A big fanfare is usually made whenever some sort of video game trinket is set to appear somewhere. Oh boy! Pokemon/Super Mario/Yo-Kai Watch toys are included Happy Meals! If you buy this cereal, you get a color-changing spoon with this character design! That yogurt place has themed cups and spoons. It seems so nifty, right? Except the truth is, these plastic bits of junk never last.
I can not tell you how many times I have walked into my local thrift store, be it a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Savers, and seen one of these bits of junk. Typically with a 50 cent or less price tag too, in case you were wondering. We may want these items in the moment, but nobody really wants or needs them. Which is why things like the Super Mario cereal and Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Cup Noodle promotions are honestly rather brilliant. We may laugh at the idea of a cereal box amiibo or packaging advertising DLC when we grab some cheap ramen, but they’re actually rather brilliantly handled promotions.
To start, they get people talking and inspire far more fervor than the whole being able to go to a local McDonald’s for a toy or grab a regular box of cereal for that doodad. When the Super Mario Cereal box that doubles as an amiibo was announced, there was hype for days. Before it came out, people went nuts over the very rumor. After it was confirmed and released, people went on the hunt for days. Likewise, the Cup Noodle Dissidia Final Fantasy NT promotion has similar connotations. The Final Fantasy XV Cup Noodle was a huge deal in Japan and gained worldwide notoriety. Now that the fighting game is getting a similar marketing deal worldwide, it’s causing just as much of a stir.
But more importantly are the benefits we get from such tie-ins. The boons from the Super Mario cereal and Cup Noodle aren’t cheap plastic crap that will be forgotten a day after we’ve had our Happy Meal or cereal. These are things that stick with us. The Super Mario cereal box is an actual amiibo, one that provides coins or hearts. This is something that is constantly useful within Super Mario Odyssey. Sure, people won’t likely keep the whole box, but cutting off just the amiibo portion for later use is easy, efficient, and could continue to make a difference while gaming.
I’d wager the Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Cup Noodles bonus is even better. I mean, Noctis gets a Royal Raiment suit to wear in the game after you buy and jump through a few hoops involving text messaging photos of the receipt and an in-package code. This is something you can have and use for as long as you have and own the actual game. That’s pretty awesome. Especially if you play online where others can see. It will be far more practical and useful than some toy you’ll chuck the second you need more shelf space.
We definitely still want little novelty rewards that connect to our favorite games. They’re cool! Who doesn’t love getting something for finishing your meal or getting a specific product that you would have probably gotten anyway? It’s just better when the items we get are something we can actually use and enjoy for more than fifteen minutes. The Super Mario cereal box amiibo and Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Cup Noodle DLC are absolute delights.