News Article

Nintendo's Partnership With Southwest Airlines Takes Off As Mario Gives Away Free Wii U Systems

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Mascot needs XXXL size high-vis jacket, probably

Nintendo has various corporate and promotional partnerships, and one of the most recently announced by Nintendo of America is a collaboration with Southwest Airlines. As the "official video game partner" of the company, Nintendo is setting up Wii U Gaming Lounges in some major airports until 22nd December, in which waiting passengers can try out games such as Super Mario 3D World.

The lounges will be set up in the following airports — Dallas Love Field, Chicago (Midway), Denver, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and St. Louis. Naturally the launch of any major promotion needs an appearance by Mario, and the mascot showed up to give free Wii U systems to "more than 100 passengers on flight 1883 from New Orleans to Dallas Love Field" — good deals on those flight tickets. With any such shenanigans come promotional pictures, in which Mario looks rather dapper.

Gamers in the U.S. should probably also check out the daily Wii U and flights giveaway at — this will run up until 25th December.

If you happen to fly through one of these airports it may be worth checking out these gaming lounges. The rest of us can just picture the awkward hilarity of an oversized Mario outfit squeezing into a high-visibility jacket. It's all for a good cause, Mario.

From the web

User Comments (35)



unrandomsam said:

Probably better advertising giving away systems to people than spending it on advertising companies.



Benjerocks said:

Oh, wow. That's a pretty smart move, letting some travelers know about the Wii U, I bet most of them probably had never heard of it before. I hope the lucky passengers tell their friends and family about how awesome the Wii U is (though that's the point, isn't it)



DanMan82 said:

Smart move by the Big N! Not trying to sound sarcastic or anything, but I'm actually a little surprised that Nintendo has bought the title of "official video game partner" for SouthWest before Micro$oft or Sony got to them.

But, since I'm pretty sure M$ has the NFL, that covers a lot of ground already.



SomeBitTripFan said:

Wow, this seems like a smart move. If Nintendo gets enough Wii U's into peoples houses, they can start pining for the "Wii Effect", as in people actually playing the console, and making them go out to buy one.



Die2Distroy said:

I just hope similar advertising goes on in Europe, I haven't heard of anything since, atleast Nintendo is trying to improve Wii U sales in America by getting those lucky 100 to spread the word of the console.



Philip_J_Reed said:

Whoa! I'll be at the Denver airport in just over a week. I'll take pictures if I see anything.



Tasuki said:

Makes sense I guess, since no one is buying the Wii U they might as well give them away.



NavySpheal said:

I wonder why not LAX? One of the biggest airports, and Southwest is certainly there. I already have a Wii U, but hopefully this will spread the word.



TingLz said:

Coincidentally, Southwest is establishing itself in Memphis TN now



ricklongo said:

That, my friends, is ****ing awesome.

This is obviously something that can't be done too often, but it's the exact sort of thing that is bound to work from a branding perspective: people will hear about this, will immediately wish they were on that plane, and will subconsciously admire the brand a little bit more.



Socar said:

I don't understand this tactic. If they are giving Wii U for free, how does it improve the sales of the Wii U then?



Senario said:

@Artwark word of mouth is a heck of a thing. Getting consumers invested in the system by actually having it rather than by blowing all that money on commercials is an interesting move. Plus they earn money off of games.



ToniK said:

A hundred consoles may seem like a lot but it's nothing for a corporation like Ninty. Also this kind of stuff makes people smile which always has an impact. A great move if you ask me.



datamonkey said:

All of a sudden Nintendo seem to be promoting Wii U left, right and centre! About time...

Maybe they wanted to wait for the first killer app to be released before doing so?



JaxonH said:

I agree. Cause you KNOW whoever receives one is going to tell everyone they know about how they got a free Wii U at the airport. Exponential growth of word of mouth is a powerful thing. Not to mention, this is good publicity. Everyone loves a company willing to hand out their product for free in good will.



JaxonH said:

Economics kiddo. Goodwill advertising, word of mouth advertising, and publicity up the yin yang, all spurn sales. The best way to sell the Wii U is to get people talking about it favorably to their friends, who in turn buy one and the process repeats itself. It's a natural phenomenon, but sometimes the domino effect needs a "jump start" for the web to start spreading, so to speak. Up until now, Nintendo has struggled jump starting this process.

Without a large enough install base, the rate at which word spreads is too slow- the 8th generation will be over before the majority of the public hear about how fun the console is. Sometimes, you have to eat a dime to gain a dollar.



Zach said:

They set up in Midway instead of O'Hare?! The fools! Just kidding. Both airports are terrible.

The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. So many people are travelling right now. This is great exposure for them.

I live in NYC and when COD: Ghosts came out, a bunch of Grand Central, which thousands pass through every day, was plastered with advertisements. It would be nice to walk through there and see Mario on the walls.



Ren said:

Southwest only flies out of midway it's their hub here, not Ohare at all. Midway is much more pleasant to fly out of, smaller and quicker to deal with. Southwest is already the cheaper fare than most other airlines for a lot of bigger US cities, since they are a "discount" airline they hub at the smaller airports. I use them all the time for work and not having to be in Ohare is a good thing.



Uberchu said:

I'll take that free Wii U, remove the game and sell it and get the zelda bundle. lolz.

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