News Article

Talking Point: The Message in "I'm Not a Gamer" Commercials

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Word-play, or hiding from being a gamer?

A little over a month ago we mentioned a new series of commercials that Nintendo was planning to run, which it described as the "Play As You Are" campaign. The goal of these adverts was to show "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". That target audience was, naturally, reflected in the celebrities chosen, featuring U.S. gymnastics gold medal winner Gabrielle Douglas, Dianna Agron (from TV series Glee) and Sarah Hyland (from TV series Modern Family). We took the announcement as a prompt to look at the good, bad and cringeworthy celebrity adverts that Nintendo had used over the years, as they don't always go down well with loyal fans.

It seems as if this series has upset some, with the latest commercial featuring Sarah Hyland incurring the wrath of electricpig.co.uk, which takes exception to the "I'm not a gamer" line at the core of its message. Each of these adverts has a similar line depending on the game being promoted, and while we don't necessarily share an equivalent level of indignant outrage, the wording can be interpreted as an effort to distance the act of playing these 3DS games from making you a "gamer". It could be unfortunate wording, as Nintendo may just be trying to say that these games allow you to be something you wouldn't normally be — games are escapism after all — but some clearly feel that it's actually a slight on gamers themselves.

All three adverts are below, so you can see for yourself.

"I'm not a gamer. With my 3DS, I'm an artist"

I'm not a gamer. With my 3DS, I'm a coin collecting champion"

I'm not a gamer. With my 3DS, I'm a stylist"

We think that gaming has come a long way from the stereotypes of the 1980s and 1990s, when being a gamer typically carried an image of being an anti-social, sweaty teenager. The industry and those of us that buy its games have evolved, though clearly there's still enough sexism and lazy stereotyping around to ensure that no-one should get a pat on the back just yet.

That final advert featuring Sarah Hyland has prompted a particularly negative reaction on YouTube, meanwhile, with more "dislikes" than "likes" at the time of writing. We don't necessarily interpret these commercials as Nintendo attempting to tell the target audience that being a "gamer" is something to avoid, but the fact that a number of people think that shows the messaging is all wrong. These adverts may not be cringeworthy in the sense that they're bad, but some clearly feel that they're painting a negative picture of what it is to be a gamer.

What do you think of this campaign? Are they good adverts, are they perhaps a mis-step in that they're being mis-understood by some, or are they actually portraying the idea of a "gamer" in a bad light? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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User Comments (157)

Aviator

#1

Aviator said:

They're selling the 3DS as 'Play as you are'.

They're not saying gamers can only play the 3DS, they're saying everyone/anyone can play it.

It's a smart campaign that fails to attract the audience it deserves, because people hold onto this ideal that advertising something that is foreign to them (ie the Trendsetting game) seems to challenge their perception of why they game, when it shouldn't really matter to them.

hydeks

#3

hydeks said:

very very stupid campaign :P I'm not a gamer but I own a gaming device............than your a goddamn GAMER!!! ><

Burning_Spear

#4

Burning_Spear said:

They're just noting that the product has uses beyond traditional games. To not do it would be poor marketing.

KingDunsparce

#5

KingDunsparce said:

*We in the second last paragraph
Good article! The weird thing is that I never seem to see these Nintendo advertisements. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about them but the "I'm not a gamer" line seems to have been a big mistake

Wheels2050

#6

Wheels2050 said:

Aviator summed it up pretty well. I really don't understand the problem people have with these ads - Nintendo is just trying to say that the 3DS appeals to many different people, including those that might not normally consider the 3DS because it's a video game console, and they haven't traditionally played many video games.

I don't know what the complainers want. Do they want "I AM a gamer" ads? That would be pointless, as the whole point of this campaign is to inform new demographics about your product - gamers likely already know all about it.

ajcismo

#7

ajcismo said:

Thats all great and stuff, but I'm an adult with a good job who has spent thousands and thousands of dollars on Nintendo over the past 25 years. Little girls who want to draw is a nice market if your name is Justin Bieber, but they will never spend anything near what adult gamers spend. Wheres my commercial?

KodaSmooss

#8

KodaSmooss said:

It can also be seen as "This game is so great that I actually feel I am an artist/stylist/whatever, and I don't feel like I'm playing a game".

WaveBoy

#9

WaveBoy said:

Those were just painful....I just about threw up in my mouth...Especially with the first one.

ajcismo

#10

ajcismo said:

@Wheels2050
You do make a good point, however I feel a bit slighted because Big N has been saying for the past year or so how it wants to bring the "core" gamers back... and then they go and do this blue-ocean thing again. Yes, the 3DS is for everyone, but it is also is meant to play games, good ones, ones that only Japan seems to get. Not just style and learn how to draw titles.

Haywired

#11

Haywired said:

I have more of an issue with the fact that these kind of commercials are so patronizing to girls rather than the "gamer" thing (and of course the fact that they're so corny). Just show the games and people can decide if they're interested or not. By forcing the issue of demographics so desperately then they risk alienating and turning off just as many people (both male and female) as they may attract. As a Nintendo fan I kind of feel the need to apologize to my female gamer friends (who shockingly don't just play games about fashion and horsies...) whenever these kinds of ads come on.

However I'm going to cut Nintendo of America's marketing a bit of slack because their recent commercials I absolutely love:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC5r0OlSXcI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjqJ80PSfrY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMuLzRxrNYI

Aviator

#12

Aviator said:

@ajcismo You don't need a commercial because you have been buying Nintendo for the past 25 years.

They don't need advertisements to bring 'hardcore gamers' back. Advertisements are for people who don't know what it is Nintendo are trying to sell. They are to inform the uninformed.

gefflt

#13

gefflt said:

I consider myself a gamer and I actually like these commercials.

I don't feel they're not taking a stab at gamers or trying to make the concept of it feel like it's bad or something you should avoid being, they simply let people who aren't gamers know that they can own a 3DS and enjoy games too - they don't HAVE to be a gamer to enjoy them.

Punky

#14

Punky said:

people over react too much these days and only see the message they want to see in things. People love to complain

Pokefanmum82

#15

Pokefanmum82 said:

i have no problems with these commercials....they are just commercials. there's nothing wrong with these and i'm a girl.

Pikachupwnage

#16

Pikachupwnage said:

@Aviator

Spot on.

Everyone flipping out about this is being a fool. Its not saying being a gamer is a bad thing its saying you don't need to be a gamer to enjoy 3DS.

ThomasBW84Admin

#17

ThomasBW84 said:

@Pikminsi Ah yes, thanks, that's fixed :)

I actually think these adverts are pretty decent, with the inclusive "I'm a whatever" message being good. Trouble is, people react to the "I'm not a gamer" part, even if they're maybe interpreting it wrong. It's just a mis-step I think, but considering the fact Marketing professionals are supposed to see these things coming, it's just sloppy.

I agree with @Aviator and similar views though, the reaction is a tad harsh, in my personal view.

ejamer

#18

ejamer said:

Here's the problem: if most people interpret the commercials as a slight, then it doesn't matter what the intent is. The message was missed, and instead of attracting a new market they are alienating the existing market.

Also, I think that saying "Nintendo doesn't need to advertise to their core audience" is bullocks. If Nintendo wants to maintain and expand their core audience, they need to support (not necessarily cater to) that audience. Right now it doesn't feel like Nintendo is maintaining that balance very well... although maybe that's just my opinion.

With all of that said, this really is just a small issue being blown out of proportion by fanboys. People who don't like the ads should just ignore them and focus on things (ie: games) they do like instead.

Pikachupwnage

#19

Pikachupwnage said:

@ajcismo

The thing is its pretty pointless to advertise to their longtime hardcore fans, Such as yourself and myself. Those fans already keep up with whats coming and likely will buy the next Mario/Zelda/Pikmin/Pokemon/etc anyways.

AVahne

#21

AVahne said:

@Aviator
THANK YOU
As someone who started gaming in the 16 bit days and who grew up with the stereotype of a gamer in grade school, I STILL like how Nintendo is doing this ad campaign.
Seems to me that some people are much too sensitive that they suddenly believe this is an attack on their identity. It's probably the emphasis these celebrities place on the word 'gamer' or the fact that they are female; either way, I hope more people learn how to open their eyes, ears, and minds a bit more.

ajcismo

#22

ajcismo said:

Aviator, Pikachupwnage
I totally get ya and understand what the point of the ads are. I think I'm still cranky about the profit loss article and in thinking about the lack of software to those of us in NA and EU.
I disagree with all who don't think Big N needs commercials to the gamers that have been supporting them throughout the years.
Everyone has eaten McDonalds or drank a coke in their lifetime, we all know its there, we all spend money on it, yet you can't turn on a tv without seeing some sort of ad touting them. Good discussion, gotta go to work, have a nice day everyone.

Aviator

#23

Aviator said:

You're talking about two different things. An advertisement company has no control over what and when games are released.

R-L-A-George

#25

R-L-A-George said:

Glee girl, not even an artist.

Thing is, my sister has got on to me for calling myself a gamer. She just doesn't understand, its not just a label to me.

I have a sister thats not really a gamer but she also loves super mario and LoZ:4S.

I think its more of the shallow representation in the commercials thats more offensive. They couldn't even find celebrities that fit the desired representation?

BenAV

#28

BenAV said:

That purple 3DS is going to have big scratches on the top screen in no time if it's slammed shut like that.

DiaperSystem

#31

DiaperSystem said:

I'm a guitarist, boyfriend, uncle, son, brother who likes to play Nintendo games. I'm playing games since the NES but don't care about being associated with the word gamer. I don't care about voice chat, first person shooters, 3rd party support, multiplatform games, M rated games, or the fat and socially awkward kids who DO care TOO MUCH about this stuff. Go play on on your XBOX, and stop complaining about the fact that Nintendo isn't Microsoft. Nintendo doesn't care about GAMERS. Deal with it. Nintendo cares about fresh, hip, social and intelligent people who play Mario or Animal Crossing with a smile on their face.

Aviator

#32

Aviator said:

Implying that gamers who don't play Nintendo games are fat and socially awkward unintelligent people?

Thank you for describing me!

k8sMum

#33

k8sMum said:

i felt a wee bit pissed when i got an e-mail from ninty telling me that i can play as i am, not have to be a gamer, etc.

having bought damn near everything they've put out since the NES, excepting the demonic virtual boy, you can bet your a$$ i'm a gamer. my kids were the envy of the neighborhood growing up as their mom was a gamer and knew what they were talking about and what they wanted.

if they want to push what they consider girly titles, then fine. just don't discount the female demographic that has been there all along playing, y'know, GAMES.

@DiaperSystem: 'cares about fresh, hip, social and intelligent people...'

yeah, right. only if there's money in it. for some reason, they just feel there is a group they are missing out on.

the truth is, imho, that ninty doesn't get western adverts any better than they get online/the 'net.

Aviator

#34

Aviator said:

But you can still play as a gamer.

That's the whole point of the 'play as you are' campaign. You can play as an artist, a stylist, or a gamer.

Just because other people don't, doesn't mean you have to follow their lead.

DiaperSystem

#35

DiaperSystem said:

@k8sMum Sure, Nintendo is a business. But all Miyamoto cares about is putting a smile on your face. He's an artist with a simple but admirable goal.

KodomoGaSuki

#37

KodomoGaSuki said:

She should just say "With 3DS I can be a stylist",
there is no need to say that she is not a gamer, after all she was advertising a game console and playing games herself....

k8sMum

#38

k8sMum said:

@aviator: i do get what you are saying. the main problem for me is the concept that nintendo is pushing their definition of what females are onto us, dumbing down the whole demographic into this cosy, cute, easily-manipulated lump who needs telling what they can be/are.

i am just older than all of you put together and probably more cynical.

R-L-A-George

#39

R-L-A-George said:

KodomoGaSuki wrote:

She should just say With 3DS I can be a stylist,
there is no need to say that she is not a gamer, after all she was advertising a game console and playing games herself....

They all could of said that.

Hyperstar96

#40

Hyperstar96 said:

Great job, Nintendo. You took your casual image that you've been trying to get rid of and managed to make it ten times worse.

LegendaryQ

#41

LegendaryQ said:

I like that they are being open to all with the advertising, but they need to be more clear that it's less "I'm not a gamer and I play 3DS." and more "Gamers and non-gamers alike will enjoy the 3DS."

DiaperSystem

#42

DiaperSystem said:

@k8sMum It's healthy and normal for girls to like girly stuff. Your wife is an expection. I'm happy my girlfriend is girly, has other qualities than my friends, and doesn't play games too often. Nintendo's not pushing anything on to you, they are just catering some products towards girls, who logically, like girly stuff. You just need to relax and be a bit more understanding and openminded.

Wheels2050

#43

Wheels2050 said:

@ajcismo: But Nintendo DOES advertise to fans, just not on TV. TV is an expensive way to advertise, so it's not feasible to run a bunch of ads all the time. Thus, Nintendo chooses to advertise through TV to the audiences that they likely won't reach otherwise - that is, people who don't follow video game news.

For the fans, Nintendo can count on the fact that they are reachable through other, cheaper channels. Thus, they can put ads in the background of NintendoLife, or email Club Nintendo members, or insert booklets in their games that advertise other games. It's smarter, targeted advertising, it's just not on TV.

Also, keep in mind that appealing to 'core' gamers and 'casual' gamers (I hate using those words, but they're useful here) are not mutually exclusive. Just because Nintendo makes a couple of ads for non-gamers doesn't automatically mean that they are abandoning their existing fans - it just means they're trying to make more money. Nothing wrong with that.

Basically, I think this comes down to a lack of comprehension skills on the part of many people. I hate to sound elitist like that, but anybody with a modicum of sense wouldn't interpret this as Nintendo telling them that it's bad to be a gamer. That's f****ng stupid.

Haywired

#44

Haywired said:

@k8sMum
I agree with you, as would the female gamer friends that I know. The article says "The industry and those of us that buy its games have evolved, though clearly there's still enough sexism and lazy stereotyping around to ensure that no-one should get a pat on the back just yet." Well, isn't this sort of stuff lazy stereotyping as well?

BenAV

#45

BenAV said:

Maybe they should make one using a male actor too so people can stop complaining. :P

k8sMum

#46

k8sMum said:

@DiaperSystem It's healthy and normal for girls to like girly stuff. Your wife is an expection. I'm happy my girlfriend is girly, has other qualities than my friends, and doesn't play games too often. Nintendo's not pushing anything on to you, they are just catering some products towards girls, who logically, like girly stuff. You just need to relax and be a bit more understanding and openminded.

check the user name: i AM the mum. (btw: the word you were looking for is 'exception').

if it makes you happy that your girlfriend doesn' t play games, then that is fine. you seem to have decided what is normal and what isn't. but it doesn't mean that other females need to go that route, and they can still be feminine.

please don't tell me to relax and/or be more 'open minded' (which basically means think like you do). we don't know each other and it's a bit presumptuous.

Wildvine53

#48

Wildvine53 said:

I personally love these commercials, and I find it hard to believe some people are offended by them. It was the DS touch Generation commercials that got my Mother and Sister into playing DS games with me, and I'm sure these commercials will do the same with the 3DS.

R-L-A-George

#49

R-L-A-George said:

DiaperSystem wrote:

@k8sMum It's healthy and normal for girls to like girly stuff. Your wife is an expection. I'm happy my girlfriend is girly, has other qualities than my friends, and doesn't play games too often. Nintendo's not pushing anything on to you, they are just catering some products towards girls, who logically, like girly stuff. You just need to relax and be a bit more understanding and openminded.

I have Bronies for friends and I've liked hot-wheels and barbies when I was younger. Thing is some Nintendo games have a balance of masculinity and femininity. So not much stereotyping there.

Also there is a study that says woman are more likely into cars like hummers and men are more into curvier, smaller cars.

Hokori

#50

Hokori said:

I thought the message was sarcasm to all the people who say Nintendo is for non gamers only :P

Tobias95

#51

Tobias95 said:

Quick question, how much do you need to play to became a "Gamer"? I honestly think its better to be called a collector, But still, on topic, this was realy to girlish for my taste. I prefere Nintendo direct or that E3 stuff.

DiaperSystem

#52

DiaperSystem said:

@k8sMum Calm down. If anything, your reaction to logical advertisement for girls is extreme. There's nothing wrong with being different and less girly like you. And there's nothing wrong with producing girly products like Nintendo does. No one is harmed by this. Don't like it, don't buy it. Girls are smart enough to make up their own mind.

k8sMum

#54

k8sMum said:

@DiaperSystem
@k8sMum Calm down. If anything, your reaction to logical advertisement for girls is extreme. There's nothing wrong with being different and less girly like you. And there's nothing wrong with producing girly products like Nintendo does. No one is harmed by this. Don't like it, don't buy it. Girls are smart enough to make up their own mind.

'less girly' like me? hahahaha. you really are presumptuous, aren't you?

but thanks for telling me it's alright to be different. i can now feel so much better about myself!

i think it's better if we just don't communicate much more with each other, as you don't bother reading my posts but merely have a point to make about how much you love your girly things.

btw: i never said i had anything against girly games; i just think we, as well as you big, strong boys, have the taste to like other stuff.

dont' worry, TBD: i'm done now.

KaiserGX

#56

KaiserGX said:

Here I was playing Style Savvy and then all this begins...

I guess fashion is only for girls...
walks away (I am still playing this though).

Comes back Also... I am not the always the target audience of every single little thing Nintendo releases/shows. I have a friend who hates Animal Crossing. I say, Y U MAD brah? This game ain't for you, but there's others that like it.

People who grew up with Nintendo and say, I am grown ups now, where my grown ups games. Well at the same time there were also OTHER people much older who grew up with Nintendo. Right now there are people who are growing up with Nintendo around the same age you were. There's different audiences all around, ages, likes.

So I don't see why someone gets mad when they release something, and they go, why you releasing this baby crap Nintendo? Where is my dark and mature Metroid? There are other people besides yourself.

k8sMum

#57

k8sMum said:

@KaiserGX
of course it's not only for girls, any more than any other game is just for guys.

if that the impression i've given, then apologies.

DiaperSystem

#58

DiaperSystem said:

@k8sMum I never said there's anything wrong with girls playing more traditional games. I think it's great that you do. I'm responding to the part where you said Nintendo was forcing something upon you, and the part where you said that you are less easy to manipulate than girls who prefer to play something girly. Which, in my opinion, is a ridiculous thing to say. Does Barbie or My Little Pony force anything upon you? Nintendo makes games for EVERYONE. Also for girls who want to run their own fashion line. Deal with it. There's nothing wrong with diversity. And like I said before, girls are smart enough to make up their own mind. My girlfriend loves NSMB2 and Professor Layton. And that's GREAT.

OracleOfTruth

#59

OracleOfTruth said:

I believe that the point of these commercials was essentially telling young girls that may not usually be interested in video games that the 3DS may have something that they might be interested in. They see these celebs in the advertisements who they know are not 'gamers' having fun with the 3DS. It makes them start to think that maybe a 3DS would be fun to paint/design with.

k8sMum

#60

k8sMum said:

@diapersystem
re-read my original post: i did not say i was 'less easy to manipulate'. i was speaking to the tone of the adverts.

please just stop with the 'deal with it', 'relax' nonsense. please.

AyeHaley

#61

AyeHaley said:

Ugh people on ze internet always overreact. Always trying to spin things in a negative way. Clearly Nintendo is not saying being a gamer is something to be ashamed of.

fortius54

#62

fortius54 said:

I have a unique perspective because I have the an eight year old girl. I think these are great for her. These people who are knocking this should surely realize who these commercials are for, and if you take into consideration when they air these segments, it should further reinforce the target audience.

BenAV

#63

BenAV said:

Time to actually give my opinion on the topic rather than just posting pointless one line comments...
The main problem with these commercials is there's so many different ways to interpret them.
I think most people probably get the idea of what they're trying to do though and a lot are probably trying to pick potential issues with it just because they can.
As a dedicated gamer, the commercials are slightly offputting for the advertised titles as it's like they're saying that they're for 'non-gamers', but then logic kicks in and I can see that it's clearly not their message at all.

As for the whole female stereotype thing...
I can see where people are coming from and why they might be upset, but once again Nintendo clearly aren't trying to say that females can't be dedicated gamers too.
By whatever means they've come to the conclusion that there are a lot of females out there who aren't into video games, don't own the system and might not know much about the system (which sounds pretty plausible), so they decided that it'd be a good idea to target those certain people to try to get them on board.
Does it mean that all females fit into that group? Of course not.

@KaiserGX Yeah, it seems like a title that's main target audience is females, but not limited to just females... It looks pretty interesting and I'm tempted to pick it up myself when it's out here.

@DiaperSystem Just a bit of a tip: I think it's probably more how you've been wording your opinions rather than your opinions themselves that have been the main cause of problems here.
I think you have some valid points in your argument, but I think a lot of what you've been writing can probably (unintentionally) come off as a bit offensive.

That's enough from me... off to bed so I'm nice and fresh for my exam tomorrow.

Wonder_Ideal

#64

Wonder_Ideal said:

Here's what I got from this. Nintendo has made a "gaming device" called the 3DS. Agreed? Because it is a "gaming device," some people will assume that it is primarily for gamers only. In this case, a gamer is someone who has the hobby of playing video games. I believe that these commercials are trying to inform those who would not typically buy a "gaming device" to play video games that they can find something fun to do with it. That is what I got from it. It may not be what Nintendo's going for, but that is what it seems like to me. :)

KaiserGX

#65

KaiserGX said:

Nintendo tossed a cheeseburger through a bazooka at a hungry viking and some vegetarian student jumps in front of him to catch it. Then the student gets mad that it's not vegetarian and he wasn't hungry in the first place.

DiaperSystem

#66

DiaperSystem said:

@k8sMum You're just going out of your way to be offended and negative about a Nintendo products and commercials that make perfect sense. Of course, it's your right to complain about anything you want, but from a mom I'd expect a more nuanced and relaxed point of view. Please try and understand who these commercials are trying to reach. If anything, these products allow girls to be creative on a 3DS, and maybe get into more traditional games. And that's a wonderful thing.

k8sMum

#71

k8sMum said:

@The_Other_M

but...but...why is not caring for something 'over reacting'? is expressing any opinion in disagreement 'over reacting'?

the article clearly asks for opinions. are only positive ones acceptable?

OracleOfTruth

#72

OracleOfTruth said:

@k8sMum
Uh, I wasn't talking to or about you. I just thought his metaphor was funny. I was referring to the website that was flaming Nintendo for these adds.

tinman

#73

tinman said:

I bet at least two of them girls border on being underweight. What kind of message is that supposed to deliver to all the girls out there?

nindocrash

#74

nindocrash said:

Aaa campaign of lies! protect our smash brothers, and sisters, from the harm of thoughtless, advertising.
yu-gi-oooooh!!! Now I Summom Milneum shield!!!

Shiromikio

#75

Shiromikio said:

Normally I don't post to heated topics like this one, but I'll bite this time.

Fwiw, I'd see the commercials more as "I am not just a gamer, I am (insert other roles) when I play on my Nintendo 3DS" and that the 3DS offers a varied experience/something for everyone.

However, with a tongue-in-cheek reference to stereotype (gamer identity), which is a heavily debated topic, there will be different views on it and on the ads. I could see why @k8sMum and others might be unhappy about them. For one, advertising targeted towards a certain demographic (gender-based being a touchy one) tends to project assumptions about that demographic (i.e. generally girls like pink and play "casual" games like Style Savvy), and some people who may identify as part of that demographic don't see it as describing them. A few have posted here to say that. I wouldn't call that "overreacting", it's another opinion like anyone else's. I should think the people who posted to say so are already aware that they're not forced to buy the products, they're just posting their personal opinion on the ads for said products.

Second, why a campaign for girls and women? Why is there not a campaign for boys and men too? A bit ironical to be referencing stereotypes while the campaign seems to be based on the premise that "(most) girls do not play games, therefore we need to make commercials to target this group to inform them of our products". It's obvious then why the girls/women who have played their games and bought their consoles don't identify with this campaign, and how cheesy it might look to them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel that is what some people here were trying to say. Then again, as others have also pointed out, the people who faithfully bought their products aren't the target audience for the ads.

In short: the ads had positive messages to make, just that (imho) there are better ways about it. it wasn't a good idea to make the campaign gender-based, it would've been better if they just focused on the variety of great games, the social aspects (e.g. Streetpass) and multiplayer, e.g. having a good time with family/friends, like the Robin Williams commercial.

nindocrash

#76

nindocrash said:

The only things those commercials are selling,
Are more apple/Android devices. It's really no
Wander, this time.

AlbertoC

#77

AlbertoC said:

IMHO... The whole problem boils down to stereotypes. Boyish and girly, casual and hardcore. These words used thusly are angering people who identify / do not identify with them for whatever reasons. Erase them and try again.

Wheels2050

#78

Wheels2050 said:

@Shiromikio: I agree that using only females for these ads is conspicuous, but Nintendo would have done their market research. I'm guessing (though anyone with stats feel free to correct me) that the ratio of male to female 3DS owners is heavily skewed toward the male demographic, and so Nintendo is attempting to rectify the situation.

Whether or not that's the best way to go about it, I'm not sure - TV ads are expensive, so you want to make sure they have as much impact as possible, but at the same time this may be doing damage to Nintendo's brand by (indirectly) perpetuating the view (whether or not it's true, I don't think it is anymore) that it's mainly males that play video games.

I still think that, gender imbalances aside, people who get upset over the "I'm not a gamer" line really need to, you know, not.

Radixxs

#79

Radixxs said:

They're just identifying the audience they're targeting with the ads. It's blatant, sure, but it works.

If they were saying they are gamers everyone would be pitching a fit anyway.

nindocrash

#80

nindocrash said:

I say nintendo are shooting them selves in the
Wallet now because. 1: they advertised a point of
View that misrepresents the addiance as a stereotype.
2: if you saw the commercial and you already
own a seprett Mobile device, then you might just
Consider buying a cheap, app, to play in a none
Gaming fashion. 3: none gamers don't speend heaps,
of Money on gaming consoles for none gaming purposes. And I'm just being fare here,.

Jahir

#82

Jahir said:

@Radixxs That's right. I guess a lot of people would be complaining if the girls would've said they were gamers. And their arguments would be like "They're not REAL gamers! How can they call themselves like that blah blah $"%2"$%..."

Geonjaha

#83

Geonjaha said:

They're trying to show that the 3DS can be bought even if you dont consider yourself a gamer, and trying to show that not everyone that owns one is necessarily into gaming. The 3DS is a great gaming console, but its capabilities outside of gaming are shallow, so it's a tad misleading (but whatever sells their systems I guess). I dont see why people would get upset about it though - anyone who says a 3DS isnt a gaming console is quite frankly an idiot (Yes, that includes Nintendo itself; assuming they had actually made such a stupid statement), so I fail to see the problem.

@k8sMum - The female demographic that are gamers are the ones targeted by every other advert Nintendo has ever made. Why do you feel that the adverts are insulting you just because they're trying to address one audience that isnt your own? It's probably obvious to Nintendo that more men than women purchased a 3DS - they wouldn't rely on a stereotype instead of sales.

fortius54

#84

fortius54 said:

Guys and gals, at least the last two weeks, the 3DS and XL have been one and two in hardware sales. I imagine if one were to look at the previous weeks we would see that trend stretched a lot further back. I am not a marketing expert, but I have had quite a few classes on this subject. You have got to take the ads into the context of who they made the ads for.

These ads are for girls. We all know that. They are for girls that identify with the spokes people they have chosen. They also are airing these commercials in time slots and shows that this demographic is watching. These commercials are not for "gamers". "Gamers" get commercials like ZombiU or Call of Duty. Kids and tweeners get commercials like Skylanders Giants.

That is all any of this is. We as the core gamer or whatever you want to call yourself don't need to be uptight.

Knux

#85

Knux said:

I'm sorry, but this entire ''I'm Not a Gamer'' advertising from Nintendo is utter BS. If you play games (regardless of how much or little you play them) than you're a gamer. If you don't play games, then you're not a gamer. It's a very simple concept. It would have been better to advertise it as ''Everyone Can Become A Gamer'' than this BS. :|

Sir_Deadly

#87

Sir_Deadly said:

Why do I feel like this is the Dr. Pepper 10 commercial all over again? People get worked to easily about this stuff. I am a gamer and i thought they are fine.

nindocrash

#88

nindocrash said:

Good point @Knux;) yeah, why not say something like...
"this is my nintendo,"(easy.) good advertising is all about simple translation.

theblackdragonAdmin

#89

theblackdragon said:

@DiaperSystem, et. al — it's easy to tell someone else that they're 'overreacting' or to 'calm down' when you're firmly planted on the other side of the fence. they could've gone about this much differently and not pissed people off, but they didn't, and now they reap the backlash from established females identifying as 'gamers'. This isn't the 1900s, we don't have to shut up and deal with systematic sexism and lazy advertisements. You're the ones who have to deal with it when we make ourselves heard.

DiaperSystem

#91

DiaperSystem said:

@theblackdragon Seriously? Systematic sexism by Nintendo? Why so dramatic and emotional? Looking at it rationally, it's an innocent commercial directed towards girls who don't yet have a 3DS. I seriously don't see the problem.

Knux

#93

Knux said:

DiaperSystem and these commercials are a prime example of why sexism still exists. When an offensive commercial airs, and females get reasonably pissed off about sexist commercials, then some males tell them it's no big deal and to shut up. It's like that Capcom BS all over again.

Really man, just stop making these ridiculous comments. All you're doing is making a big fool of yourself. :|

DiaperSystem

#94

DiaperSystem said:

So Nintendo is a sexist company because they offer software that might be more interesting to play for younger girls who don't necessarily consider themselves gamers? Ridiculous.

fortius54

#95

fortius54 said:

I quit this discussion. Man, there are more important things in this world to worry about. I skip through most of the commercials any way...

RaylaxStaff

#97

Raylax said:

Aviator makes a valid point. However, can't help but feel that the point is undermined by the fact that the adverts solely feature young girls.

Because boys can't not be gamers.

Sexist 2/5

Boo_Buster

#99

Boo_Buster said:

And here is how you fix this dilemma: Simply take out the "I'm not a gamer" part. If the tagline was "With My 3DS, I'm a Stylist" ect... no one would be complaining about it at all, obviously, and it might sell some systems to the targeted audience.

Void

#100

Void said:

Oh, my brain.. Every time I read the comment section of these articles it just-
-Toilet flushing sound is heard-
Why did you leave us @Waltz. D:

nindocrash

#102

nindocrash said:

The fact is a dedicated company, has to
Account the opinions of their devoted fanbase/customers, before Deploying any new method in marketing ,That might well be an insult, to their loyal
Following. It's no major issues imo about genders here.
It's the "gamer" being unspeakable as if it were a
Plague to be seen as one in public. small missed steps could set a trend. discourageing Our next generation of gamers in to hiding The fact they enjoy nintendo as a gamer. But as of late That's something nintendo was tying to avoid.
I do hope this is not the way things are going for the
Wii u era.

Zhanglot

#104

Zhanglot said:

Personally, I think it's a great campaign, but the reaction of consumers proves otherwise. Any advertisement that can be potentially confusing or misleading is a bad one.

I like Boo_Buster's suggestion of removing the "I'm not a gamer part". That way no one perceives it negatively.

k8sMum

#105

k8sMum said:

@DiaperSystem So Nintendo is a sexist company because they offer software that might be more interesting to play for younger girls who don't necessarily consider themselves gamers? Ridiculous.

sigh. it's got nothing to do with the software nintendo is offering. it has everything to do with how these adverts offer it.

i don't know how to make it any clearer.

SanderEvers

#106

SanderEvers said:

I'm not a gamer I'm just a:

1. Pokémon trainer.
2. Dragon hunter in the lands of Tyria. (GW2)
3. Puzzler.
4. Coin collector.
5. Zombie killer.
6. Karter

And I just love to get in millions of fights.

And I LOVE to cut down bushes with my very own Master Sword and one day save the princess from Gannondorf's clutches.

doctor_doak

#107

doctor_doak said:

My name is doctor doak, and i'm not a gamer. With my middle of the road gaming PC I 'didn't' build myself, I'm a pretender.

TruthBeTold

#108

TruthBeTold said:

I think the problem stems almost entirely by how one defines "gamer". I think if they had (and I know this isn't the point, but whatever) a guy who wasn't Nintendo's definition of a gamer do an advert in this campaign, it would alleviate a lot of the problems as well.

Everyone is saying it's sexist to assume girls aren't gamers. Why is it NOT sexist to assume guys are? And what do we mean by gamer?

Even in these comments you can see that people here hold a thousand different definitions to what that term means. And that is fine, obviously! But that is what is causing a lot of the issues with this campaign.

Also, what if Nintendo took out the whole young girl part of this and changed into something else entirely. What if they made a campaign that shows they do not define, even their core, solely by the type of media they consume. What if the campaign was aimed at saying, "We know that even our most hardcore fans are multi-dimensional, and you know what, we really love that about them." THAT would be a cool campaign!

florecita

#109

florecita said:

I think it could have been a little bit more efficient at getting people( or girls from what it seems from all the commercials) to play games. I dont know how to take this commercials honestly. It almost seems like theyre saying "it's okay if you like video games and your a popular girl." Although it does good job at marketing people who've never played video games because it adds that "personalize" thing to it that everyone loves

SirSmugleaf

#110

SirSmugleaf said:

I think this is an excellent campaign, as it's saying that the 3DS has such a diverse library that anyone and everyone can find a game that suits them, and also I think it'll attract many casual gamers as well.

Geonjaha

#111

Geonjaha said:

Here we go with the sexism riots. These adverts are mildly sexist and stereotypical at worst. It's this kind of overreaction that means its hard to take these points seriously. Sexism will always be an issue in society - but having an uprising over everything just means no one's going to pay attention when something serious actually arises.

"You're the ones who have to deal with it when we make ourselves heard."
Is that directed at males in general, or just the people who didnt find these adverts offensive? Coming across agressively doesnt help the point you're trying to make.

Back on topic: The second advert is just ridiculous. At least the other ones actually had painting software and a fashion design simulator - buying a 3DS and playing NSMB2 makes you a gamer; a specific type of gamer maybe, but still a gamer.

paburrows

#112

paburrows said:

I really don't have a problem with these ads, Its just like with the Wii, Nintendo's going for the casual player. Heck I'll bet that they still will run these type of ads with the Wii U along with the harecore "gamers". I see nothing wrong with it.

k8sMum

#113

k8sMum said:

@geonjaha

if anyone is over reacting, it's posters who are offended that anyone not care for these adverts. we are told to relax, deal with it, that we are too sensitive, that we are being ridiculous...blah, blah, blah.

it seems to be ok to aggressively put down the naysayers, yet we are the ones over reacting.

we should just shut up, get in the kitchen and make you a sandwich.

Emaan

#115

Emaan said:

These commercials should have just been worded differently. I think its idea of trying to get a broader audience to buy into the 3DS, through showing how it can pertain to a person's various interests is great. Its just, perhaps they should have worded it like "I may not be a gamer, but I like to do this on my 3DS" instead of saying almost negatively with attitude "I am NOT a gamer." Another thing, why stereotype all girls in liking certain things? I would love to see them show a male being interested in art or something.

SocksandSocks

#116

SocksandSocks said:

I don' t think they should have been worded any different at all! Gamers, we can't be so damned sensitive! Weather you like it or not there are negative connotations around the word "gamer"! This is no secret. Anyone who games knows this. The adds are simply saying: "Hey girls, or other people who wouldn't normally call themselves gamers, you can play games too." What the hell is wrong with that message? The wording is absolutely right because they way they put it is catchy and memorable! These are the characteristics of any effective advertising campaign! Should we Nintendo fanboys be so jealous as to expect Ninty to court no other customers than us? Madness!!! Put aside any insecurities you may have long enough to realize that diversification of Nintendo's target market is the most probable guarantee of more hardcore Nintendo games in the future! The wider Nintendo's customer base, the more stable the company, the more likely your great grand kids are to be playing Mario and Zelda when you're 90 years old. Not everything Nintendo does must be hand crafted for you and only you!

Geonjaha

#117

Geonjaha said:

@k8sMum - Who told you to 'deal with it'? You cant say an outrage over these adverts is justified just because some people in the comments were behaving badly. I never said it was ok to agressively put people down - I actually said the opposite. Just because I spoke against you doesnt make me sexist or an obstacle in your path (nor does it mean I condone what others have said in these comments), so you dont need to end your post with stereotypical sexist statements directed at me.

OracleOfTruth

#118

OracleOfTruth said:

Here's an example:
Nintendo wants to make a game for young boys. So what do they create? Why, they make a MLP game of course! They then show advertisements of boys playing the MLP game. Now, why won't this work? It's because most young boys aren't interested in MLP. Nintendo would more likely make a monster catching or Transformer game if they were looking to appeal to boys. This is why art/fashion games are being made/marketed to girls. More young girls who haven't played games before will be interested in those than in Pokemon or Star Fox. It's not sexist, it's just knowing your market.

Geonjaha

#119

Geonjaha said:

@The_Other_M - Exactly. Companies dont advertise their products to demographics based on stereotypes, they base them on sales and interest levels. They could base them on stereotypes, but they wouldnt get very far if they werent true...

Aviator

#121

Aviator said:

I was going to write something completly different before I did a bit of research, then I found this.
“They know firsthand how Nintendo 3DS can keep them entertained and engaged wherever they go. We think young girls and women of all ages will enjoy hearing what they have to say about their favorite games and activities on Nintendo 3DS.”
(Source: http://www.sys-con.com/node/2365637)

So yeah, as an advertisement campaign, it was good. Seeing it now as an advertisement campaign for women, not so great.

Phle

#122

Phle said:

The third video just got me, love the girl, fits the role perfectly. I had to watch it over and over. "You know that feeling you have when you wake up and don't know what to wear? Yeah, I don't have that..." My sister got to see these videos, maybe I finally can convince her to get a 3DS.

mastersworddude

#123

mastersworddude said:

I think most people are angry because they thought Nintendo was going to try and attract the "core" gamers back, but then they come out with the WII U that seems to target the "Wii" audience again, and a commercial campaign actually called "I'm not a gamer." It's not hard to figure out why some gamers are ticked.

And also, I wouldn't consider the 3DS the best device to buy for your non-gaming needs.

Geonjaha

#124

Geonjaha said:

@k8sMum - Are you trying to say that saying that makes me sexist? You choose to ignore those who simply tell you to 'deal with it' yet when it comes to someone who you're actually talking against you simply label them as 'another sexist' and move on?

Aviator

#125

Aviator said:

It's not called the I'm not a gamer campaign mastersworddude. It's called the play as you are campaign.

There is a big difference.

k8sMum

#126

k8sMum said:

@Geonjaha

how did i ignore those who told me to 'deal with it'? did you read this thread?

i am done. you want to fight with me...because we strongly disagree on the merits of an ad campaign that strikes me as more than a little sexist. you seem to want to call me out or something.

you were originally speaking in generalities. i did the same thing. you took it to mean you.

i am done. say what you want. you in no way 'block my path', whatever the hell that even means. peace.

JohnPhilipSousa

#127

JohnPhilipSousa said:

This (the comment section) feels I'm back in English class. "What did the author mean when he said, '...'?" Seriously, 90 minutes of English is enough.

grimbldoo

#128

grimbldoo said:

@Geonjaha and @k8sMum
You need to step away from your computers for a bit.
k8sMum dealt with a rather ignorant person in earlier comments and she foolishly let him upset her. You had a valid point, Geonjaha, but your timing was bad. Both of you overreacted to each other.

Honestly, I wonder if some people take time to think before they post replies.

DaveGX

#129

DaveGX said:

I don't agree with the message at the end of these ads "I'm not a gamer" because people in the real world who fuly commit to these types of things would have no need to do so on a gaming device, which is probably why a good percentage of these types of games never sell well because they're marketing them to the wrong audiences just to make more $.

Also, the coin collecting champion? 1st of all, coin collecting is a non-gaming hobby. Anything Super Mario Bros pretty much has gamer written all over it; She's not a coin collector, she's a gamer.

BlatantlyHeroic

#130

BlatantlyHeroic said:

I don't want to play a system knowing only core gamers are going to play it, because then I would have to play it in discretion without letting anybody else know because it wouldn't be what i perceive to be awesome.
I'm not a nerd, I'm an aspiring physicist/psychologist/philosopher.

Aqueous

#131

Aqueous said:

First one I get, third one isn't bad. It would be the second one I think should be altered or removed, she is clearly gaming by play Mario and not just on a simulator or a digital drawing studio. Other then that they seem fine.

Odnetnin

#132

Odnetnin said:

I'm @DarkKnight, and I'm not a gamer. With my 3DS, I'm Batman.
(ad for LEGO Batman 2)

This is an example of a way Nintendo could make these ads more broadly appealing to more people just non-gamer females.

mudjo

#133

mudjo said:

Simply replace "3DS" with "iOS device" and you can remove all contradictions.

Drobotic

#136

Drobotic said:

See,this is why such descrimination still exists.Not only the descrimination of females,but of gamers,too.These commercials are basically saying that girls aren't really gamers.Seriously?Obviously the makers of these commericals haven't heard of the YouTube channel "KwifeReviews".What has gaming come to?

mastersworddude

#138

mastersworddude said:

@Drobotic How it saying females can't be gamers? There are females in the commercials because a good amount of women don't really have interest in games, that's not saying women can't be gamers, it's just statistics.
Geez, oversensitive much?

Phle

#139

Phle said:

I'm a girl, I'm fit, I'm pretty and I'm gamer. You can be all at once. I love these commercials.

theblackdragonAdmin

#140

theblackdragon said:

@grimbldoo: you might've had a point, but 'foolishly let him upset her'? wow. maybe in the sense that he turned out to not be worth her time and attention with regards to explaining her point, but not in the sense that she got upset at another human being for refusing to respect that her own life experience perhaps differs from his own, and that she has the right to voice how she feels when asked to by the article in question.

NintendoCat14

#142

NintendoCat14 said:

Nintendo, in times like this you can be really crazy. Please quit appealing to the casual audience. Please return your advertisement style to the 90's... (Kirby Adventure, no?)

Grodus

#143

Grodus said:

Obviously they mean anyone can play. I think they should just start saying "I'm not a gamer, but I'm still an artist with my 3DS," so everyone will stop the "3DS is too for gamers!" stuff.


EDIT: My faith in people because of their reaction to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eieOoUUl9RY

WaveBoy

#144

WaveBoy said:

@NintendoCat14.
No kidding, this life sucking unimaginitive Casual friendly crap needs to go. Sure, Nintendo still churns out some decent commercials like Galaxy 2 for example but they still flat out pale in comparison to their older stuff from the 80's and early 90's. Those were just off the charts insane, beaming with creativity and were just flat out magical. :p

Shiromikio

#146

Shiromikio said:

@Wheels2050: Yeah, it's possible their market research data influenced their decision to go after a segment of players who (they assume?) aren't gamers. I still feel they shouldn't have gone with a gender-based campaign, for one of the reasons you mentioned (people viewing the campaign as perpetuating that myth).

Some people didn't care for the Penelope Cruz commercial, but I thought it was a nice one showing two sisters playing together. They look like they were having a lot of fun and made the game look exciting. They could've continued along those lines and not make an entire girl power campaign out of it. Also not sure what to make of the "play as you are" slogan, it draws a blank for me. It sounds like some kind of identity crisis, as if they're reassuring girls that they don't have to be someone different to play on the 3DS? Ah well. I figure I shouldn't ponder too deeply about it, otherwise it doesn't make any sense, lol.

Shiromikio

#147

Shiromikio said:

@DarkKnight: Nice, can almost picture the commercial. Or they could do one for LOTR with a group of people, showing the different characters you could play as.

WaLzgiStaff

#149

WaLzgi said:

Why advertise to the group that will buy their products anyway? That seems like the waste of money to me. We have the internet now, so it's not like we really need the commercials to find out when their products are coming out

Chunky_Droid

#150

Chunky_Droid said:

@LZCatboy: Exactly, it was inevitable that I was going to buy a 3DS, it's inevitable that I'm going to buy most gaming handhelds or products when I find out what games are coming out for it. Nintendo need not waste any money with TV adverts for the likes of me, and I'm willing to bet there's plenty of people like me out there, so why advertise for people who are already going to buy the product?

I have many friends and family who have bought a Wii or a DS over the past 6 years due to the way Nintendo have marketed the devices to the generally uninterested.

Chunky_Droid

#151

Chunky_Droid said:

@Anyone-appealing-for-Nintendo-to-return-to-the-90's

Remember back in the 90's, we didn't have access to sites like nintendolife, YouTube or IGN, so we kinda relied on print ads and television ads to show off what games were coming out?

Nintendo needs to advertise to those who don't come to these sites in order to drum up new business. Who cares if casual gamers play your console?

OptometristLime

#152

OptometristLime said:

Pushing buttons, not just the ones on your 3DS. ;D

Seriously the mood here is so dower, even the trolls steered clear.

On topic: I see these commercials not as sexist (heaven forbid we should reveal our target audience) but as attacking the term "gamer" and its negative connotations. Nintendo would like to strengthen the attraction of playing games, and give people the opportunity to self-identify with a label they choose.

LexKitteh

#153

LexKitteh said:

I think it would have been more effective and didn't put-off so many Gamers, is if they said "I'm not 'really' a gamer", then it wouldn't sound like they're avoiding being called by that term, but just don't play games much.

grimbldoo

#154

grimbldoo said:

@theblackdragon #143
Perhaps I am just too passive. I tend to hold my tongue in moments of anger lest I make a fool of myself. I once had an argument where the opponent attempted to refuse my rights, so I just left the argument and forgot about it. So I guess I wouldn't know how k8sMum is feeling/felt.

MariosLoveChild

#155

MariosLoveChild said:

Ok this is all far to serious and grown up so I'm just gonna say they should of been naked in the commercials. Thank you.

edhe

#156

edhe said:

Who needs WaltzElf anyway? This post turned into a massive sexism row (and clusterfudge of ad hominem attacks) perfectly well without him!

Daisaku36

#157

Daisaku36 said:

What difference does it make if they do put out ads like this? It doesn't make my gaming experience any worse, and it shouldn't make anyone's any worse, so what if they're marketing toward someone other than "YOU"....

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