News Article

Mercedes Reports a Boost in Interest Since Announcing Mario Kart 8 Ad and DLC Deal

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Marketing Experts 1 - 0 Jaded Cynics

There were some raised eyebrows when free Mercedes DLC — along with a marketing campaign — was announced for Mario Kart 8 in Japan, and more excitable chatter when that same content was confirmed for the West. Some are indifferent to the whole thing, others are pleased, while there's certainly a contingent uncomfortable with the idea. On the sticky topic of sponsored DLC we tried to consider the issue fairly, while suggesting that Nintendo beware the slippery slope of taking it too far.

It seems that, from the perspective of Mercedes, the arrangement is going well. Though the actual DLC is yet to arrive, there's been a marketing campaign in Japan to promote the new GLA model, with a TV advert unveiled when the deal was announced. The YouTube upload of the commercial from 28th May — at the end of this article — has over two million views, and Mercedes-Benz Japan president and chief executive officer Kintaro Ueno has said the following about consumer reaction.

[The commercial] was quite a talking point, bringing a lot of people to the showroom. This is a new market segment for us, but it has exceeded our expectations. I can say that it’s going well.

It seems that Mercedes is getting its money's worth out of the deal with Nintendo so far, as curious shoppers go to have a look at the car Mario drives through the Mushroom Kingdom. We'd like to think there are charismatic, slightly unhinged marketing gurus smirking from an impressive skyscraper office at this very moment.

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Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.


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User Comments (46)



thedanman64 said:

I wonder if other car manufacturers will try to get in on this and add their cars to the game?

I quite like the idea of mario driving around in a Mini.



DreamOn said:

Mercedes needs to sell their car and Nintendo needs people to buy Wii U's to play Mario games. Glad some advertising connected to Wii U had a desirable effect.



larry_koopa said:

Pretty sure I'm not going to buy a Mercedes-Benz just because of this... anybody can walk into a showroom and walk out with nothing.



readyletsgo said:

I saw the ad for the GLA on tv last night, must say, it doesn't need any Mario kart help at all, it's beautiful, and I'm not even a car person. If I had the cash I'd totally buy a GLA



ajcismo said:

Marketing makes the world go 'round. If Mercedes sells more cars and Mario sells more Wii U's, then good for them. Hopefully the Powers in Kyoto take note that proper advertising works and should continue.



MagicEmperor said:

Oh, no! An optional DLC of a real life car! The inhumanity! ... Oh, wait. pokes it ... It's not gonna kill us! Whew! That's a relief.



RickyWill said:

@Diddy_kong Getting people to at least walk in the showroom is a good thing from time to time. Those customers may even come back and consider a purchase later.



MrGawain said:

To be honest, any TV advert for Mercedes will cause a surge in sales. It's just Mario Kart makes more people pay attention because you don't see it on TV everyday. It's not really the connection of 'that's the car Mario drives, I want it', but more 'Oh look Mario's on the TV. It's an advert for a Car. Mercedes.' You then decide: 'I like/hate/am indifferent to the look of that car'.



unrandomsam said:

I bet Microsoft managed to get a similar amount of interest for the 360 but it is not Japanese so it won't sell.

If they had sold an extra 2,000,000 cars in Japan that might be something.



ToniK said:

Don't care whether this is good for their business or not. I just don't want filthy car companies invading my lighthearted entertainment with their ads disguised as DLC. Please, go away.



dkxcalibur said:

In an attempt to support their recent Mario Kart Happy Meals, Mcdonald's is running a promo where you can download a Happy Meal Box Kart. wink-wink.



Prof_Clayton said:

That commercial was glorious!
I don't mind this DLC in my game, I mean you're all complaining over something free that probably will lead to more optional free things. >_>



Faruko said:

You dont even need to sell more cars, these ads are meant to create new potential consumers, cheap and (so far) reliable. Its the job of the next team to actually sell you the car, but you have already created a potential buyer, if they end up buying it or no, thats a whole other story

I dont have a problem at all with things like this as long as its done very well and feels part of the world they are into.



ultraraichu said:

I can imagine the people taking pictures of the famous or to the west infamous Mercedes Benz with their Nintendo wears and accessories like the 3ds with and AR card. Nice way to spread awareness for a brand.



ledreppe said:

I would much rather have proper battle arena dlc, it would extend the usefulness of the game to me as I've not been interested enough to play the track versions.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

Why not? The GLA commercial was not only hilarious, but also well-made in almost every regard. Just the fact that - once again - no word is lost about the actual performance (which is a sad standard for car ads) is kind if a letdown.

I hope other manufacturers will try similar approaches - makes for even more kart diversity!



Inkling said:

I want to see a McDonald's Big Mac kart, like the one in the Spongebob movie



BakaKnight said:

Mercedes is happy, Nintendo is happy, gamers are happy (well, at least most of them >.>; ).

Everyone win! ^o^



Zizzy said:

Since I'm not stupid and don't buy things because they have cool ads and/or appear in my video games. I could care less about this shameless advertising, I feel sorry for the people who buy a Mercedes because of this. I'd much rather have a Mini or something, though. Mario driving a SUV? Come on...



HyperSonicEXE said:

Wow, Nintendo has that kind of trust with its consumers. Incredible.

I wonder how Callaway golf gear is doing?
I did like having the Crystal ERC ball.



Gerbwmu said:

@unrandomsam - obviously additional profit is the key. I have no idea how much more this advertisement cost over what they usually spend for the Japan market nor do I know how many units they normally sell but it won't take long for them to figure out if the ad was successful or not. If they stayed in their marketing budget and sales increased then they did their job.



HyperSonicEXE said:

I wouldn't know, but I'll definitely take your word for it.
Just like I think Hondas are better car for the money compared to Benz prices. But that, too, is IMO.



AshFoxX said:

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has released a commercial with Captain Falcon racing a Touareg around Mute City.



AlexSora89 said:

I've said it often and I'll say it again - no argument is valid against the sheer, awesome hilarity of Mario driving a real-life car. Period.



Dudemario89 said:

Why can't they have DLC for characters like R.O.B. or Birdo or Diddy Kong or King Boo or Bowser Jr. or Dry Bones or Dry Bowser.etc That would make me buy Mario Kart 8 DLC.



Henmii said:

Lol, that commercial! Mario looks like he has just left the "there will be brawl" set!

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