Monday, March 19, 2012

Nintendo Ultra Scope Yukijirushi gold prize (雪印スノーラック ウルトラスコープ, 1971)

The electro-mechanical toys created by Nintendo in the late 1960s and early 1970s were innovative and advanced for their time. They must have been highly desirable for a large group of children. This is also suggested by the fact that they were used as top prizes in a number of product promotions.

How to persuade customers to eat/drink/use more of your product? Well, easy! Create a sweepstake that rewards sales of the product with a chance to win something nice. Even better: select a prize that the customers's children will like, so they will bug their parents to buy your product. Basic marketing, really.

This only works well, of course, if the prize gets your customers' children really excited. And apparently some of the Nintendo toys fitted that bill perfectly.

Advertisement for the Yukijirushi Stick Cheese campaign

It was already known that 100 copies of the Nintendo Ultra Machine were given away as a first prize in a product promotion for Yukijirushi Stick Cheese (雪印 スティックチーズ). The company Yukijirushi (which translates to 'Snow Brand') is still active today, but is now part of Megmilk Snow Brand Co.

I just learned that Yukijirushi also ran a campaign in the 1970s in which copies of the Nintendo Ultra Scope were given away as first ('gold') prizes, in a promotion for Yukijirushi Snowlac milk (雪印スノーラック).

The images below were sent by a reader of this blog. [Thank you, Tomoyuki!] I am always happy to learn something new, so please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any additional information.

The gold prize Yukijirushi Snowlac version of the Ultra Cope

The winners of the gold prize received an Ultra Scope with the name of the promoted product in gold embossing on the front. This version was actually the Ultra Cope (minus the 'S' in the name), which is presumed to be the first production run of this toy.

Except for the name added to the front, the toy was identical to a regular Ultra Scope. A letter accompanied the toy, in which the lucky winner was thanked for their patronage and encouraged to keep on drinking snowlac milk.

The letter that came with this gold prize

Winning this prize in 1971 must have been a great experience, and positively influenced the intake of milk (at least for a while).

Related post: Nintendo Ultra Cope / Ultra Scope.

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