As 2017 was coming to the end, Nintendo’s Russian division made the surprise decision to produce its own TV commercial for Super Mario Odyssey, a first for the company in that country. The ad, which we’ve covered alongside other tactics designed to win over hearts of many Russians, showed a Nintendo fan spending several decades playing Super Mario games through ever-changing landscapes and life activities.
The branch seems to be happy with the end result, as the latest press statement mentions it will continue producing local ads "when it will be relevant for Russian audiences." Yasha Haddaji, Nintendo RU’s CEO, expresses that the company is "very proud" about making its own promos and "considers it important to serve Russian customers with the visual content fitting their cultural and historical legacy."
The commercial was a debut not only for Nintendo RU, but for Russian production studio KOSMOSS. While one may wonder why the international company known for its strict brand control decided to establish a partnership with a company that has no background, it seems more of a case of helping with the creation of a studio for the specific task.
KOSMOSS co-founder, Valeriy Boluchevskiy, was a person behind the "Banana Switch" short movie which went viral last year. The "play anywhere" aspect of Nintendo Switch gets cranked up to eleven in that video, as it culminates in a guy skydiving with his console and playing Zelda on the fly. Many people across the world considered the video worthy of being an actual Switch advertisement, and Nintendo RU seem to have taken a note.
KOSMOSS has now published a making-of for the Super Mario Odyssey ad, which you can take a look at below. It provides quite a lot of insight on visualising and creating the first Russian Nintendo ad — and it’s fully subtitled to English.
Needless to say, as long as it leads to more great videos and more culture-aware promotion, we’ll be glad to see Russians putting their own spin on Nintendo marketing in the future.