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February 2017 Retro Gaming Article

February 1, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo has been apprising fans of Switch's capability, but their Super Bowl ad will tell the masses

Nintendo Switch Super Bowl commercial
Nintendo Direct videos are swell for those obsessed with Nintendo, but the average consumer may not be as well versed in the Switch's intricacies. A Super bowl commercial fixes that issue.
For the most part, Nintendo isn't a brand you see advertised on TV in the US. The brand and it's product line are not driven into your brain every time you turn on the TV. Most ads are relentless and eminently forgettable. However, during holidays or at the launch of a new game, you may see some Nintendo ads, but that sort of spot advertising rarely has a lasting effect.

You'd think a one-shot TV ad would be the worst. And it is - unless it airs during the Super Bowl. Super Bowl ads are renown for being well-crafted and not a project relegated to the "B" team when it comes to production. Costing millions of dollars for a 30-second spot, the ads themselves attract a wide audience to the game, not just sports fans.

Nintendo needs Super Bowl level exposure to show-off the power of the Switch.
This event, and the myriad of ads running throughout, will reach a huge audience and that's just what Nintendo needs. Core gamers are savvy of the Switch, but I'll bet a large segment of casual console gamers don't know all the details.

Reaching the fringe area is important to make it successful. Selling to core gamers is also important, but those sales figures alone are nowhere near enough penetration to jumpstart a new console on the heals of the abandoned Wii U.

An ad during the Super Bowl is a great idea and a first for Nintendo. Some will recall last year's Pokemon ad, but that was created by the Pokemon Company, for whom Nintendo publishes games. So, this will be their first foray into promoting a Nintendo product during a Super Bowl.

But, where's Karen?!?
Nintendo has released the extended 2-minute version of the ad which will be pared down for TV. It's great to see Nintendo taking this step to really get the word out to a lot of folks. On the other hand, they didn't really embrace the over-the-top creations that dominate the game.

They've certainly done a great job in explaining the complexities of various play-styles associated with the Switch, the overall ad lacks the typical insanity. Hard to say what effect that may have, other than it's important to be remembered for something other than being their first Super Bowl ad. The Switch has to stand out and be memorable.

A few years ago, when Radio Shack was staging a comeback they had a great ad full of 80's characters. Very memorable ad - I still talk about it and find a lot of folks who also recall it. That is what Nintendo needs to do. The NES Classic Edition has done well in putting the Nintendo brand on people's minds. This ad needs to do the same!

I have no interest in the Super Bowl outside of the creative advertising it offers. But the promise of a fourth-quarter Nintendo Switch ad, I'm onboard to check it out.

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