There are now four official Wii U commercials for the United States. There is the official "Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video", which is the only one minute Wii U commercial so far; and New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, and SiNG Party each have their own 30 second commercial.
The U.S. Wii U commercials have received mixed reactions from fans, and for various reasons: the music, the presentation, the information (or lack thereof). The video above is the slightly updated version of my original updated version of Nintendo's "Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video", that Nintendo of America revealed last Thursday.
Do the U.S. Wii U commercials do a good enough job at addressing the fact that the Wii U is a brand new console, with a brand new controller? Will the way that each U.S. commercial is worded be a genius marketing strategy, or a marketing failure? Brew yourself some coffee and hit the jump to take a look at the commercials, and specifically listen to the way the Wii U is talked about in each commercial.
Here's the first U.S. Wii U commercial, "Wii U Advertising Campaign Launch Video":
I don't think the Wii U commercials do a good enough job of addressing the fact the Wii U is a brand new console, and instead I think they give the impression the "Wii U" is just a brand new controller that works with existing Wii consoles.
In the Wii U campaign launch video the line used is, "With the all new Wii U...", and that's it. Not once, in the entire one minute video are the words "console" or "system" spoken. I also think the commercial is lacking a few key details that would help clear up that the Wii U is a new console and not just a new Wii controller, and I added a few of those details in my video up top. Instead of just focusing on the Wii U console and the Wii U GamePad, they show people sitting around in the rooms participating in gameplay using Wii Remotes and Nunchuks as well.
What about the New Super Mario Bros. U launch TV commercial? It has the same issue. The lines are, "This is how you'll play next. Using the all new Wii U GamePad controller...", and it ends with "New Super Mario Bros. U, only available on the all new Wii U." It lacks the specific words "the all new Wii U console" or "the all new Wii U system". Like the Wii U launch video, they show other people playing with Wii Remotes in the commercial.
What about the SiNG Party Wii U launch TV commercial? Same thing! It's a 30 second commercial, and the first voice-over line in the commercial is, "Face the crowd and get the party started with the all new Wii U GamePad controller.", followed up immediately with the next line, "SiNG Party, only available on the all new Wii U."
Nintendo Land's commercial? Same thing. "With the all new Wii U, this is how you'll play next." There is no focus on the Wii U console by itself, and it shows other players using Wii Remotes (and Nunchuks) to play the game along side the GamePad.
The commercials all end with an image of the Wii U GamePad in front of the Wii U system, and the games being sandwiched between them (on the game only commercials). The problem with this? The Wii U console looks a lot like the Wii console. Hiding it in the back without ever showing it up close with the logo on it, and never showing the price of the two bundles (or that it comes in two bundles), I don't think is helping customers/viewers understand this is an entirely new system. To see what the Wii would look like behind the Wii U GamePad, I edited the following image:
Also, while I understand Nintendo is wanting current Wii owners to understand their Wii Remotes and Nunchuks will work on the new Wii U system, I don't understand why they are showing the Wii Remotes and Nunchuks being used for gameplay, instead of showing the Wii U Pro Controllers being used instead.
I really do hope I'm wrong and that the Wii U commercials provide enough information for your average consumer, but I fear for the retail employees that will have to explain to the customers showing up in stores expecting only to buy a new Wii controller, that it's not just the controller but an entirely new system they need. Having worked in retail, and seeing how the U.S. Wii U commercials are worded and lack information such as price, I can see this being an issue.
Perhaps the commercials are worded the way they are to purposely get consumers thinking this is just a new Wii controller, and then when they show up in stores they will get to demo the system live hands-on instead? Maybe Nintendo is betting that hands-on with the system in stores will help sell it, and that consumers will also do the research before heading out this holiday season to buy a Wii U?
If the marketing strategy with the U.S. Wii U commercials is trying to get the mass market to think the Wii U GamePad is just a new Wii controller though, I think they are doing it the right way, even though I think it would be odd if that's their goal. Maybe this will be the best way to get consumers to look up information on the Wii U, and I just hope that providing less information to consumers initially, ends up selling more Wii U consoles for them.
I don't think the European or Japanese Wii U commercials have the wording problem that the U.S. commercials do, so I think it will be interesting to see which marketing strategy works out to be the best. Will more basic information equal more sales, or less basic information equal more sales? Is less, more? I guess we'll find out within a few months if Wii U units are flying off store shelves in the U.S., or if Nintendo of America changes the marketing techniques.
If you have a cable TV or satellite TV subscription, have you seen any of the Wii U's commercials? If so, do you think the commercials do a good enough job explaining that the Wii U is a brand new console, with a brand new controller?
Do you think the lack of information such as the Wii U being available in two bundles, at two different price points, and the wording in the U.S. commercials is a genius marketing strategy, or a marketing failure from what you have seen?
You can pre-order New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, and SiNG Party on Amazon.com below, as well as see the outrageous prices of Wii U consoles from third party sellers because Amazon.com is still not carrying the Wii U directly: