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1609432226 1280x720

The Best, And Worst, Nintendo Commercials Ever

Over the holiday season we’ll be republishing a series of Nintendo Life articles, interviews and other features from the previous twelve months that we consider to be our Best of 2020. Hopefully, this will give you a chance to catch up on pieces you missed, or simply enjoy looking back on a year which did have some highlights — honest!

This feature was originally published in October 2020.

The recent Japanese TV spots for Super Mario 3D All-Stars and news Nintendo has recruited Love Island’s Laura Whitmore as a ‘Ring Fit Ambassador’ got us thinking back on Nintendo’s long history of TV commercials and 30-second spots. Whether you’re nostalgic for the ‘Now You’re Playing With Power!’ days or think back wistfully about all those celebrities lounging about their airy, wood-filled abodes playing Wii and DS, Nintendo commercials have really run the gamut from mad to mellow, cute to crude, over the years.

In the early ’90s it has SEGA who was taking the fight to Nintendo in the advertising space, and we’ve previously taken a look at how SEGA’s marketing approach in the UK prompted an advertising response in kind, with more biting ads that became edgier over time, especially as Sony entered the arena with its groundbreaking PlayStation ads.

Nintendo has always been a big spender then it comes to TV advertising, and that has only increased as its audience broadened considerably in the Wii and DS era. As a result, there are a great many commercials to choose from, but we’ve collected our picks below for your viewing pleasure. They’ll take you on a tour from the early 1980s up to the present day showing you the best, and the worst, of Nintendo’s advertising output on the box. We’ve stuck to TV commercials rather than the more modern online trailers or reveal videos (sorry over-enthusiastic Ring Fit Adventure duo).

Before we begin, it’s important to remember that these commercials were produced for Nintendo rather than by Nintendo. Ad companies pitched ideas and Nintendo’s regional departments signed off on them, so the developers of the games and even the higher-ups in the company around the world probably had zero input in the content of these commercials, if they were aware of them at all.

The Best Nintendo TV Commercials of the ’80s and ’90s

Before we begin with Nintendo’s 8- and 16-bit systems, there are a couple of even earlier ads which we love…

“Mario, where are you?”

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