The NVIDIA Shield is a powerful console and entertainment device for serious gamers, customized for a Chinese audience. In 2017, NVIDIA agreed a deal with Nintendo to bring some of the company’s most iconic characters and titles to the NVIDIA Shield console. This marked the first time Nintendo would allow its games to be played on a console made by a third-party, and meant that the NVIDIA Shield was the only way for Chinese gamers to legally play Nintendo titles in China.

NVIDIA challenged us to build awareness around this announcement amongst China’s grass-roots gaming community.

Building buzz around the history-making announcement that some of gaming’s most iconic characters would be coming to China for the first time. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, things weren’t quite that simple. Whilst mainstream media across the world were happy to cover the story, hardcore gamers had their concerns. When we spoke to our gaming audience – those whose opinions mattered most and who ultimately would buy the console – we discovered that they were worried that much of the quality and functionality of Nintendo’s games would be lost as they were adapted for the NVIDIA Shield.

Our challenge was to convince and reassure hardcore gamers (who are more accustomed to importing Nintendo consoles) that the company’s games would now be just as compelling on the NVIDIA Shield.

Mainstream media channels wouldn’t be an effective way to reach and persuade hardcore gamers. Instead we needed to reach them through gaming livestreamers, hugely popular around the world, but particularly influential in China.

Understanding this audience, we knew that a credible voice would be key to success in getting our message across and telling the NVIDIA and Nintendo story.

After immersing ourselves in gaming communities, we eventually found Penny Shi (女流), our perfect gaming livestreamer. As one of the only livestreamers to be a graduate of Tsinghua University, one of China’s top universities, gamers not only respect Penny for her gaming ability – they also respect her for her smarts.

She also has the credibility that comes with a stamp of approval from state-owned People’s Daily, hugely important in China. And most importantly, she’s a massive Nintendo fan so would be an authentic advocate for the brand.

To make our livestream special we needed the perfect location: somewhere that was striking, compelling, and screamed Nintendo. There was only one place that would do – Geek Hall. A private residence, Geek Hall has been turned by its owner into a heaven for gamers to visit and play their favorite titles in themed surroundings. Importantly, by using the venue’s Nintendo themed rooms meant our livestream would have an immediate visual link to Nintendo without breaching the company’s super-strict copyright restrictions.

To create an atmosphere of celebration and maximize the amount of viewers, we went live on video-gaming platform Douyu on the first weekend of 2018, inviting gamers from across China to join us and celebrate #PennysNewYearParty.

With Penny and her guests in full gameplay, viewers could easily see for themselves that none of the Nintendo games’ playability and unique charms were lost in conversion over to the NVIDIA. Penny was also able to engage directly with viewers to cover off any questions in real-time.

Penny’s New Year Party was a great success for NVIDIA (without even a hint of a hangover). The livestreaming was a huge boost for business, with pageviews on NVIDIA’s JD.com e-commerce page doubling during the weekend, making it the highest performing weekend since the console launched in China.

With the right choice of influencer and platforms, we were able to successfully reach and reassure hardcore gamers across China about the performance of Nintendo’s iconic characters on China’s NVIDIA Shield.

Our broadcast became the hottest videogaming livestream on Douyu in that timeslot, with a “heat score” of 1.78 million*. There was also a huge buzz around the livestream on Weibo, with the #PennysNewYearParty hashtag seeing over 806,000 reads and nearly 7,000 positive engagements.

Importantly for the console’s credibility, Penny fell in love with the playability of Nintendo’s games on the NVIDIA Shield, and has since continued to rave about the console on her channel.

“Penny’s New Year Party” was named Best Technology Hardware Campaign at the prestigious Holmes Report SABRE Awards Asia-Pacific 2018.

* 热度 – Proprietary Douyu measurement system. Calculates views, interactions and gifts into one score to measure popularity of livestream.

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