Nintendo Reaches For Women Through Handbags

Bags to Riches screenshotBags to Riches has set out to prove that accessories found in a woman's handbag are as important in making a fashion statement as the bag she carries. In this case, the fashion-forward statement comes from packing a Nintendo DS.

A partnership with Nintendo gives customers of the online handbag rental store a chance to try a Nintendo DS for one month, free of charge. The marketing promotion, which runs through the end of this year, offers a stylish and colorful system and game with some monthly handbag rentals.

Samuel Mangiere, chairman and co-founder of the online handbag rental site, calls the Nintendo DS this year's must-have fashion accessory that goes well with handbags. "Carrying the Nintendo DS in your purse makes a statement because I truly believe there's a link between the DS and any belt, sunglasses or pair of shoes," he says. "It tells people: 'I'm up-to-date. I like electronics. I probably have a BlackBerry or an Apple iPhone in my purse, too.'"



The Bags to Riches marketing promotion might make a fashion statement, but for Nintendo it gets the DS into the hands of women who might not have had an inkling, or opportunity, to try casual video games in the past.

Colin Sebastian, senior VP of equity research at Lazard Capital Markets, calls the move consistent with Nintendo's marketing strategy to reach the non-traditional consumer segment with interesting promotions. "Kids are typically drawn to Nintendo DS, and this promotion appears to be a good way to broaden the appeal to women," he says.

Handbags from Prada, Tory Burch, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, among others, are purchased new through manufacturers' distributors. Consumers have an option to pick from a variety of chic colors such as metallic silver, metallic rose, onyx, crimson/black or cobalt/black. Those who rent the bags also can select from a collection of popular Nintendo DS games such as "Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir," "Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day" and "Nintendogs," which lets women put a "puppy" inside their purses to nurture, train and walk.

Mangiere has tried each Nintendo DS game that Bags to Riches offers, and says any one of them will keep customers entertained for the entire month.

Consumers will not see print or television advertisements marketing the free use of a Nintendo DS with select handbags. The promotion kicked off on Wednesday with an email blast to more than 150,000 customers. Internal marketing efforts prompted the biggest day for orders and visits to the Bags to Riches Web site, registering 37,000 hits--up from 2,000 on a typical day, Mangiere says. "On Wednesday, we received between 11,000 and 12,000 hits on the Web site from first-time visitors," he says.

Email updates will highlight a variety of weekly events that tie into the Nintendo DS promotion throughout the year. Bags to Riches also plans to rely on bloggers at fashion sites, such as, a site dedicated to lovers of handbags.

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