First TV campaign targets youth

National video game retailer Microplay will hit the Canadian airwaves before Christmas with its first tv ad campaign.Todd Sturgeon, Microplay vice-president, administration, declines to say when the campaign will begin, but he does reveal it comprises three spots aimed at Microplay's...

National video game retailer Microplay will hit the Canadian airwaves before Christmas with its first tv ad campaign.

Todd Sturgeon, Microplay vice-president, administration, declines to say when the campaign will begin, but he does reveal it comprises three spots aimed at Microplay’s primary target group – males and females ranging in age from preteens to young adults.

Before its imminent foray into tv, the company, which handles its advertising in-house, has relied primarily on regional radio and newspaper advertising in Canada and the u.s.

A national campaign in the u.s. is in the planning stages.

Microplay specializes in selling and trading new and used video games for Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis and other major video game systems.

Store operators also repair equipment, and each location stocks about 2,000 titles.

Sturgeon says the company is content handling its own advertising, although it has considered hiring an external ad agency.

‘Because our industry is different from so many others in the kind of advertising that has to be done to reach the consumer, for now, we prefer to use our own in-house department,’ he says.

Mississauga, Ont.-based Microplay opened its first store in Ottawa seven years ago.

The company, which recently renamed its parent company Microplay Franchising, opened seven stores before it began selling franchises a year ago.

It has subsequently grown into a 120-store chain with 12 corporately owned outlets and 15 u.s. locations.

As well, a master licensee has been signed in the u.k., where Microplay recently opened a beachhead first store.

Microplay has said its goal over the next three years is to establish 500 u.s. locations, 300 by the end of next year alone, and 60 u.k. outlets.