The Nintendo Switch Super Bowl Commercial

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I was going to write an opinion piece here that Nintendo should run a Switch Commercial during the Super Bowl this weekend, but it turns out Nintendo IS running a Switch Commercial!   So now this has become a piece about what they should’ve done with the commercial, or what I think would be the most effective.  Sorry, don’t mean to give the impression I’m never satisfied, just wanted to share my vision or idea for the commercial.  But before we even get to that, let me point out what is great about the commercial.

The Good: During the Super Bowl we will see ads for movies and such that won’t have specific release dates or something as vague as “Summer 2017”.  Nintendo however will be capitalizing on the proximity of the Switch’s release date and Super Bowl LI.  Less than 30 Days from the Super Bowl, the Switch has potential to grab and keep people’s attention right up to it’s launch.   The ad shows off the functionality of being able to go portable, or to play at home, while also showing off the big launch title, The Legend of Zelda: A Breath of the Wild.

Spreading the Word: Outside of the hardcore gamers that check video game news sites and forums, I doubt most people even know about the Nintendo Switch.  Since the release of the Wii U, Nintendo has disappeared from the spot light and has been forgotten by many.  The Switch Presentation in January was based out of Japan at 11pm EST with little follow up from Nintendo of America, so it’s likely most people are in the dark about the Switch.  The Super Bowl is a perfect time to announce to America and the rest of the world that Nintendo has something big on the horizon.

What was missing: The Super Bowl Ad runs 30seconds, and it is a hard task to introduce the the Switch and all of it’s functionality along with it’s games in that short amount of time.   But I think it’s possible for them to have crammed it all in.  There were some key things I noticed that were missing during the commercial that I feel should’ve been shown offOne big thing was the ability to play Retro games!  Look how huge the success of the Mini NES Classic was!  I understand $300 is a completely different ballpark than $60, but there is obviously a nostalgic audience that wants to play the simpler classics. This crowd might be the new “casual” audience that Nintendo can scoop up that nobody has tapped into.  The commercial  also missed the opportunity to showcase some other Switch games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, 1,2 Switch, Super Bomberman R, Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2, even if it was done in a very quick montage.  I also noticed that the commercial only shows the gamer playing portable within their house, it may make some people believe it’s limited like the Wii U was.  Last but not least (and maybe intentional) they never showed the joycon’s and their functionalities.  Below is a breakdown of how I would’ve presented the Switch in the 30 seconds.


What I would’ve tried to do: If I was better at video editing, I would try to splice together my own commercial from clips Nintendo has shown.  But here is the breakdown of what I think would be more effective (but what do I know?)

0:00 – 0:13  – Shows the player playing Zelda on the TV, then getting up and picking the Switch up off the dock.  Then shows them playing on a bus/subway/etc.  This will help target the “gamers”, the Zelda fans and show off the true portability of the Switch.

0:13 – 0:19 – Shows off people playing 1,2 Switch together outside (like previous videos).  This will show off the Wii Sports/casual appeal that the Switch can have to the “party gamer”. And show off some local multiplayer

0:19 – 0:25 – 2 second clips of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, and Super Bomberman R (or Mario Odyssey) The extended cut shows off a 2 second clip of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, so it’s surprising how much you can pick up in 2 seconds.   The main purpose of this is to show there are games for it, more than just Zelda.  Mario Kart has huge appeal.

0:25 – 0:29 – A very quick montage of NES/SNES/N64 games cycling through with something like “Play Past Nintendo Classics Exclusively on Switch!” plastered over top of the quickly playing highlight reel.   I think this is one that will make a lot of people take notice and remember how much they love Nintendo

0:29 – 0:30 – Image of the Switch Logo and Release Date. This was already done in the commercial.


I understand this is a lot to cram into one commercial, and might even be unrealistic.  I’m not into marketing or a director so I obviously am not a professional and might be overlooking a lot of stuff here.  I’m playing Armchair Quarterback with Nintendo’s advertising, I am aware of that.  But I do ultimately feel they left a lot of positives and features untold in their commercial.  Instead of this being a Nintendo Switch commercial, it actually seems more like a Zelda: Breath of the Wild commercial.  I know the Switch is very important for Nintendo and it has to succeed, and I really want to see it take off, I’m just overly analytical on how they present it because I don’t want this to be Nintendo’s last chance.  I also happen to believe strongly in the potential of it and it has me much more excited than a PSVR, PS4Pro or XBox Scorpio, so I can’t wait to get one in my hands!

Here is Nintendo’s extended commercial (112 Seconds) which shows off a lot more of the functionality and games available.  I still would’ve liked to see them show off some Retro games since their online service is going to come with a game every month.

Posted on February 2, 2017, in Featured Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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