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.
Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.