Wii's secret weapon: mom

Remember those Wii ambassadors, the people who got to drag their friends along to top secret parties to enjoy the Wii long before the rest of us got our paws on one? Turns out most of them weren't gamers at all -- which explains why we only heard from a few ambassadors. While one ambassador in each of Nintendo's eight selected cities was identified as a hardcore gamer, the other two were decidedly not. NoA's George Harrison said, "The vast majority of people were not video game players, or had potentially a negative attitude about video games. But we identified them as people who were influential in their community."

So Nintendo took the Wii on the Tupperware circuit, spotlighting what they called "alpha moms" and offering them the chance to host Wii parties. They also looked for sprawling, multigenerational families who could show off the appeal of the Wii to all ages. All this to sell the consoles? Not even that, Harrison explained. The parties and press served to get the word out to everyone, not just gamers, and just to get people to pay attention when the advertisements started. It makes sense -- how much attention would the average mom pay to a commercial for the latest game console? Nintendo felt that this unorthodox viral marketing campaign was a good way to fight that and get everyone to pay attention.

With the insane sales and subsequent console shortage, we can only say good game, Nintendo ... something's sure working!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.