Sell it to Me: A Brief History of Nintendo Adverts

Kyle takes a look at Nintendo’s adverts from NES to now!

By Kyle England. Posted 11/19/2012 13:30 1 Comment     ShareThis

Wii U Advert Still

Wii Would Like to Play

Never before had an ad campaign so perfectly captured the idea of an entire console like “Wii would like to play.” The ads featured no dialogue except for the titular phrase, and they managed to convey exactly what Wii was all about, what kind of games it played, and how anyone could play them. Later Wii advertisements reverted to the standard game commercial format, like the ad for New Super Mario Bros. Wii:

Every Wii commercial reinforced the same sense of togetherness and fun. I honestly think Wii had one of the most focused and clear marketing campaigns of any console ever. Looking at commercials for other consoles, the tone or messages change over time. With Wii, Nintendo has kept the message uniform from 2006 until today. It’s a shame it didn’t get as cool as the marketing of the early 2000s, but the Wii commercials successfully sold the console to the general public.

I can’t help but be reminded of the Wii campaign when I see the new Wii U ads. Nintendo wants to carry on the prestige of the Wii name, but the new marketing is not as concise. Will this change in the months to come? “Together. Better.” just doesn’t seem as enticing as “Wii would like to play.”

That does it for my trip back into the Nintendo marketing archives! What are some of your favorite Nintendo ads? Share them in the comments!

A product is only as good as its branding, and the history of Nintendo’s advertisements tells a different story for each generation of video games. As we move to the future with the launch of Wii U, pay attention to the branding and advertising of the console. What sort of story will it tell?

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