Feature: Nintendo's Celebrity Commercials - The Good, Bad and Cringeworthy
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
So many to choose from
When it comes to marketing Wii, DS and most recently 3DS, Nintendo has rarely been shy about calling in some star power; celebrities have often been given a juicy cheque to pose with a handheld or waggle a Wii Remote like there's no tomorrow. The latest campaign to be announced, this time by Nintendo of America, is “Play As You Are”, with the stated goal of showing "how all kinds of women and young girls can explore their interests and express their individuality using the portable Nintendo 3DS – whether they consider themselves gamers or not". It'll feature U.S. gymnastics gold medal winner Gabrielle Douglas, Dianna Agron (from TV series Glee) and Sarah Hyland (from TV series Modern Family).
Of course all adverts target a particular demographic, whether you like their nature of pigeon-holing groups of gamers or not; celebrity adverts can do that, or on occasion they can be charming enough to appeal to anyone and everyone. Ahead of what we're sure will be more glossy adverts featuring these new stars, we've decided to dig up some of the good, bad and cringeworthy celebrity commercials unleashed in recent years; naturally we're barely scratching the surface. There's a mix of UK, U.S. and worldwide stars, so let's kick off with the 'good', though you may not necessarily agree with us that they should be in this category.
Ocarina of Time 3D: Robin and Zelda Williams
We have to admit, this one is pretty darn charming. Maybe it's the epic beard that Robin Williams was showing off at the time, or the fact that the footage prompts an overload of nostalgia, but this one can be considered as a 'good' advert, we reckon.
Penelope Cruz plays dress up
We're pretty sure this one will be divisive, but after the standard sequence of pretending to play the game with her sister, Penelope Cruz did dress up as Mario and speak in one of the worst fake Italian accents of all time, which is odd and humorous at the same time. For any Italians watching, we apologise on Ms. Cruz's behalf.
Beyonce has rhythm
Going back a few years, this DS advert was quite typical of the time, with lots of celebrities lining up to show off the Touch Generation of games. This one at least shows off a particularly entertaining game, and one of the biggest stars in the music industry appears to genuinely have fun.
Uh-oh, it's Ant and Dec
For those outside of the UK, let's introduce Ant and Dec. The TV duo have been all over prime-time Saturday night TV in the country for too many years to count, and are generally considered as the Princes of light entertainment. Many grown ups with Nintendo systems try to ignore the existence of these adverts.
Boy Band gets silly with Wii Remotes
JLS is a British boy band, and just when Wii Party was adding a little extra first-party gloss to the extensive range of mini-game collections on Wii, the group was presumably given a sack of cash to make it look cool. Only, they didn't, with lots of scripted silliness thrown in to make it one of those "are they actually playing the game?" adverts. A compilation is below, if you dare.
Justin Bieber gets festive with 3DS
Not an advert as such, but a prominent cameo in a music video for the Biebster's cover of All I want for Christmas. No, we won't embed it, if you want it you'll have to find it yourself.
And The Cringeworthy
Keeping it in the family
Ah, the Redknapp family. For those that don't know, it consists of Harry Redknapp (football/soccer Manager), Jamie Redknapp (former football player), Louise Redknapp (singer and model) and that one that nobody knows. This one almost came through in the bad category, but the appropriate footage of Jamie playing the football exercise in Wii Fit saves it from complete shame.
Kim Cattrall flirts with Mario
We'll be honest, this one is worth watching just for Kim Cattrall's cry of "run Mario run!". That said, it's a peculiar advert aired in the UK that aims to tap into a Sex and the City vibe... with a Mario game. It has the classic line: "there are many men in my life, but for a few minutes, or a few hours, I'll always find time for Mario".
In the case of some of these adverts it's easy to see what audience they were trying to target, often families, but ultimately they're often just a load of old pants.
We've only shown a few examples, but what are the worst or most cringeworthy Nintendo adverts of the last generation or so of consoles, in your opinion?