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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mercedes Benz Teams Up With Nintendo's Mario

Live-action versions of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. (Mario & Luigi) and crew (other characters in the video game franchise) have ranged from so-so funny (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show) to horrible (the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film).

As such, I would would wonder just why in the hell anyone would ever consider making a television commercial with these characters.

And comedic television commercials?

Well... I knew it wouldn't be done by the Germans.

So... the Japanese?

Old allies get back together to make memorable, though still not, in my mind funny commercials highlighting the Mercedes-Benz GLA car, starring Mario of Nintendo fame, and some supplementary characters.

Shh... don't mention the war. Sorry. I think I did. I might have got away with it.

Nintendo partnered with Mercedes-Benz (Japan) in August 2014 to bring some of their vehicles into the Mario Kart 8 game for the Wii U console. This free update for the game added three cars: the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA, the 1957 SL 300 Roadster, and the 1934 W25 Silver Arrow.

These miniaturized, digital Mario Kart racers suddenly had the likes of Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach speeding around the Mushroom Kingdom in them.

Now, Mercedes-Benz (Japan) is hoping that those classic Nintendo mascots can help them sell some vehicles in the real world. Three commercials featuring Mario and his pals have released as part of the company’s advertising campaign in Japan so far.

Her's one with that effing Luigi. I hate effing Luigi:


Okay. Here's one with the tasty Princess Peach who looks more perturbed than fuzzy:

Wow… the thigh-high socks are a nice touch.

Did anyone else try and freeze frame it to see if you could see up her dress when she jumped over the turtle? Right. Just me. Liars.

Here's one that is more old school, where Mario loses his life:

Fortunately, I've got another life… which is in stark contradiction to what everyone else tells me I should try and get.

I do think that it is VERY interesting for Mercedes to be involved with Nintendo. I'm unsure just how old the typical player of Mario Kart video games is, but I'm guessing they aren't of legal driving age yet.

But... perhaps getting the Mercedes logo out in front of the young guns is just a smart way of setting the table for future business.

As far as using Nintendo characters in the commercials? Well... most Mercedes buyers aren't typically 12, 22 or even 32 years old. They are 40+... because - and I say 'typically' - a Mercedes isn't a car for young drivers only because they don't have the earning capacity yet.

So... as a vehicle for 40-somethings... using familiar Nintendo characters that these same would-be drivers would have grown up with as kids... well... that's just smart.

Gold coin to Nintendo and Mercedes.

I still don't think the commercials are overly funny, but they are intriguing... and for Mercedes... discovering that Mercedes is in tune with fun and kitsch... well, who knew?

Andrew Joseph

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