Nintendo Should Use the Wii U Ads to Tell the Truth

If you've turned on a TV any time in the last two weeks, you've likely been assaulted with footage of Super Mario 3D World and preached to by kids about the glory of the Wii U. Nintendo's realized that, yes, there is a problem with the way they're promoting their newest console, and have done a complete 180. They went from absolutely no marketing at all, to constant images of exceedingly happy families sitting around their living room.

Which is fine, because Wii U ads should have been running ever since the system's November 18, 2012 launch -- but there are two problems with the ads being shown now, and I feel we'd be remiss if we didn't point out Nintendo's mistakes.

The first is that they're on all the time. I saw two during my annual viewing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. At the time, I just chalked it up to Nintendo knowing their audience and trying to capitalize on it. Except, I was also bombarded by these commercials while watching other, less appropriate shows and channels. I had FX on one night, and "heard the good word" three more times in the span of an hour. I swear, I even saw them on SyFy during the Star Trek movie marathon last weekend.


Advertising is good, but in moderation. Don't show us more Wii U commercials in the span of a week than we've seen in the last year. That kind of bombardment may work on some people, but it's going to put off everyone else; especially when they see how much more subdued and sporadic the PS4 and Xbox One commercials are. An overload of one thing makes people appreciate the other more. I suppose I'm saying that it'd be lovely to not see two Wii U commercials in the span of one half hour program.

Of course, the greater failing is that the Wii U Super Mario 3D World commercials look nothing like an ordinary play session. Granted, I have yet to play Super Mario 3D World with kids, but I'd like to think that some of my friends and family are at a similar maturity level. No matter how civilized and friendly a round will begin, there's going to be yelling. Someone's going to run ahead of the rest of the group, which will result in yelling because, obviously, something important was passed. The confusion will lead to someone dying, which will naturally cause some protestations.

Plus, there's always one person in any gaming group who has no idea what's happening. This eventually leads to a fight, because the best player will get so aggravated that he or she will try to rip the controller from the less competent player's hands to show what should be done. The beginner won't want to give it up, for an array of reasons, and I've been an onlooker in at least once where this moment leads to physical violence.


That's assuming that you even get off of the character selection screen. With five available, every person playing is bound to have a favorite. I, for example, am always Peach. Always. If Rosalina is unlocked and available, I may be willing to consider a swap if I'm in a good mood, but otherwise, I have to use Peach and I swear we will not start this level unless I get my way (I'm lovely that way). While that may sound extreme, I know from experience that I'm not the only person with this kind of mindset, because I've seen fights over who gets to be Mario and Luigi.

A truly effective Wii U commercial would be one that highlights that kind of nostalgia. Yes, it wouldn't jibe with Nintendo's constantly family-friendly position, but it would resonate with anyone who'd watch it. We'd see the family or friends squabble on our TVs and get all misty, remembering what it was like when we argued with the people we loved over who got to be which character, our play styles, and other important issues. Maybe transition into a standard The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD moment, where one player is pleading with another, "Please beat this boss for me!" Toss in a Nintendo Land multiplayer moment, where the person controlling the ghost is laughing maniacally as it takes down the other four players, one by one, and I guarantee you'd have a system selling ad.

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada

Site Editor
Date: 12/04/2013

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