Advertisements sell you more than just a product: they also sell you an image and a lifestyle. In some cases, associating the appropriate lifestyle with your product can make a large difference in sales. Today, I want to analyze Nintendo’s advertisements for both the Switch and the Wii U and compare the two in hopes of finding a clue as to why their sales are so vastly different.
Another important aspect of the Switch commercial is what type of people show up in it. Yes, they are all adults, but they are also successful adults who are living a comfortable, well-off life. They are affluent, they fly on planes, party with their friends and own their own place. With this, Nintendo is selling a lifestyle and saying: cool people buy this console. For the Wii U, there is not much rule of cool associated with buying a console that is marketed towards children.
The Wii U was in part a failure because it pandered too heavily towards the casual crowd, an idea that had worked for its predecessor. The lack of “hardcore” games on the console was a constant source of criticism, and this translated to a lack of sales. Reggie Fils-Aime stated that the failures of the Wii U informed many decisions for the Switch, and this is apparent in the advertisement. For example, the concluding section of the Switch
Within these two advertisements, there is also an issue of gender that is important to keep in mind in terms of target audiences. The Wii U
Finally, there is a remarkable difference between the Switch branding and the Wii U branding that potentially impacted their respective sales. The Switch has very unique branding that Nintendo takes advantage of whenever they use it. One of the main selling points of the Switch is that the controllers can be detached from the console to make it either handheld or playable on the TV – which can be done at any point in time. In the Switch’s logo screen, the two controllers on the logo snap down and make an audible click. This sound, this very simple click, has become synonymous with the console and makes you think of it when you hear it. Most ingenious though, it also makes you think of the selling point of the console at the same time. Moreover, the sound is so recognizable that it needs no visual companion to it.
What’s more, the slogan of the two
The music choice of the two advertisements is also important to note. The Wii U ad uses a sort of electronic, dubstep track that is suited more towards the younger crowd (especially in 2011). The Switch trailer, however, uses an alternative rock that appeals to the younger crowd but also a wider spectrum of people. The biggest difference in the two is that the music in the Switch
Overall, the Switch advertisement is a stellar example of how to properly encapsulate the branding of your console with the ideas that you’re trying to sell to your consumer. The target audience for the Switch