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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - An in-depth discussion with a non-gamer on Wii U's 1st commercial

Thanks to Poopaloop for the image!


Still so many friends and family without power, but at least we're all safe. My parents have been living at our place all week, with friends dropping by for a night or two. Sad to have this happening, but very nice to have friends/family around all the time. I hope you guys are safe and sound as well. See you in a few, short hours!


We've all seen Nintendo's first Wii U commercial in North America. We were given a tease for it yesterday, but today we got to see the entire commercial. Being the Nintendo fans that we are, we analyzed the spot to see what it did/did not show. We also are all mulling over just how good of a job the commercial does at selling Wii U.

The thing is, we're all Nintendo fans! We've known about the Wii u for months and months. We've known about multiple features and how the system works, so we're looking at this commercial in a completely different way than your average TV viewer. Some of those viewers know about gaming, others don't have any interest at all. What are those people going to think about the spot?

I thought I'd pose that question to my father. While my Dad has played a handful of games in his years, he's definitely not a gamer at all. He falls into the non-gaming or expanded audience that Nintendo is constantly reaching out to. Outside of the Wii U name itself, my Dad really didn't know anything about the system. I figured he was the perfect test subject to show this commercial to.

Believe it or not, I got nearly a half-hour discussion with my Dad about the commercial. I think he gives a really unique bit of insight into what the expanded audience sees when Nintendo tries to reach out to them. We cover a great number of topics, all related to the minute-long TV spot.

As I said, this video is nearly a half hour. That's why I had to use the Playwire player. On top of that, my Dad has always had an...interesting way of thinking. I promise you, some of the things he says will be tough to wrap your head around. I've known the guy for 30 years and he still stumps me sometimes! If you have a spare half-hour, check out the video and get a good look at the inner-workings of a non-gamer...and a very different thinker!


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Discussion Preview
35 total comments (View all)
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 08:05

After watching it myself, I was hoping they were going to say "A brand new system. A new way to play." or something along those lines.

Without that info, I can see people being confused.

And that's because of all the extra peripherals with "Wii" in the name. That's the reason we see this problem and don't see it with the Xbox 360. You don't see Microsoft coming out with Xbox Balance Board or Xbox Fit. Adding the Wii title to a mass of extras has likely confused people, and thus why they think it's a peripheral because it's just like all the other peripherals.

The 3DS had a similar issue, but it was because of so many different variations on the DS name (Lite, DSi, etc.) and so the 3DS didn't sound like a brand new system.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 08:07

This is Brilliant!! :) I love your dad, such a logical individual. Some of the improvements he mentioned that could be made on the commercial are present in the European advert. Why don't you show him that one next see his reaction to it.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 08:11

JGab wrote:After watching it myself, I was hoping they were going to say "A brand new system. A new way to play." or something along those lines.

Without that info, I can see people being confused.


The commercial says "all new Wii U" twice. I think the people that are able to understand this concept will understand this concept.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 09:03

What I don't understand is why a lot of people are over thinking it (or even hate the commercial.) None of us are marketers. I wonder what the reaction would have been like if they copied Apple's commercials of showing all the new features of the product. I bet everyone would have complained just as much.

What I took from it is the variety of family arrangements and age groups. We saw the "hardcore" playing Metroid Blast. We saw what seems to be a single parent family playing Lego City and Mario Chase by the larger family. Sing Party appealed to the party female demo, even though more people enjoy it obviously such as myself and RawDad.

If people are even remotely interested in Wii U, they will look it up online. They won't be able to buy a Gamepad separately so crises averted there. If people hate Nintendo for whatever ungodly reason, NO COMMERCIAL IS GOING TO CHANGE THAT. I am going to quote a comment that summed it up so well;

"People come into the store looking for Mario Kart on the Xbox."

This is the reality. Even on known consoles, that have been out for several years, there is misinformation. If people want Nintendo to go the way of the Dodo and only appeal to the "hardcore" fine by me. I for one am not going to be one of those people that associates family with uncool or terrible games.

Nintendo already sold me on on Wii U, why waste their advertising budget on people like me?
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 10:02

They could have fixed this so easily by simply showing a family removing a white Wii from their entertainment center and replacing it with a black Wii U. Visually this would have communicated the "out with the old, in with the new" thing they're failing to get across.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 10:14

Why not "Now your playing with power! HD POWER!"

**Edit**
Oh boy I just watched that RMC...sounds like you dad was trying to sound like he knows what he's talking about we he really doesn't have much of an idea...Hopefully this'll be shown to Nintendo marketing or something..
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 10:35

Great idea, RMC. If I ever see the commercial on TV, I'll likely find out what my dad thinks as well.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 11:08

As this is just an intro ad, to what is probably a series of more unique ads I'm not going to hold much against this one for not being so informative. They are just trying to get the brand name out there. Besides they have plenty of time in the this month to get casuals on board. No reason to slap them in the face with information all at once.
No Avatar
02 Nov 2012 11:34

Eh, the commercial could've been better. But even without explicitly saying it's a new system, like others have said, they're not selling the Gamepad by itself. I don't know if it was intentional on Nintendo's part, or just a by-product of their own way of doing things, but people will know it's a new system when they go in to a store and ask about it. Also, I'm sure there will be more commercials than just this one that may show more.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 11:41

Very interesting. I would love to hear your dad's opinion on the UK commercial, because that one seems to convey the information he missed a lot better.
No Avatar
02 Nov 2012 11:46

It makes no difference if people think it is just a new controller. They will realize what it is when they pick up the box. And they will be double happy when they see an HDMI cable to along with their probable new TV as everyone makes transition to HD.
No Avatar
02 Nov 2012 11:50

How about we go back and show some uninformed people that original PS3 commercial (you know, the one with the baby) and ask them if they can figure out what Sony is selling:

A new game system or EXORCISMS!

Take a wild guess which answer you're going to get more of.

At least with this commercial you KNOW it's a video game.
No Avatar
02 Nov 2012 12:04

Does it really matter what the commercial portrays? I think some people will catch it, and some won't. But the whole point is that it looks like a party goes on every time you turn on your Wii U, lol. So people nowadays, wanting to party all the time, will buy one. It's a visually appealing commercial and it just makes the Wii U seem like the next thing to get. I think it'll do its job.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 12:08

fascinating video, thanks RMC
No Avatar
02 Nov 2012 12:32

I've only seen the start of it, but it doesn't seem that bad to me. He understands that it's a new system that hooks up to your "media centre" (TV and what not), which is absolutely right. The fact that it comes with a new box is just a technicality. If you could only by the controller, there could be people that think it works with the wii and be disappointed, but you can't. So no matter what, if you like it and want it, you'll end up buying everything needed anyway. Plus you can still play all and any of your wii games and use those controllers, so no problems transitioning forward either.

As other people have pointed out, the fact that it contains a HDMI cable is far more important. The other two systems push HD so much, yet they don't even include one. The general public will not go out to buy a specific cable to get better video quality. Only those in the know will. It makes no sense. Nintendo seems far more HD focused in this case, interestingly enough.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 12:58

metalpants wrote:Does it really matter what the commercial portrays? I think some people will catch it, and some won't. But the whole point is that it looks like a party goes on every time you turn on your Wii U, lol. So people nowadays, wanting to party all the time, will buy one. It's a visually appealing commercial and it just makes the Wii U seem like the next thing to get. I think it'll do its job.


Exactly

And ppl seem to know that 'the new ipad' is an ipad3, and if they dont, they can ask
No Avatar
02 Nov 2012 13:25

The main difference with the PS3 commercials and this one is that at that point the PS3 was $500+ not really trying to appeal to casual gamers/families.

I can easily see how his dad would think this was kind of an add on. The only time you see the system is at the end and a quick glance would make it look a lot like a Wii. I think the point is for a new commercial to market the wii u and try to convince people to transfer from the Wii to the Wii U.

There are some positives, but it's not all that informative overall.

If they follow it up with more commercials that really explain it then maybe it would work out. Right now I just feel like some people will be lost.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 14:25

It's obvious that the Wii U would be hard to market. We'll see how much NoA decides to break down the features. The point of this to me is more to create awareness of the new system and to catch your attention. Repeat viewings are what will peak more interest as you see what it does. I think it will potentially cause people to want to find out more about it online or at a store.

The UK ad showed the other side of the coin where they described more of the features but the reaction to that online was that people felt it was too bland or too much like an infomercial. In my opinion, it seems likely that the best approach for the campaigns are to hit these different approaches for different demographics and different features in specific commercials. I guess we'll see what Nintendo will try to do.

This discussion RMC has with his dad is interesting and was a pretty good example of who someone will look at a commercial like this. To me, it does confirm that the messaging may be a little confusing, which is not too surprising, but that doesn't mean it's fails to do what it's trying to accomplish. Visually, it's packed with information which will be hard to parse or understand so seeing the ad multiple times will be beneficial to creating more interest.

I've felt that this system, like the Wii, is something that will need word of mouth to really sell well. You can list features, show people having fun, and show footage of games and apps but at the end of the day, people won't always get it until they try it themselves or have someone able to describe it to them and answer their questions. Nintendo has realized this which is why they pushed the Wii U experience and the tours before they even put out any commercials. Demo stations were pushed out quickly and it was all done sooner than the Wii IIRC, and events were done with more frequency than before the 3DS launch.

Nintendo definitely has their work cut out for them and they need to be mindful of the messages they are conveying but I don't think the success of the console hinges on one individual commercial. I also don't think this is Nintendo trying to simply do what worked for the Wii because the motion controls was what they mainly focused on, and it was really all they had to focus on. The Wii U has selling points that take a little more explaining or demonstrating to convey but it is an extension of the Wii's branding. The success of their marketing campaign can only be judged by their overall campaign. We will see how it goes.
User avatar
02 Nov 2012 21:26

MasterofMonster wrote:I don't really understand. People understood that Xbox360 wasn't an expansion for Xbox, right? Or, do you really have to have a 2 or 3 behind, like PS does?


Well for starters, the 360 looks clearly different and everything that you would assotiate with the xbox isn't on the 360. In that commercial we saw a bunch of white controllers and even some wiimotes and then quick flashes of what "looked" like a Wii. I wouldn't be surprised if 25% of the people intending to buy a WiiU this chrismas get surprised when they figure out it's a 300 dollar console and not a new add on for their Wii.

Gamestop employees and other employees for other electronic stores, I feel for you this christmas.
No Avatar
03 Nov 2012 04:54

Gummbah wrote:
metalpants wrote:Does it really matter what the commercial portrays? I think some people will catch it, and some won't. But the whole point is that it looks like a party goes on every time you turn on your Wii U, lol. So people nowadays, wanting to party all the time, will buy one. It's a visually appealing commercial and it just makes the Wii U seem like the next thing to get. I think it'll do its job.


Exactly

And ppl seem to know that 'the new ipad' is an ipad3, and if they dont, they can ask


Right.

Which also means that if people that have an iPad are willing to buy the next one (even though the changes/additions are minimal), then I think the same will apply to the Wii U. I'm sure those same people are used to giving away their old iPads once they replace it with the new one so I'm pretty positive they'll put away their "old Wii" once they realize the Wii U is "the new Wii". I think Nintendo will do just fine.

Now if we could just find some way to accelerate time for the next two weeks so I can finally get my hands on the friggin' thing and stop fantasizing about it already, lol, that'd be swell. I don't care about them dumb casuals. Make as many colorful commercials as you want Nintendo.......... but I want ma Wii U!
User avatar
03 Nov 2012 11:22

I think Nintendo should use this as there commercial instead it would be better for them to bad it's long
User avatar
03 Nov 2012 13:04

MasterofMonster wrote:I don't really understand. People understood that Xbox360 wasn't an expansion for Xbox, right? Or, do you really have to have a 2 or 3 behind, like PS does?

Said it before and I'll say it again. New systems need a new name, number, super/mega/ultra attached for casuals to "get it."

All of the Wii (Insert Fit, Music, etc,) really messed with people.

void3953 wrote:How about we go back and show some uninformed people that original PS3 commercial (you know, the one with the baby) and ask them if they can figure out what Sony is selling:

A new game system or EXORCISMS!

Take a wild guess which answer you're going to get more of.

At least with this commercial you KNOW it's a video game.

That commercial showed the PS3 as well as a launch date. The creepy baby got people talking; this Wii U commercial doesn't have that factor.
User avatar
04 Nov 2012 02:11

I like RawDad's facial expressions in this. It's like 'why are you putting me through this? Is this revenge for shutting off your NES game all those years ago?'
User avatar
04 Nov 2012 10:33

Only watched the first five minutes so far, but RMC is oddly slow (and a bit rude) on the uptake to his Dad's answers haha
User avatar
04 Nov 2012 15:32

I think those interested in WiiU will find out that it's an entirely new console through research or some educated sales associate telling them. There's a 4th generation iPad and I had thought it was the iPad Mini. But no, it's the iPad 4 indeed.

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