News Article

Controversial Super Meat Boy Advertisement

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Team Meat attempts to stir up some interest in their upcoming WiiWare title.

As far as advertising goes, there are several ways to draw attention to your product. You can pay thousands of dollars to an advertising firm to come up with an extremely catchy slogan or jingle that will make your product instantly recognizable to consumers, or you can do what the developers of the upcoming WiiWare title Super Meat Boy did and offend every vegetarian on the face of the planet by likening them to Adolf Hitler. Can you guess which one is cheaper?

We'd love to be there when someone at Nintendo gets a load of this little advertising campaign. But you know what they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity. At least Super Meat Boy will be getting some exposure and hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer for the WiiWare release.

Now we know that Team Meat certainly isn't really likening vegetarians to Adolf Hitler, but we're quite curious to see what type of reaction this little piece of artwork elicits. You can take a look at the advertisement below to see for yourself. We'd love to hear what you think of it. :)

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User Comments (86)

Omega

#2

Omega said:

I don't think that the ISFE likes that. And if putting the game on the Index isn't enough, the police can confiscate it, which makes it illegal altogether.

quakster

#4

quakster said:

I've always been fond of the "compare potential customers to Hitler"-method of selling things.

Ravage

#5

Ravage said:

Ultimate. It will offend both vegetarians and those who don't think Hitler can ever be mentioned. Ultimate.

quakster

#6

quakster said:

Yeah, I really don't have any qualms about shock humor, but this is just plain bad. I'm gonna have to skip this game, I guess. /cue 10 comments about why I'm wrong

quakster

#7

quakster said:

Yeah. But they better not have skipped quality control, because if that's the case, they won't be getting their 5000 or whatever sales.

TwilightV

#8

TwilightV said:

Haha! Take that PeTA!

I think the game will be awesome because it's going to have unlockable characters from other indie games.

Vendetta

#9

Vendetta said:

I'm absolutely disgusted....

...that I'm nowhere near as AWESOME as the person who came up with this. Corbie, are ya sure this wasn't a high-priced campaign after all? ;-)

To me there's like a bonus level of funny in this ad which they probably didn't even consider: Most of the vegetarians I've met are militant in their condecension and disdain for meat-eaters (or, "people not in total denial of their anatomy" as I like to call them) and the desire to conform them to their "enlightened" ways - which only makes the directive in this ad, "Don't be like Hitler," soooooo spot on and absolutely HILARIOUS to me! I can't wait to use it on the next one of them who shoots me a dirty look as I bite into a medium-rare porterhouse! Mmmmmm...... steak. Oh yeah, the game... what's it about? :-D

quakster

#10

quakster said:

Well, technically, meat doesn't have anything you can't get from somewhere else, so it is entirely possible to live healthily without eating a single bite of meat.

CorbsAdmin

#11

Corbs said:

I was just hoping to see a trailer for the WiiWare version of the game soon.

feba

#12

feba said:

Well, most non-meat eaters already know about this, and know why it's just stupid . Even if it weren't offensive enough by comparing vegetarians to hitler, it's offensive just by sheer moronity.

Really, the exact same argument could be used to say "Hitler was white", or "Hitler spoke German", or "Hitler wore clothing" to justify those things being bad. It's an absolutely meaningless argument.

Anyway, the concept of a character made out of meat seemed lame enough already, this just proves to me the developers have no sense of humour (or logic). I do have to wonder what Nintendo and Microsoft think of having their logos on something like that. It's one thing when a first party company does something stupid, like slaughter a goat, and it's another thing entirely when some no-name company plasters your logo on a poster that insults at least 10-15% of your userbase by comparing them to someone who is widely considered the most hated person in the history of our species.

quakster

#13

quakster said:

Exactly. Hey guys buy our game also if you eat things that aren't meat you're Hitler kthxbai.

Dawnclaude

#14

Dawnclaude said:

As a developer you must send every marketing files to Nintendo to let them prove. Now you know why Nintendo watch over it. ^^
But im surprised that Nintendo has no problem with it. Hmm i must think about our own marketing. ;)

Vendetta

#15

Vendetta said:

Right quakster, I get it. I just wish it were possible for most vegetarians to just shut the hell up about it when they're tempted to ridicule omnivores for their choice of diet. I completely respect your dietary choices, you haven't said anything to make me think you don't respect mine as well, and that's the way it should be. Unfortunately, it's usually not the case with vegetarians.
Anyway - staying on topic, this ad is a success insofar as it already has us all talking about it. I just hope the game is equally demented! That'll be something we can all hopefully enjoy! Cheers, -V

DISCLAIMER: quakster is NOT a vegetarian. In the context of my point herein, ANYone's dietary choices are strictly personal, to be respected, and completely immaterial to the discussion.

Omega

#16

Omega said:

Nintendo has already approved that? When they sail close to the wind with such advertising, they surely must have close liasons with censors.

Vendetta

#17

Vendetta said:

Please, feba... get over it. Something's not "moronic" just because you say it is or because you happen to completely MISS THE POINT. Vegetarians tend to have a disdain for those who don't conform to their way. Hitler had disdain for those who didn't conform to his way. Connect the dots, and even you should be able to understand my initial post.

MrPinguy

#19

MrPinguy said:

Controversial Advertisement Sell XD
I think that ad wasn't to make people mad.
They just want to make money with the game, it's undertandable for them.
For me, this is better than the act of publish shovelware.

CorbsAdmin

#20

Corbs said:

As I stated in the article, I doubt very seriously that the folks at Team Meat were seriously setting out to compare vegetarians to Hitler, but I'm curious to see how people will react to it.

-TR

#21

-TR said:

I'm a veggie myself. I didn't find it funny, but not disgusting or offensive either.

soupbadger

#22

soupbadger said:

I doubt Hitler would have played this game as the technology of his time, trade embargoes, his mustache, and Jesus would have prevented him from even owning a Wii in the first place.

Haruto

#23

Haruto said:

"WiiWare","Hitler", and a black Windows logo in the same advertising? It is very unlikely that Nintendo has approved that.
In fact, have nazi references could be a trouble with the german laws, so the folks at Nintendo of Europe should be amazed now X-D

Super Meat Boy, you missed the point guys.

Vendetta

#25

Vendetta said:

Content aside, the fine print is probably the bigger issue as Haruto points out. But the ad has enjoyed relative obscurity so it may have slipped under the radar until now. On the game's official site there was just one user comment about the ad, and that was posted 16 DAYS ago. Here on nintendolife there are ~25 comments (more if you count the edits and retractions ;-)) in little more than an hour, soooooooo... we'll see how long it is before TM's phone starts ringing with cease and desist orders.

gig

#28

gig said:

So Hitler doesn't eat meat so he couldn't have eaten meat boy, hence the game exists otherwise meat boy would have been eaten, but wait lots of people eat meat so meat boy would have been eaten anyway.....I'm confused.....whats the point?

Oh I get it controversy, just wait till the Daily Mail says that all game players suport facists, or don't, either way someone will have something to complain about.

maka

#29

maka said:

"Right quakster, I get it. I just wish it were possible for most vegetarians to just shut the hell up about it when they're tempted to ridicule omnivores for their choice of diet"

Many times when I tell someone that I'm a vegetarian, they start rambling on and on about how bad and unhealthy it is, asking questions like how and why would anyone stop eating meat/fish and trying to get me to justify my choices (which I don't anymore). So I guess you find these kind of people in both camps (vegetarian / non-vegetarian).

Also, most people keep on asking things like: "But you do eat ham, don't you?", "But you do eat fish, don't you?" and "Oh, this dish doesn't have meat in it" only to then find it has either tuna or chicken sprinkled over it...

About the add... I find it more stupid than offensive, and not very clever or funny...

DazzaAdmin

#30

Dazza said:

My wife is a vegetarian therefore I find it doubly hilarious! :-p

feba

#37

feba said:

V- 1; Vegetarians are a mixed lot. Most of the ones that have been vegetarians for more than a few months don't care about converting others, or have given up on it. The thing is, when someone sits down and shuts up, you don't remember it. Heck, you might not even realize they're a vegetarian if you haven't cooked for them before. It's the ones that DO bug you about it that leave an impression, though-- much the same way as most people are fine letting people have their own religion, but the few people who spend all of their time telling people how they're going to hell are the ones that leave a bad taste in your mouth.

2- You're reading into shades of meaning that aren't there. They weren't saying "hey, there's this guy who was pretty intolerant, and there's this group of people that are intolerant" (which would actually be more offensive than the ad as it is), they were saying "Hitler did this, so you shouldn't do that. Also buy our game.". Again, that's an absurd argument. Even if the argument they're making weren't stupid, putting out something so needlessly inflammatory, which will probably piss off a significant fraction of your userbase, is undoubtedly dense.

tantrumario

#39

tantrumario said:

Was this based on an online flash game called meat boy? If it's like that, I would buy it.

maka

#40

maka said:

But just because it is sarcasm, doesn't automatically make it clever or funny... Yes, it's sarcasm, but not particularly good sarcasm...

BTW, I don't think they care much about the people that might get offended because I figure they don't consider vegetarians to be part of their potential user base...

Omega

#41

Omega said:

Seems like they're provocating us because they want attention. And it works. Now everybody knows the Super Meat Boy. Pretty cheeky.

Aenaida

#42

Aenaida said:

IMO comparing customers to Hitler is not a good idea, unless you really want to be noticed. I smiled a little at the ad, but that's about it.

What I do find funny is that the recent episode of Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series had a few Nazi-related jokes in it. I know there's a word for this, but I'm too tired to think of it right now. :p

Adam

#46

Adam said:

Wow, some people actually took this ad seriously. That's funny.

StarDust4Ever

#47

StarDust4Ever said:

I'd like to eat my Meat Boy well done! :* Well, I'm definitely getting this whether the supposed meat ad came from the original game designers or not. And since there are no swastikas in this ad, that makes it completely legal in Germany...

longtimegamer

#50

longtimegamer said:

@Adam - I know. Exactly.
Relax people. I HIGHLY doubt they meant this to be taken seriously.

@Blaze - You do have a point.
@Quakster - I could have sworn that there was a vitamin, nutrient, or something that had to be taken from meat, in someway, in the form of vitamins at least. Now I'm going to have to look that up.

Vendetta

#52

Vendetta said:

@feba: To your first point, this is why I said "most" vegetarians that I've encountered - not "all." That said, I don't see activist groups picketing outside Tofu Palace with pitcures of clorophyll-splattered gardening tools attempting to sicken patrons into giving up their personal dietary choices.

To your second point - you are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT that I was reading into the ad on a whole new level I'm preeeeeetty sure they didn't intend. That little extra sumpthin' - intended or otherwise - just took it to a whole new level of hysterical for me, depraved as I am. :-D

#55

said:

Hitler never played this game.
…Don't be like Hitler.

Terra

#56

Terra said:

Well, that's certainly one way to attract attention to your game.

Vendetta

#59

Vendetta said:

Riiiight, and a site called "naturalnews" wouldn't have any bias in the matter, would it? Regardless, thanks for the link, 'cause it made me click a few more and end up at Wikipedia where I found this little gem:

Food writer Bee Wilson notes: "For a start, his distaste for meat knew no pity of animals. At mealtimes he often boasted - in graphic detail - of a slaughterhouse he had visited in Ukraine. It amused him to spoil carnivorous guests' appetites."

Ummmmm, kinda sounds like what I was getting at in 54 above, ya think?

bngrybt

#60

bngrybt said:

never heard of this game before, but with an ad like this it sounds like an instant buy.

Ren

#61

Ren said:

It's seems that people have a weird idea that vegetarians are pretentious and pushy, simply by virtue of BEING a vegetarian. You have to say, "sorry, no thanks I'm a vegetarian" when someone is serving meat and that can be taken badly. Many people like to get all Rush Limbaugh and cry out that they're being pushy and offensive by stating a choice; big deal. I was a vegetarian for a long time, but never pushy about it, most aren't, just a few annoying people in the first week or two of going without.

About the ad, I'm not offended, but it's not really funny though. The image alone is cool and funny the text is just kind of juvenile humor that simply isn't funny. Especially with the "don't be like Hitler" line. The first line says enough, why spell it out like we're idiots? Seems like kind of a kids joke, I think it would be more effective if it was actually MORE offensive, or more clever somehow. It's like showing a bowl of poop and saying "look at this poop! Ha!" that's not offensive enough, or funny enough. I hope the game is fun, though.

Objection

#63

Objection said:

I have a strong urge to say "Hitler was awesome! Oh wait, you meant THAT Hitler. Yeah, he sucked." In regards to the ad: its not very useful for its purposes and was likely mor eof a product of boredom.

Vendetta

#65

Vendetta said:

I guess in our lingo you could say he was just one of those casual vegetarians, not really hard core. Haaaa!

bengyenah

#68

bengyenah said:

I love it! I am not surprised that the German Nationals are the ones who are upset by this. Nationalism is looked down upon more there than anywhere else, nowadays anyhow. Great marketing, all press is good press!

sponge

#69

sponge said:

i noticed that most people seemed to miss something . . . vaggies wouldnt be buying a game called 'super meat boy' with or without this ad. all they did was appeal to the 'fan base.'

CorbsAdmin

#70

Corbs said:

I'm just ready for the game to hit WiiWare. It will be great if they manage to get a trailer ready for E3.

HEMIII

#71

HEMIII said:

All this talk about meat is makin' me hungry. I like my Meat Boy with a beat. MMmmm blood ~;9>

HOT-ROD

#72

HOT-ROD said:

This is the greatest advertisement I have ever seen ever in everness. I laughed harder than when I saw Crank 2 =D

y2josh

#73

y2josh said:

Have I missed something? When I first read the article the advertisement was pictured in it. Has it been removed for some reason?

EDIT: Well I feel like a doofus, I'm at work and they have image hosting sites and the likes blocked. Heh

rwq

#75

rwq said:

Totally awesome. Hitler had no sense of humor. Don't be like Hitler.

earl_wickrue

#78

earl_wickrue said:

As a vegetarian myself, I find this incredibly amusing, since I cannot tolerate the presence of other veggie/vegans, because they are(for the most part) insufferable, know-it-all, judgemental gits. sorry ren, but it's true. "Oh, global warming, oh pesticides, oh my" maybe im a somewhat conservative vegetarian, but that's the way it is.
Also, history shows that Hitler wasn't the evil one, it was goebbels, goering, himmler, etc. Sort of like Elvis and Colonel Tom, if that makes any sense. It helps to read lots of books from many points of view.

Draygone

#79

Draygone said:

I just went to the site. The ad wasn't removed. But the Hitler reference was. Clearly you guys got Nintendo's attention and they went over there to smack some heads.

YorkshireNed

#80

YorkshireNed said:

I'm one of those people who believes no subject should be excluded from humour [I'm a vegetarian but I laugh at good vegetarian jokes, I'm the sort of person who would have taken arms against the Nazis but I enjoy jokes about them and don't think they should be taboo] but this is just lame.

Is this advert morally wrong? Hell no! Is this ad actually funny? No, it's lame. I do like the idea of edgier content for the Wii but I think bringing this along at the same time as "Mad World" is bad timing.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#81

Philip_J_Reed said:

@sponge:
"i noticed that most people seemed to miss something . . . vaggies wouldnt be buying a game called 'super meat boy' with or without this ad"

Umm...really? I don't think "whether or not I'd be comfortable eating the main character" is something most gamers consider before making a purchase...

Crazed

#82

Crazed said:

Personally, I think this ad is brilliant. Do I agree with it? No. Do I think it's funny? No. Would I play the game without the ad? Yes (I love the game on Newgrounds.) Do I think that this is a great way to get attention from people that wouldn't know about the game otherwise? Absolutely. It does what an ad is supposed to do, therefore I think it's brilliant.

@Corbie- I saw a Super Meat Boy trailer on the Nintendo Channel.

WolfRamHeart

#83

WolfRamHeart said:

The fact that you can unlock Tim from Braid as a playable character in this game is cool! If they made Hitler an unlockable character then that would NOT be cool at all!

Stuffgamer1

#86

Stuffgamer1 said:

@Chicken Brutus: If I was a vegetarian, I wouldn't want to play a game entitled "Super Meat Boy" that starred a lump of ground beef. I don't see how there's no possible correlation there.

On the other hand, I think it's a pretty stupid idea for a game character in general, so... Not to say I'm not interested in the game (provided the controls don't SUCK like the Flash original).

Also, I think that the video KDR_11k linked was 1,000 times funnier than the ad this article is about.

I would also like to go on record for saying that I mostly have no problem with vegetarians, provided they don't try to force that lifestyle on me (I love me some MEAT!), but I do have a coworker who once held up my dinner by at least half an hour trying to find a restaurant in the mall that had something she could eat. She somehow managed to find something at CHILI'S of all places. Mostly because that's where I and the MOD wanted food from. I think she had to ask for a special order or something. Dunno.

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