News Article

Nintendo Admits Advertising for 3DS Will be Tricky

Posted by Zach Kaplan

"Do I need these glasses or don't I?!" exclaims hypothetical customer

It wouldn't be tough to argue that Nintendo's forgotten child, the Virtual Boy, was doomed from the start. Among the myriad factors that contributed to its downfall was the inability to successfully advertise the product, as we detailed in our Making of the Nintendo Virtual Boy feature. How do you accurately print screenshots when the technology required to display them exceeds the limitations of modern paper?

It seems that, predictably, the big N is running into similar difficulties with their upcoming 3DS. In an interview with Edge Magazine, SD Group 1 manager Hideki Konno explained:

We are constantly discussing how to market the product. Our internal PR departments are saying that we should use cinema advertising, because cinemas are capable of showing 3D movies. But our key point with 3DS is that you don't need glasses, which you obviously need to use in cinemas. So we think regular marketing and promotional activities will be very tricky for us. I think that a lot of awareness about 3DS will be spread by word of mouth.

Apparently Nintendo can't afford to produce their tried-and-true advertising method on a larger scale than E3 and deploy cute girls strapped to 3DS consoles across the world. Hopefully, they'll be able to think up a happy medium in the meantime.


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User Comments (41)



MasterGraveheart said:

In the commercials, put people in the games themselves with everything coming at them as they go down the corridors of the games as though they were the characters themselves. You almost did it with the "Who Are You" campaign.



dizzy_boy said:

i remember that sega had a tour bus during the genesis/mega drive days.
that helped advertise alot of the unreleased games.
nintendo could do the same to help advertise the 3DS, the DSiware, wiiware, and virtual console games.



Sneaker13 said:

It would be great of they could use the cross eyed technique, but not many people seem to able to do that. But I think that's the only way to show the 3D effect without glasses or the actual thing.

Or maybe a tv commercial where some is wearing 3D glasses and saying something like: "Wanna play games in 3D? Yeah, me too. But not with those silly glasses." <throw glasses away> "So buy the new Nintendo 3DS and experience true 3D for yourself. It's in stores now, so try it out for yourself."

Something like that . And for magazine commercials, they might use a 3D pop up affect. Would be nice, creative and it stands out.



Stuffgamer1 said:

In-store demo stations are going to become more necessary than ever before; even stores that don't usually have them anymore will NEED a 3DS station if they want to sell the thing.



NeoRausch said:

yes, demo stations. MANY OF THEM! EVERYWHERE!

but after the DS the mouth to mouth is going to be huge.



King_Boo said:

The buzz around is already huge, so word of mouth is just as large, for the few people that don't know about it, they can always make a new phrase, hmmm, the game world is now your world, something like that.



Deviant_Mugen said:

Hire a bunch of attractive girls from all over the country to wear 3DSs strapped to them at all times, Nintendo. Like E3, but on a larger scale...

Or, like Stuff said, flood stores across the country with demo stations...



armoredghor said:

That's gonna be really hard to advertise without MAJOR investments. Maybe 4 cameras on a TV with splitscreen and positions for viewers(within stores of course).



naut said:

Instead of using a stupid gimmick cough cough*marcusrivers*cough Why not just have a simple commercial stating the 3DS and what it can do. And like Sneaker13 said, "Try it yourself."



SilverBaretta said:

I can't help but feel that as long as the name has "DS" in it, the general public will think it's just another iteration old the DS line. As catchy as the name is and as much as I like it, I think they need to change the name if Nintendo wants the 3DS to really be appealing to the absolutely everybody.



komicturtle said:

@1 "In the commercials, put people in the games themselves with everything coming at them as they go down the corridors of the games as though they were the characters themselves. You almost did it with the "Who Are You" campaign."

Yes, and Yes. I was thinking of that too. I remember that Minish Cap and Mario Vs. Donkey Kong commercials. Really effective and attractive. But with a twist with things coming out of the screen and the like- like that E3 Promo of the 3DS with Reggie, Miyamoto and Iwata. That's all they really need to do.



GammaGames said:




timp29 said:

i) 3D without glasses - that normally gets my attention, just like vherub suggested
ii) reaction videos for ads, specifically corbie
iii) 3d cinemas for sure, you could have a 2d ad with pretty much the 3ds opened up on the screen, then as they slide the slider bar, the 3d effects of the top screen just pop out, and then you finish with the no glasses line and a picture of elton john wearing glasses



Frango said:

Well, 3D is not the only aspect that pulls the attention to the 3DS, even though it's a great part of it.... But you see, just as vherub said, just the phrase "3D without glasses" would be enough to pulls most people attention, and ALSO the 3DS has some nice graphics for a handheld, and these graphics can be shown on comercials on non-3D TVs and ALSO there's the new Gyroscope and Accelerometer... You can always show people playing using them...

But ALSO they could advertise the GAMEPLAY on 3D Theaters and, at the end of the trailer, come with the phrase "Now, imagine this without this annoying glasses!" xD



Frango said:

But I was thinking to myself: It would be nice if they could really deploy "cute girls strapped to 3DS consoles" across the world xD



HanuKwanzMasBif said:

@1 Well, see I got a great idea. You could have someone taking a plane, for instance, and someone else is playing a 3DS. Then, through the first guy's window, Pit comes crashing through and the guy playing the 3DS doesn't notice, but looks more intense than ever. And for Ocarina of Time 3D, there could be people on a hike, and there's a kid playing his 3DS, and they hear music. They try following the music, and find Saria and Link playing together. You get the idea?



J_K said:

I really have to wonder why they couldn't cheat the effect using some good CGI on the TV spots and then just have some text making it clear that it's a rendering of what they eye will see. I mean some jerk anti-fanboys will whine that it's a fraud and unfair, but at least it would be a decent tip off.



winter123 said:

But this might be cheaper and easier:

"15. irken004 United States 09 Jul 2010, 20:43 BST

They'll need LOTS of working demo kiosks all over the nation."



skywake said:

@Sneaker13 I like that idea. The people in the cinema are already sold on the idea of 3D movies at least so tell them "look! no glasses!"... and make sure you push its media capabilities.

Once the thing is selling like mad (which it will) you just let it go viral. Allow people to upload and view 3D videos from it on youtube. Make sure it gives the option to post high scores onto facebook. Use social media to push word of mouth.

For the people who own the thing, make a Nintendo channel and a 3D movie trailer channel. That way when the next Avatar comes out owners will say to their friends "hey, check it out in 3D". Said friend has now seen the 3DS. Hell, if you want to push games to the owners pre-load the thing with a demo reel.

The hard part is getting it out in the wild but..... I don't think they will have many problems TBH.



JimLad said:

Demo stations, and commercials telling you what stores to find them in.
Not much else they can do, other than the 3D cinema idea.



RyuZebian said:

In the cinemas the ad could say: "How do you like those glasses? They let you see 3d, which is great, but don't you think they would be in the way when you enjoy 3d on the GO. Because now you can, WITHOUT glasses, with the ne 3DS!" Then some demos etc. showing the logo in 3d!



Zak_Canard said:

There was a Nokia ad that ran on bus shelters a few years back that was more or less a giant touch screen, Nintendo could do something similar with a parallax filter screen showing in-game footage.

As for print media, posters and magazines, why not have full colour holograms.



GmRmXx said:

Advertise the hardware. The advanced graphics is what made me happy. And as for the 3D, i suppose the best thing is to set up demo stations and in theaters show a quick clip of a nintendo game in 3D, then cut to the 3DS logo, advertising: "Now You Can". or something like that.



RallyFTW said:

What about advertisments like the one about the 3DS at E3? Something creative and truthful.



Bensei said:

I wondered... where the 3DSs strapped onto the girls so that they won't get stolen or where the girls strapped onto the 3DSs so they don't get kidnapped?

You never know
with "Damsel-in-distress"-Nintendo



Zach said:

From listening to and reading commentary from various news sources, I believe that the E3 ads (Nintendo moguls getting sucked in and in-game objects coming out and attacking them) got a quite mixed response. If you think about it, a lot of ads for non-3D games are somewhat similar, too, and casual observers probably wouldn't pay enough attention to figure out the difference. I agree with what others have suggested - that the phrase "No glasses required" as well as demo kiosks will be the answer. After this, word of mouth should take care of the rest.



jaguarman said:

I have the virtual from the very first day and i still play with it ,its like coming from the future or something



Mario_maniac said:

Advertise the games without 3D, and mention at the end of the advert to try the game out in 3D at specified retail outlets. "You have to REALLY see it to believe it," shall be the slogan.

Advertising job for me at Nintendo, plz. = )



CowLaunch said:

I think they should mainly focus on demos in stores, enough people casually wander through them these days, it's not as imtimidating for a 'normal' person to go to a game store as it may have been a couple of decades ago.



Collinhall said:

Just give us stuff similar to the trailer where you were sucked into the game. It worked.



IanUniacke said:

It's great that Nintendo are being humble and are not acting as though they are convinced this will be a success. It's a great way to enjoy continued success.

However, anyone who thinks this will "not" be the biggest electronic device of the 21st century so far, is deluding themselves. I doubt they even need to market something like this. Once the first million fan-boys buy one and start showing it to their friends and families the uptake on this device will be unheard of.



MeloMan said:

How about the slogan "Now you're playing with POWER to the 3rd DEMENSION!"

What, no takers? Awww



ExploderReviews said:

I have a few ways. Nintendo could, as said before, have demo stations at stores, however many more than now. Nintendo could, in a commercial, show the 3d slider making the screen look like it was showing two images, then explain (like that one commercial for, I think it was a 3D TV) that your TV isn't even powerful enough to show the whole 3D effect, IanUniacke's theorie makes perfect sense, And if all else somehow fails, they could advertize for the enhanced graphics, motion sensitivity, joystic, and whatever else it ends up getting.



mjc0961 said:

#12 is right, I've already found people bashing the 3DS for being "just another version of the DS, when are they going to release a new system" and blah blah blah.

3DS is a bad name as long as there are still stupid people on this planet.



3DS_fan said:

With cardboard replicas with those lenticular 3D cards with some game images in where the screens go. That would work!!!!!



ramstrong said:

I think a killer app would sell better. 3D is nice, but an interactive VRML viewer would sell better. Oh, and some kind of BASIC would be nice. Hey, if it works with AppleII and a whole lot of low powered computers in the 80s, then I think a modern day Family BASIC would be nice.

That being said, Pokemon 3DS will sell a lot of units, especially with Wifi video chat!

just my 2 cents.

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