Flavorful Partnerships

Nintendo is doing a lot of different and even remarkable things to promote their brand new console this Summer, and leading into the Fall/Winter seasons. As a large bulk of the company’s populace are moving into their Summer break from school, this unique promoting is to not only get the word out about the system, but also to generate more anticipation for it.

It is no secret that the demand is/remains extremely high for the Nintendo Switch, so having the opportunity to get your hands on the system is proving a little difficult for many. In situations like these, where supply and demand are quite effectively feeding each other, it is vitally important to make sure interest remains high throughout. That is where partnerships like the one that Nintendo has created with Pepsi/Frito-Lay play such a pivotal role.

Brand awareness is important, and connecting Nintendo Switch with staple brands like Pepsi and Frito-Lay are incredible, even for a “HOT” item like this because it goes a long way toward making sure that especially throughout this first year on the market, the company has its highest possible level of interest and enthusiasm for the console.

The next time you pick up a Frito-Lay Variety Pack, one of the flagship brands from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, you also might pick up a Nintendo Switch gaming system. Between now and July 8, Frito-Lay is giving away one Nintendo Switch system and a game every single hour! Specially marked Frito-Lay Variety Packs contain information about how U.S. residents can enter for a chance to win.

I like the way in which this type of promotion is coming at the start of Summer vacation, because as students are getting out of school, parents are buying snacks like these for the kids who are home a good majority of the day. Something to snack on is a necessity. So, why not pair the two and make it a win for both partners! Why not?!

“Nintendo Switch sprung out of the gate as the fastest-selling Nintendo home system in history,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “It’s no secret that snacks and video games have always gone together, and this is a great chance for people to get their hands on a Nintendo Switch and a game.”

Even for those of us who are “past school age”, we still like our snacks as well, and when you’re talking about the Frito-Lay brand, you can’t really go wrong.

Frito-Lay Variety Pack includes pre-portioned bags of everyone’s favorite Frito-Lay snacks, such as: Cheetos cheese flavored snacks, Doritos tortilla chips, Fritos corn snacks, Funyun’s onion flavored rings, Lay’s potato chips, Rold Gold pretzels, Smartfood popcorn and SunChips multigrain snacks. Variety Packs are available at retail stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.60 – $8.99. For additional details about the Frito Lay presents the Nintendo Switch Giveaway, visit http://www.flvpgamegiveaway.com.

It’s hard to argue with the logic that went into this decision, and I wouldn’t even attempt to because I really like the move. Whether I win a system or not, I do believe this promotion will be amazing for Nintendo and the Nintendo Switch. I remember back in the early days of Nintendo as a home gaming entity, and the number of promotions that went into making sure EVERYONE knew about the NES were astounding. In fact, many companies employed a lot of the same tactics…and they worked wonderfully well! I mean, to this day, I cannot eat Reese’s Pieces without thinking about ET: the Extra Terrestrial (and I love my Reese’s).

Of note: Nintendo and Pepsi also have another promotion for the Nintendo Switch that is also serving to help Pepsi promote their new flavor, Pepsi Fire (cinnamon flavored). For more details visit: Pepsi Fire Sweepstakes

What do you think of this latest promotion by the company with regards to the Nintendo Switch? Will you be trying to win a console? Do you like the snacks that come in the Variety Packs? Are you a fan of Pepsi products, in general?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!



Weekend Review–What’s Going On?

Time for another Weekend Review! It seems like this week went by so quickly, but still it was full indeed. This week saw an influx of information that was amazing to watch. We got updates, and cars, and hacked, and more updates, and stacks, and splats and more splats…

We were informed of the much-anticipated BIG Splatoon update coming next week, on August 5.

There was also the announcement of a Mario-themed Hotwheels cars series to be released soon.

Nintendo and Facebook partnered to promote Super Mario Maker with a two-day Hackathon event held at Facebook HQ.

We also finally got word on the HUGE Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS update that brought tournament mode to the game.

Nintendo also released their massive Miiverse overhaul. Changing up things such as post limits, the ways in which we log Play Journals, screenshots, drawings, and discussions, as well.

Nintendo released their Q1 financial results and there was good news all around as the company posted profits due to Splatoon, amiibo, Nintendo 3DS, and even Wii U sales.

Then to round out the week we not only learned of a new Splatfest for North America, we also had two new weapons release last night.

A taste of what’s to come…

Word has been getting around for the last few days that Nintendo has been working on a subscription box service similar to Loot Crate. super_mario_maker_artMCV reported that they have gotten initial information regarding what’s being call the ‘N-Box’.

The ’N-Box’ will feature toys, clothes and other merchandise inspired by and branded with Nintendo icons such as Mario, Zelda and Pokémon.

The boxes are expected to be available individually, with gamers also able to subscribe to a three-, six- or 12-month plan.

It will be interesting to see if this turns out to be a legitimate story. I usually don’t remark on things that are only at the rumor stage, but this is a very feasible bit of information. There could be many applications for this ‘N-Box’. It could very well be part of the new Membership Program that Nintendo is working on with DeNA. Exactly how that may be implemented is not very clear at the moment, but there is certainly a lot of room for speculation. I look forward to hearing more on this soon, and hopefully confirmation and information from Nintendo themselves.

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


What Will Nintendo’s Mobile Strategy Really Be?

On March 17, 2015 Nintendo announced a partnership with DeNA, a provider of mobile and e-commerce websites, based in Japan. Word of the partnership came at what was termed a Business and Capital Alliance Announcement in Japan. Mr. Satoru Iwata and Mr. Isao Moriyasu were both present to give the announcement.

Iwata-san began speaking about past and current perceptions in regards to the strength of the mobile market worldwide. Perceptions that would have many believe that the mobile market is overtaking most dedicated markets, including the dedicated gaming markets for both home and handheld. Of course, he pointed out some of the discrepancies in that argument, but also acknowledged that there is benefit in embracing that trend.

That is where DeNA enters the picture in conjunction with Nintendo. The aim of the partnership is to create an experience wherein they are able to bring the strength of huge Nintendo IP together with the mobile expertise of DeNA, and put out a successful hit!

Nintendo and DeNA aren’t just looking to put out a single hit, though. They are looking to release 5 different game over the course of the next 2 years through March 2017. The first of those five game is expected to be released later this year.

NX Announcement SlideBecause they understand that people are expecting a lot from this partnership, and they realize there are many different gaming genres, each title will take advantage of a separate genre to make sure all gaming tastes are satisfied.

In addition to this strategy,

Nintendo is looking to “construct a bridge between smart devices and dedicated video game hardware that connects consumers to our dedicated video game systems. For the consumers who are connected with Nintendo through smart devices and interested in Nintendo’s IP we would like to provide even more premium game play experience on Nintendo’s dedicated game platforms…instead of trying to seize each other’s demand, dedicated video game systems and smart devices will benefit from the synergies created between them.

Nintendo together with DeNA will jointly develop a new membership service which encompasses the existing Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, the new hardware with a brand new concept, NX, and smart devices and PCs, and Nintendo will be the primary party to operate this new membership service. Unlike the Club Nintendo membership that Nintendo has been operating, the new membership service will include multiple devices and create a connection between Nintendo and each individual consumer regardless of the device the consumer uses. This membership will form one of the core elements of the new Nintendo platform.”

This partnership is rather unprecedented, but it also has massive potential for both Nintendo and DeNA, but also may create some things in the gaming industry that will go unrivaled for quite some time.Satoru Iwata and Isao Moriyasu

How much of an impact do you expect the DeNA partnership to have? Are you excited to find out more about what these companies are releasing? Which are you most anticipating, Nintendo’s first mobile game or the new membership service? Or both?

Lastly, I want to say, I know that much of this info is not new, however a deeper look can always give better perspective. I hope you enjoyed.

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


Nintendo Brands are Expanding to Make an Even Bigger Impact

As a kid, some of the most desired toys to own were Hot Wheels cars. Every year at Christmas, there was some new racetrack set to purchase and cars to go along with it. Getting those tiny cars in hand was exhilarating, and the quality of the vehicles was wonderful. I know I had my favorite cars, as I’m sure most other people did, as well. The paint jobs, the weight of the cars, the smoothness of the wheels when they rolled…were all factors in determining how good the car was, for me.

I bring all of this up because Nintendo is at it again. Back in January of 2014, now-late President/CEO of Nintendo, Mr. Satoru Iwata, shared that the company planned to expand their character licenses during a financial briefing.

“We will actively expand our character licensing business, including proactively finding appropriate partners,” Iwata said. “In fact, we have been actively selling character merchandise for about a year in the U.S.

“Also, we will be flexible about forming licensing relationships in areas we did not license in the past, such as digital fields, provided we are not in direct competition and we can form win-win relationships.

hot-wheels-logoAs the final mix of this year, part of their Pop Culture series, Hot Wheels will release 6 Mario-themed cars that are sure to be a collector’s dream! They are also sure to be the desire of many kids like I was growing up as well.

Nintendo (October 2015):

  • 8 Crate Delivery (Dr. Mario)
  • A-OK (Mario Kart)
  • Cool-One (Super Mario Bros. 2)
  • Dairy Delivery (Super Mario Bros.)
  • School Busted (Super Mario 3)
  • Volkswagen T1 Panel Bus (Super Mario World)

This partnership, in conjunction with all of the other moves that we’ve seen/learned about recently are amazingly ingenious. Unconventional methods of re-introducing the Nintendo brand to the masses is absolutely solid move after solid move. Not only does it generate more revenue for Nintendo, but it also helps to keep the brand in people’s minds. Top of mind awareness!

Are you a Hot Wheels fan/collector? Do you think these cars can be nearly as successful as amiibo? Do you plan to get your hands on these? I certainly do!

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


Weekend Review–What’s Going On?!

Nintendo Cake WarsThis has been a week of cakes, details, condolences, promotion, and maps! It has been pretty good for news and info. What I would like to do is simply summarize, and also share some of the new things that are going on, as well.

We started out the week watching Nintendo take over Cake Wars on the Food Network to celebrate and promote Super Mario Maker during the week of E3. We also got additional details on Devil’s Third, and its North American release in Q4. Mr. Masahiro Sakurai shared his thoughts after the passing of Iwata-san in his weekly Famitsu column. Nintendo announced a partnership with Facebook to host a hackathon to promote the soon-to-be-released Super Mario Maker. Camp Triggerfish 2Then, Friday evening saw the release of yet another new Splatoon map, called Camp Triggerfish! This has been a fantastic week for fans.

We do have much more to look forward to, however, as Nintendo of Japan released a new Splatoon trailer that shows off a lot of new stuff for the game. There are new maps, weapons, a new mode, gear and music all in a 30-second clip sure to please. As it is in Japanese, any speaking may not be of assistance, but the good people over at GameXplain created an analysis video that may be very helpful.

We also got more concrete details on the coming Miiverse Update from Tom and Erika of Nintendo letting us know that it will be going into effect on July 29, 2015.

We were also informed  by Sarah from Nintendo that Nintendo TVii will be coming to an end after the nearly 3 years on the system. TVii will be going away as of August 11, 2015. Along with the app, the Miiverse community will be going away, as well!

Crunchyroll Wii UWe also got news that the anime app, Crunchyroll, on the Wii U will now be fully available without a subscription. Viewers will be able to watch full seasons of their favorite anime series now, in standard definition, with ads.

Another bit of information we were able to get, indirectly, was a patent registration for a device in connection to Nintendo’s Quality of Life initiative that was briefly announced last year. IGN, via NeoGAF, shared a fair amount of details for what QoL will be bringing to users. It looks very interesting, to say the least. Take a look and let me know what you think.

These are many of the news items that are relevant to Nintendo fans as we get into our weekend. Will you be having fun with Camp Triggerfish this weekend? Will you be enjoying some new anime with Crunchyroll? Are you looking forward to the new QoL platform next year? Are you excited for the new updates in Wii U with Miiverse and Nintendo TVii? So much going on, and all coming very soon!

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


Nintendo Partners With Facebook to Promote Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker 3One thing that Nintendo has been criticized for since the launch of Wii U has been the perceived lack of promotion and advertisement for the console and its games. I will agree that it was indeed a problem of sorts for close to a year, and coupled with pulled support from outside developers, and game droughts, it certainly caused many to question to lifespan of the console. Of course, many people have continued to trumpet a “lack of advertisement” to this day, and that certainly is not true, especially for anyone who has been paying attention.

Back in September of 2013, Nintendo hired Deutsch LA, a digital marketing firm to handle their digital and social media marketing campaigns. Nintendo knew soon after launch that there were things that needed to be changed and they addressed them immediately.Mario Cake Wars Now we are seeing more and more of those changes take effect. With Luigi memes, and sticky ads (see here), and Cake Wars takeovers, Nintendo is at it once again.

This time Nintendo of America is partnering with Facebook to promote the upcoming game, Super Mario Maker exclusively for the Wii U! Apparently some information leaked out earlier today, but Nintendo has finally shared more details about the upcoming event.

In a press release from Nintendo, they share how the event will work within the constructs of a Facebook company “hackathon”.

Hackathon events are a unique element of the Facebook company culture, and an opportunity for employees to pursue a project outside their day-to-day responsibilities to rapidly create something that interests them. The Super Mario Maker hackathon is exclusively for Facebook employees to design a special level in the game. At the event, participants will be using the demo version of the game that drew rave reviews at the recent E3 video game trade show to create levels using the in-game tools that will become available to a wider audience when the game launches exclusively for Wii U on the 11th of September. The event will culminate with designers presenting their creations to a panel of judges from Nintendo and Facebook. The winning individual or team has the opportunity to make the level available for Super Mario Maker owners to play after the game’s launch. Nintendo will be making a video series documenting the event available for fans to view shortly after the event concludes, and fans can also check in to Nintendo’s social media channels on July 28 and July 29 for live updates.

It is exciting to see all of the efforts that Nintendo is putting into sharing their message and their products. Do you find the level of transparency satisfactory? What more could they be doing, otherwise? Will you be checking in on the hackathon progress next week?