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Video: The Latest Mario Kart 8 Commercial is Possibly the Strangest Yet

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Weird is good, right?

It's the opinion of some, including this writer, that Nintendo's renewed focus on seizing attention in the face of tougher times has reminded the company of key parts of its identity. After bland lifestyle adverts in the Wii and DS era as Nintendo merely needed to release something to make big bucks, we're now seeing the company shake up its advertising to actively grab attention. It's getting weird again.

The company is certainly using humour and wackiness again to sell its games, with recent Nintendo Direct broadcasts for Mario Kart 8 and Tomodachi Life being excellent examples. The range of TV adverts airing in North America for the former certainly qualify as fairly imaginative, quirky efforts, with each having a brief 'real-life' recreation of a feature from the upcoming Wii U title. With fun effects and a silly voice-over saying that the game's been "insanely tested for flippin' fun", these are certainly getting the message across.

The latest commercial covers the Lightning Bolt item. You can guess where this is going...

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User Comments (73)



Iggly said:

Huh, should I be afraid to say that this commercial is a bit wackier than commercials Japan produces?



Squashy said:

Yay! I'm enjoying these adverts a lot, I hope we get some like this in England!



Wolfgabe said:

Notice how his head shrunk. I don't think that was just lightning if you know what I mean



Rintyrocks said:

Is it just me, or does the phrase "Tested for flippin fun" just seems wierd? I think they could've done better.



Kyloctopus said:

GoNintendo's Keving Cassidy think's the shrinking head is a reference to the Super Mario Bros. movie
That would make it much more weirder than it already was.



ajcismo said:

Hey, its a commercial, so I'm not going to complain about that. Weird IS good, and its certainly better than those family-on-the-couch ads they've tried in the past.



NintyMan said:

People kept griping for Nintendo to do an ad blitz, and here's their wish granted! I'd take this over the generic families playing on couches any day. Nintendo has done plenty of weird ads in the past. This is pretty tame compared to some I've seen on Youtube.



Dizzard said:

I'll take weird any day over cheesy celebrity ads and dull family time ads.



Dauntless said:

I guess its official. The case will be red and banner blue on the NA release. I shall put it into a blue case to make it look more proper. Too bad they didn't change the banner and number 8 to red because it would have looked good than.



Smooty said:

Oh god, i was watching on my ipod touch in portrait and when the lighting hit the guy i thought it ripped off his head and that he was bleeding (again, watched this on an ipod touch, its so small for me to notice)
i swear my heart stopped there... then i watched it again more closely and realized his head just shrunk, that was an scary moment..



Prof_Clayton said:

I swear I saw a different one on tv, but I only caught the end...
Strange commercial, so I love it!



XCWarrior said:

Whoever greenlit these commercials... fire them, and take all of their personal belonging they've ever owned and then ship them to a desert island with no means of escape.

So, so bad.



Whopper744 said:

Was here to point out that this sadly reminded me of a certain movie, but alas, I was too slow.



Smug43 said:

@Rintyrocks if you notice there are two difference clips of gameplay where both karts do a flip.. that's why they used "flippin" pay attention to details bro..



WaveGhoul said:


This is another great modern commercial from nintendo(At least when it comes to MK8), that harkens back to when nintendo commercials during the NES & SNES era used to be silly, whacky, colorful, fun, full of life and IN your face. Even the new announcer sounds like they one they used in their older commercials, which gives it a touch of that sweet special nostalgia sauce. Still, these aren't quite as legendary,but they're a nice step up compared to the Wii U crap we've recently been seeing like the Super Mario 3D World commercials. *pukes 8-bit Fester Quest nuggets.



StarDust4Ever said:

Nintendo is going in the right direction with this. Now if only they can place these on prime time TV where it counts, instead of kiddie programming...

Nothing will ever top this classic, though:



WaveGhoul said:

really? that MK DD commercial was terrible imo.

Super Mario Kart still has the best one.

Kids these days that are 'now' complaining that these new MK8 commercials are wierd are just too used to the generic crap commercials being spewed out of the 2000's. There was once a time(80's and early to mid 90's) where commercials were actually whacky & fun. and this my friend, will tickle any 90's kids nostalgic funny bone. Good for nintendo for finally ditching the lame family adds and lifeless celebrity commercials. Those went against everything nintendo used to be when their commercials were pure gold.



sleepinglion said:

FINALLY! A Wii U ad for the States that doesn't suck.
The print and misc. ads here in the US have been mega bland so far. This is a nice change of pace that reminds me of what I grew up seeing from Nintendo in the 80s and 90s. Fun, off-the-wall ads that grab attention and wake up the imagination. Hopefully, the past couple years' of families playing together on the couch ads have run their course. Racing pun intended.



Funny_Moblin said:

@Dauntless "I shall put it into a blue case to make it look more proper. Too bad they didn't change the banner and number 8 to red because it would have looked good than."

Are you-- ...I don't even-- ...URGH. What type of nitpicking is this!?! You get a special red case, and a fun game to enjoy. It's that simple. No need for weird stuff.



RedYoshi999 said:

Hey I didn't know Nintendo went back to the old style lightning bolts where you could squash other racers!



Falkor said:

Nintendo is bringing it. This is grabbing people's attention in the same way that those Old Spice commercials did. It's specifically targeting western audiences. Weird and stupid.



Ricube said:

What about advertising in Europe? I haven't seen any WiiU commercial (maybe only Just Dance 4) on italian TV since it's launch.



Kosmo said:

I love those new commercials, they really are fun. If Nintendo continues that way, their brand will once again be associated with mindless, over-the-top fun instead of the fake family-friendly crap...



Findonovan95 said:

I loved that commercial! It reminded me of ones I saw when I was a kid living in America, lol The commercials lately have been so terrible. I hope they make more like this for the UK and other parts of the world.



Haywired said:

Love this. Nintendo's ads have on the whole been far better than the blandness of last gen. I still think the MK7 one is my favorite.



SetupDisk said:

I don't like the use of insanely at all. If Nintendo approves that in an ad I hope they are not so hypocritical as to not let Bombing Bastards keep it's name.



Kirk said:

See; these ads appeal to families and casuals and at the same time are not totally patronizing and off-putting to core or adult gamers either.

Not THAT complicate, eh, Nintendo.



ThumperUK said:

Still waiting to see any advert in the UK for Mario Kart. No doubt Nintendo UK has the usual £5 ad budget then will moan about lack of UK sales.



JohnG said:

Most people seem to be in agreement....
Quirky and a bit wacky showing Nintendo to be different from run of the mill.
This is more like it!



Rafie said:

@StarDust4Ever I loved that commercial. Every time it came on, I ran to the tv. I was like 14/15 at the time. I definitely agree that it's the best Ninty commercial thus far.



Freeon-Leon said:

This is such a good ad, it's so great that they stopped using those fake-fun family commercials. I'd just love to see them here in Latin America.



akaDv8R said:

Just out of curiosity, has ANYONE seen a MK8 advert on British TV? I can honestly say I have not, and there is just over a week to go. Seriously, the PR team for Europe either needs to be replaced, or, to radically re-think their idea of what advertising actually means.



StarDust4Ever said:

@sugarshack Nonono. Have you not seen the Super Mario Brothers live action movie? That guy's head didn't shrink. He was de-evolved into a Goomba!

@baba_944 Yes, I saw that ad back in the day. PM:TTYD was the most awesome Paper Mario ever made. Everything that made the original great was expanded upon. Super PM was a kind of spinoff platformer/adventure hybrid, and Sticker Star 3DS, while fun, was totally devoid of personality due to the removal of partners. Also, if you run out of stickers you're screwed.



vio said:

Weird can be good and it's almost always creative. Sega did a lot of weird commercials back in their 90s hardware days that were quite effective. It grabs your attention.



bassoongoon said:

I liked this commercial. Nintendo needs to be having an intense add campaign if they want to improve their fortunes!



SleepyCrossing said:

As someone who grew up with weird commercials (that now seem to be oddly lacking), this isn't "too" weird for me. Its definitely my favorite of the MK8 commercials so far.. in fact, I think its the best one. It has just like right amount of quirkiness but it showcases the game. well designed from a marketing standpoint for sure.



Luffymcduck said:

I really want Lightning Bolt just be banned forever. Or have a protective bubble item against it like in CTR.

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