers and fans alike, bringing high-impact visibility to the franchise's evocative history. A slider mechanic kept users engaged for an average of over 30 seconds, smashing industry benchmarks and proving testament to the franchise's longevity and popularity and, of course, our concept and execution.

“It was both a treat and an honour to work with such an iconic part of gaming history. The joy of diving into Mario Kart's heritage can only be countered by a last-lap red shell takedown.”

Patrick Cullinan, Producer, Candyspace

HANDS ON THE WHEEL

For a title with as broad an appeal as Mario Kart, a key and effective means of reaching fans both old and new would be through mobile devices. Our expertise in creating hardware and OS-agnostic formats powered full screen in-app intersitials and expandables over the weekend of release, connecting with fans of the franchise who needed a final reminder to purchase.

EVOKING MEMORIES

Bringing together Candyspace's talents in strategy, planning and creative, an integrated social campaign across Facebook and Twitter challenged the public to recall their favourite memories of the Mario Kart franchise throughout its lifespan. The result: posts with vast engagement rates and the exponential organic reach generated by such a dedicated and vocal fanbase.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

In keeping with Mario Kart 8's groundbreaking Anti-Gravity racing, both the software and Wii U hardware took off - enjoying unprecedented growth. Meanwhile, at Candyspace, we're busy practicing our corner power-sliding in eager anticipation of the franchise's next installment...

“Candyspace’s attention to detail and ability to work closely with Nintendo resulted in an authentic Mario Kart campaign that was a big hit with fans.”

Ashley Day, Social & Digital Content Manager, Nintendo UK

ALL WORK