Following in a long line of celebrities playing Nintendo games in wonderfully spacious, well-lit residences, tennis champ Serena Williams is the latest to feature in the company's series of lifestyle commercials advertising Switch and its software.
The twenty-three time Grand Slam singles title winner is the star of two cute thirty-second ads (both edited into a separate extended version above) which show her enjoying Just Dance 2021, the brand new Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm and Exercise and, predictably, Mario Tennis Aces. As you can see, it's a fun little spot that's perfectly in keeping with the celebrity-filled ads we've come to expect from Nintendo.
Earlier in the year Serena and her similarly talented tennis-playing sister, Venus, participated in a $1 Million Mario Tennis Aces charity tournament along with other luminaries from the sport, plus influencers and generally famous people such as Karlie Kloss and... *checks notes*, ahh yes, Seal.
Born in 1981, Williams grew up in a golden gaming era and apparently enjoyed a Nintendo classic or two as a kid. As reported by WTA Tour at the time, Williams had this to say on the topic:
Obviously I played Super Mario Bros. growing up. I grew up in the age where we would blow into the cartridges to make sure that they worked! I’m just excited that this is a lot easier.
Funnily enough, Jon Cartwright — one of Nintendo Life's Triforce of lovely video producers, and a particular fan of Mario Tennis Aces — very recently investigated how easy it is to find online matches in this game (which launched back in June 2018) and several other older titles. As you'll know if you watched his video, Mario Tennis Aces is still alive and kicking, and with Williams showcasing the game over the holidays, we wouldn't be surprised to see a whole new influx of players before long.
Have you played any of the titles Serena partakes of above? Do you know why poor Derek is listed in her contacts as 'Trainer'? Is there anything that isn't improved with a few bars of Earth Wind and Fire? Let us know your thoughts on them below.
- Further reading: Feature: The Best, And Worst, Nintendo Commercials Ever
The GOAT! what an honor
Next thing you know, we got LeBron and Jordan in a Nintendo commercial in a Super Mario Hoops reveal trailer
@TheSmashTheorist Or Formula 1 racers playing Mario Kart.
Pretty cool even if I’m an Iga Świątek fan, which was mad seeing her win her first Grand Slam as I’ve been following her since seeing her live when she was about 17.
@TheSmashTheorist I want a space jam knock off starring mario characters and serge ibaka
I hope there is a shot of her on an actual tennis court with mario imagine mario with the infinity racket haha
@Crockin I want the next ea sports game to be half nba all stars and the other half mario and sonic characters
"Shaq is dribbling down the court, is that toad oh he blocks the layup with his huge head that's gotta hurt
She's very talented and I'd be surprised if Mario Tennis wasn't a part of this. Very cool.
Ok this was really cool but who do you think is next also does anyone else want a sports game like Wii sports for the Wii and I don't mean go Vacation or clubhouse games
Jump up superstar, no one else can serve it this far I'm flicking the wrist, get ready for this, oh let's start a good rally
@SMUGSLOTH69 if we sportd came out on switch I would die of happiness
@sanderev Danika patrick is in sega all stars racing (a good game but the way if you want a different game to race with besides mariokart) someone over at sega had that idea and I'm gonna be honest: it is the funniest thing ever I love it
@Crockin I honestly can't tell if you are talking about serena williams, or how she gets to advertise a game with the goat waluigi
Funny how she talks about blowing on cartridges. We all did it, but now I'm having to deal with corroded NES carts and wishing we hadn't.
Now we need Gordon Ramsay playing Overcooked on the Switch. "It's RAAAAWWWW!!!"
@Ghostchip I know it needs to come with resort and have like 7 or 8 new sports with loads of new game options and customization and I'll pay 60$ for it
@SMUGSLOTH69 nah just make it a collection of sports and resort and it's worth it really they tried making more games and... Yikes...
Pretty slick, Nintendo, getting Serena Williams. Great commercials. I like her.
@Ghostchip can it be both? together at last!
ah yes, now I want a Switch
So Awesome!! Serena is a Queen!
That commercial almost made we want just dance. I hear earth wind & fire... I dance. Can’t help it.
Next we need someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone playing Doom Eternal.
Or heck, Dwayne Johnson seeing as he was in a Doom movie.
@Giygas_95 I'd love to see an Arnie-mal Crossing or Rocky-like montage of Stallone with Ring Fit Adventure commercial
@CammyUnofficial Haha, Arnie-mal Crossing. 😂 I'd go for that too.
Ninty getting some big names alongside the Switch
@apoqalypse God forbid, a black woman playing Nintendo.
@Ghostchip I guess you're right but they still have to add more options and it can't be more than 45$
@SMUGSLOTH69 not the big N s style the switch is an absolute money sucker with how the games are priced as well as the ci troller it would be 60
@kingbk gordon: You f****** animal! You need to cook the meat more
Three animals cooking with him: sigh...
@apoqalypse What is wrong with you this is just a lady who's good at tennis... Advertising tennis what is wrong with that. Also I may not love tennis or keep up with her but I'm pretty sure she's a pretty normal person I think and a good representative for a sports game being the most famous person in a sport haha. Also your comment is even more ridiculous when you consider that this is a Japanese company first and foremost I don't think someone who doesn't know Japanese and is gonna change an entire company
@Ghostchip dang it that sucks but you're right that's probably how they'll price it and then they'll put DELUXE at the end: Wii sports + Wii sports resort DELUXE for Nintendo Switch
@SMUGSLOTH69 then give us the Wii u bad boxing and not the good one
And she sure didn't take anything to get that big
It's all hard labor of course!
@apoqalypse Or maybe... Just MAYBE... this will actually expand Nintendo's base and benefit all of Nintendo's loyal consumers, just a thought.
Not everyone thinks it's cool to be affiliated on the fringe of everything, my friend. Think outside the box.
@Ghostchip I try so hard to pretend that Wii sports club doesn't exist
@apoqalypse 23 grand slam titles tells you to suck it
Aaaaand it took a few comments, but we found the guy. I knew there would be at least one.
@JasmineDragon You missed one actually. Their comment was removed but mentioned ‘the race card’.
Strange she got a blood clot when she gave birth to her first child.
There are certain substances you should avoid at any cost.
They will hit you as a boomerang later on, that's for sure.
There's no easy way to success in life in the long run.
She also seems to have had a temper issue a couple of years ago. Another side effect to using certain substances.
She is good and because of that she has won many times but when she loses there you can see her anger and unsportsmanlike behavior.
That Osaka match could not be forgotten. She lied on that match at least 3 times one after the other. It was ugly. She used the 3 victim cards like she was playing Yu-Gi-Oh!
But still she is recognizable and Nintendo are smart for using her!
@TheSmashTheorist Oh heck yes. I would easily pay for that game.
@Zuljaras No it's an idiotic decision when you hire controversial celebrities. Nintendo might as well hire the Trump family, Louis C.K, or Amber Heard to play their favorite Nintendo games for a commercial.
Aaand there we go with the substance abuse ... Meanwhile, the great white hope Sharapova actually did use PEDs and still had a 17 match losing streak against Serena.
@BoyfriendOfDeath I would love Louis C.K to market me the Switch !!!
@apoqalypse Hope she didn't make Mario cry
@Suicune It has nothing to do with her being black. Her sister Venus is a slim and athletic. She was very successful too when they both started, but she couldn't keep it up.
Wonder what made the difference between them?
Serena's friend Wozniacki was number one in the world for more than a year, but didn't win her only Grand Slam before much later.
She used to a true miss sunshine, but now she's become ill (probably because she played lot more matches than her competitors and also trained a lot more - she became extremely fit, but then got ill as I said).
What sums my comments up, is, that I'm provoked that Nintendo uses a person with issues as a role model, that's all.
I'll stay quiet now. I've vented what I needed.
@Zuljaras If Nintendo continues this streak of controversial celebs, I demand him too. Just as long as he doesn't force people to watch him jerk off.
@BoyfriendOfDeath I agree but still his "How are Bibles made" video was damn brilliant! I never laughed so much!
How are Nintendo Switch console made?
@BoyfriendOfDeath In all fairness, anyone that is considered "high profile" or a celebrity is gonna be considered controversial to at least someone... You can't really have it both ways. As a business: you pick "your poison", do your best, and sell your product.
When you live under the microscope there will be at least one or two things that you've said that someone won't agree with.
Do we really need purity test to market a product?
@shgamer because Venus has a lot more issues in her game than Serena: weaker second serve, less variation, and a forehand that breaks down half the time. Also, Venus has sjogrens disease.
Wozniacki didn't have a forehand at all, was probably the most passive player to ever win a slam and wasn't particularly miss Sunshine on the court, employing gamesmanship on a much more consistent basis than Serena.
I do have some issues with Serena, but she's a human with her faults after all. What we're not going to do is downplay her achievements, and accuse her of PED when, as a top player, she's tested constantly.
At least the Robin and Zelda Williams ads were believable.
@the4seer In business, you have to consider who is a good enough person to represent your product. If you have a person who is famous for being a piece of crap, it'll reflect badly on what you're selling. Awkwafina was okay, but Brie Larson and Serena Williams were bad choices. If they want to go to the celebrity route, then NOA needs to hire celebs who aren't hated by a vast majority of people.
Good ad, she's a great tennis player. Having the wide variety of famous people that legitimately play Switch on ads is powerful to the casuals. They're a massive segment of the market that we (in forums) oft ignore.
I bet her TV has a few joy cons sticking out of it.
@BoyfriendOfDeath I agree that any business would obviously weigh the backlash of any celebrity endorsement. That's just common sense 💯
I'm also certain that Nintendo of America weighed the backlash when selecting Serena as well. Here's the thing, they more than likely look beyond internet comment sections when making the determination lol (we don't represent the vast majority of their target audience, obviously).
Also, I'm sure that they consider Serena far less risky than Trump or Louis CK... But if you disagree then that's okay too, ya know?
Let’s get Will Smith in one of these videos!
Chill out. 🥶 She’s just a Tennis player in a tennis commercial.
@RandomAfricanGamer It's true, but if you watch any tennis, you'd know what kind of personality she has. Has nothing to do with her characteristics as a player.
@nessisonett Yes we're all just colors for you haha
"A famous person endorses our product give us money" is all I got from that.
@HollowSpectre Nintendo's celebrity ads have always been cringe. I miss their goofy and surreal ads from the 90's/2000's.
@nessisonett Your comment is the first to bring up color. Says it all, eh?
@Grot Other than the racially motivated comments that have already been removed by moderators.
@nessisonett The comment you responded to didn’t say a thing about race.
The fact that she was on the cover of Virtua Tennis 2k2 for Dreamcast and is still relevant is an amazing feat.
Make Sega make you another game. Demand it.
@Grot yes it did it said this was woke. What is so woke about one of the biggest sports stars promoting your console. What rabbit hole? I agree with @nessisonett
@doctorhino @nessisonett yeah it's like think of it this way: if you are advertising Gatorade to for example basketball players who would you want most to represent it? Someone who is the face of the sport like lebron james. Everyone knows lebron james even if they don't know basketball. Another example: you are advertising a sports drink that is modeled off of old video games. If you could get mario you would use him in your commercial hands down because he is synonymous with old games and nintendo. Serena williams is the only tennis player everyone in at least the US knows. Not using her would be like using some obscure player to advertise a drink in the basketball example or using a random NES game no one remembers as a marketing theme. Serena williams is believe it or not tennis, and using her for tennis is just smart business. Also race shouldn't even be a thing brought up here no one should care about race like that kinda disappointed someone brought it up in the first place to be honest. Nintendo is using good tennis player to advertise tennis game. Oh my how controversial (cue sarcasm). A good player/symbol is a good player/symbol and that's all this is.
@Grot Name another woke thing about Serena Williams? She’s not even anywhere near as outspoken as say, Lewis Hamilton or even Naomi Osaka. She’s a successful black woman, one of the most successful sportspeople of all time in fact, and insinuating that it’s a woke move by Nintendo to have her in an advert is absolute nonsense. It’s not like they’ve got Karl Marx playing Brain Training.
@nessisonett great now I want someone to make a upbeat commerical of karl marx playing brain games lol.
Here's another idea: the devil plays animal crossing in a commercial . I don't know what that would look like but I want to know
@Ghostchip I feel like Satan would have rather a structured and orderly island because after all, the devil is in the details.
@nessisonett you just made my day
I wonder where she got those Switch-pattern leggings.
@nessisonett @Ghostchip @doctorhino I never said anything about her merits in regards to advertising a tennis game.
The comment didn’t say anything about race. You can draw whatever conclusions you want, but slinging around racism accusations is pretty hefty.
@doctorhino I wasn’t the original commenter and didn’t use the term “woke” at all. Also, you’ll want to review the origin of the term when used in this context - it ain’t what you think it is.
All I said was the guy didn’t bring up skin color. Because, surprise, he didn’t. But please, what I need is more white people telling me how I should feel or what I should be offended by. Tell me how I should vote while you’re at it. My skin color precludes me from making these decisions on my own.
@Grot oh my bad, got confused who had said what. I wouldn't call you a racist for what you said..
@the4seer The Trump and Louie suggestions were just aggressive jokes. Also, I honestly don't think NOA is weighing the backlash correctly. Serena is, at best, not well liked in the circles she's related to. Larson is a gargantuan can of worms that'll take too long to type about. Awkwafina is not a big star at all and I only recognized her thanks to her voice.
But I also think the celebrities NOA hired are the only ones they can afford and closest celebrities who legitimately play the Switch. Serena's retired and probably would not demand too much money. Brie Larson has made claims of being a big Nintendo fan and probably did it for free (or cheap), plus publicity. Awkwafina I've already said before. I think NOA would've hired celebs like John Cena, Jack Black, and Chrissy Teigen if they could afford them. There are a lot better celebrities they could pick and ask, but are just too expensive or aren't Switch players.
@Suicune "Great white hope". That's pretty racist.
@skulldragr lol in what world. She was the great white hope, lauded to the heavens as the next big thing in tennis and as the end of the Williams reign when she beat Serena in 2004, a feat she never managed to repeat ever again. Maybe learn the actual very racially motivated history of the early 00's WTA tour.
@Suicune I'm offended by your blatant racism. How does it feel to be racist in 2020?
@SkullDragr Dude, @Suicune is completely right. As an actual tennis fan, the WTA tour during the height of the Williams era was full of blatant racism, as people were scrambling to find a white athlete to pin their hopes on. It’s just plainly true.
The racism talk is strong in here. Always all about color. Smells like lefties, they always focus on race.
@Grot I didn't even blame you but I know someone brought up race I read the comments haha
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