Nintendo Switch Super Bowl Commercial

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Nintendo Switch is a gaming console developed by Nintendo. The device was launched in 2017 to much excitement because of its new and attractive features. As part of their marketing strategy, Nintendo decided to promote the Nintendo Switch through a Super Bowl advertisement. Super Bowl advertising has its allure to marketers as it is one of the most watched events in the US. Thus, promotion during the Super Bowl places one’s products before the eyes of millions. The Nintendo Switch advert is designed to provide its viewers with visual allure and to illustrate the exciting possibilities of the gadget. Importantly, Nintendo’s marketers make use of the three approaches to persuasion. Even though the Nintendo Super Bowl advert has shortcomings in its logos, it uses its game titles and product capabilities to reflect ethos, and fun and socialization to highlight pathos. 

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The Nintendo Switch advertisement makes use of its renowned games to boost its ethos. Games such as Mario Brothers have been in the living rooms of many people since the eighties. It has become successful and is a well-known source of joy for millions across the world (“Nintendo Switch”). The same can be said for The Legend of Zelda. The goal of ethos is to convince the target market of the credibility of Nintendo in delivering a desirable product (Prynne et al. 21). By showing viewers games that they have already played and enjoyed, Nintendo ensures that their new console hitches a ride on the consumer trust build on previous games. 

Moreover, the entire advertisement is a preview of the actual product. Nintendo showcases their popular games against some of the new and exciting ones. For instance, the new game Arms is a replacement of the older game called Punch Out (“Nintendo Switch”). Using the advert, Nintendo shows just how the new game can be better than the old one. On top of that, the company shows the capabilities of their new Nintendo Switch. The abilities of the device are not limited to just being a portable gaming device. Nintendo Switch can also be a functional console with motion sensors that can receive two player inputs (“Nintendo Switch”). These demonstrations assure gamers of Nintendo’s credibility as a game system manufacturer. 

Throughout the commercial, Nintendo seeks to appeal to pathos by showing individuals using the Nintendo Switch to have fun and socialize. The use of fun in the advertisement by Nintendo is visible in every scene. After all, it is designed to excite and bring joy. The characters used in the ad appear to be having fun. They have smiles and even laugh (“Nintendo Switch”). By doing so, Nintendo makes the target audience to desire to be in a similar situation. In the end, Nintendo associates their product with fun. The use of fun is accompanied by visual appeal. Visual appeal comes in the form of fun graphics and vivid colors. These images are designed to create a wow factor among viewers (“Nintendo Switch”). The attractive visuals appeal to the desires of gamers. 

Aside from the use of fun and visuals, all of the actors in the commercial are placed in social settings.  Even the first character who wakes up to play Zelda alone finds himself gaming against friends in a later scene. In another part of the ad, a father and a son play Arms on a split screen television (“Nintendo Switch”). The use of relations is the Nintendo Switch ad appeals to the pathos of viewers as they desire to be connected to other persons and share the joy. 

While the Nintendo Switch promotion excels when it comes to the use of ethos and pathos, it does not satisfactorily make use of logos. Logos is designed to persuade viewers through the use of reasoning and logic. While the use of logos is not visible in a direct fashion, it can be inferred. As pointed out in the pathos section of this paper, Nintendo has designed their ad to link Nintendo to fun and socialization. The logos that can be inferred is that if the actors are having fun and socializing, so can the users (“Nintendo Switch”). Using Nintendo corresponds to happiness and socialization. The lack of a distinct logos leaves Nintendo’s advert lacking in outright logical appeal. 

Nintendo’s commercial does not test its strengths when it comes to logos. The company appears to realize that when it comes to gaming, reputation and emotions are critical selling points. After all, people want to have fun when they play games. They also want to see their favorite game titles, which they have played since they were children and are sure of the fun levels.  

Even though the Nintendo Super Bowl advert has shortcomings in its logos, it uses its game titles and product capabilities to reflect ethos, and fun and socialization to highlight pathos. Games such as Super Mario and Zelda are celebrated titles that serve as an ethos benchmark for Nintendo. Displaying actors in fun and social situations reflects pathos. Logos is not readily discernible. All in all, the advertisement successfully gets its core message across to Super Bowl audiences across the US.

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  1. Nintendo. “Nintendo Switch Super Bowl LI Commercial – Extended Cut.” YouTube, YouTube, 1 Feb. 2017.
  2. Prynne, John, et al. Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentator. New York, N.Y: Brooklyn College, Dept. of English, City University of New York, 2009. 
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