Press release: 1995-05-11: Sega Saturn gets astronomical send off with landmark marketing campaign

From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: The Free Library

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 11, 1995--Sega of America Thursday launched a landmark campaign to introduce its flagship product for the future, Sega Saturn, to the U.S. market.

The breakthrough campaign, fueled by a $50-million budget, broke nationwide Thursday following a surprise announcement of Sega Saturn's immediate availability. The campaign was unveiled by Tom Kalinske, president and chief executive officer of Sega of America, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles Thursday morning.

Kalinske announced that Sega Saturn, the ultimate interactive entertainment system designed to bring immersive gaming experiences into the home, is available in limited distribution starting Thursday. The product's logo, ``It's Out There,'' was also unveiled, revealing a double meaning for both the product launch and the game-play experience Sega Saturn delivers.

The campaign, the largest promotional endeavor in Sega's 40-year history, is multi-faceted with Sega-style advertising, marketing and promotional components.

``Sega has consistently set, then surpassed, the industry standards for creative, compelling and entertaining promotional campaigns,'' said Michael Ribero, executive vice president, marketing. ``And now with Sega Saturn -- the driving force behind the future of Sega -- we will redefine product marketing with these new campaigns.''

Broadcast Campaign

The Sega Saturn ``Theater of the Eye'' broadcast advertising campaign, which breaks Thursday night on FOX and MTV (9 p.m. EDT), was developed by award-winning agency, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners (GSP). The campaign plays on the full sensory assault that Sega Saturn game play provides, going inside the human body for a closer look at the stimulation process, focusing not on how the system works, but the feelings it evokes.

``We're going directly to the right side of the brain with visuals that show consumers how Sega Saturn makes you feel emotionally and even physiologically,'' added Ribero. ``We believe that `sensory' advertising will stimulate huge demand for the product by creating a yearning for the experience of Sega Saturn.''

With this campaign, Sega has created a new genre of advertising which the company has coined ``commercial cinema.''

``We've broken through what has become standard advertising and created commercial cinema with a stylized product message which is inherently entertaining and repeatable,'' according to Ribero.

``We believe the `Theater of the Eye' campaign will take on a sort of `Rocky Horror Picture Show' aura, because every time you see it, you will pick up a different element or nuance -- people will look forward to watching these spots.''

According to Jeff Goodby, principal and co-creative director at GSP, this campaign offered a unique opportunity to raise the bar in interactive entertainment advertising.

``Since Sega Saturn represents the next revolution in videogaming, we had to take our advertising approach to the next level as well,'' said Goodby. ``By taking you inside the command center of the human psyche, we've captured -- visually -- the Sega Saturn experience from the inside out.''

Print Campaign

``Head for Saturn,'' an out-of-this-world print campaign, created by The Mednick Group, features a cosmic figure ``head,'' evoking the human mind and senses as conduits for Sega Saturn's entirely new experiences. Mednick also created the Sega Saturn logo, packaging, in-store and other collateral materials.

``The challenge was to convey both high-end sophistication and Sega's irreverent, hip attitude while breaking new ground in videogame advertising,'' said Scott Mednick, president of The Mednick Group.

Ads for Ads

Both the print and television ads are distinctly non-technical, an unusual strategy for products in the high-tech category. Sega's goal was to move beyond the box itself and delve into the stimuli it delivers instead.

``We're constantly going against the grain with what is expected of us in terms of marketing and advertising,'' said Ribero. ``We believe that for Sega Saturn it's not the technical details that make a difference, it's the experience and magic that Sega Saturn delivers that we've captured in a 60-second spot!''

Sega is taking a world premiere approach to the ``Theater of the Eye'' campaign by promoting the spots through a specialized ``ads for the ads'' campaign in print and broadcast. The television promos began airing on MTV Wednesday night, featuring the Sega Saturn ``head'' seen in Sega's print campaign for the new system; the ``head'' directs viewers to tune in to the first airing of the ``Theater of the Eye.''

A teaser ad, encouraging viewers to see the broadcast of the 60- second spot, will run in USA Today's TV listings page Friday.

``This is a no-holds-barred approach,'' added Ribero. ``We're taking advantage of everything we can to guarantee that viewers won't push their remote buttons when the spots air.''

Print ads will run through the summer in Rolling Stone, Details, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Wired and other national publications.

Complementing the advertising campaign is a tremendous consumer promotional campaign, including a rolling road show with more than 20 ``interactive'' vans, co-sponsored by Cherry Coke, that will be deployed around the country to bring the Sega Saturn experience directly to consumers.

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo-based Sega Enterprises Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega products in the Americas. Sega Enterprises Ltd. is a nearly $4-billion company known as a leader in interactive digital entertainment media with operations on five continents.

Sega of America's Internet addresses are: (World Wide Web); GO SEGA (CompuServe Forum); segasaturn(at-sign) (e-mail); (ftp site).

CONTACT: Manning, Selvage & Lee

Kelly Smith/Lee McEnany, 818/509-1840
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