We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

Nintendo Tells Players 'Touching is Good'

by Mike Sklens - October 24, 2004, 1:33 pm EDT
Total comments: 23 Source: Reuters

Nintendo is getting down and dirty with their US ad campaign for the DS. Updated with the official press release.

Commercials for the DS have been running for weeks now in Japan, leaving many to wonder when exactly the media blitz is going to start stateside, especially considering the handheld will be available here almost two weeks before it will be in Japan.

Fear not, Nintendo's DS campaign will begin this Monday, October 25th. Starting tomorrow, television watchers will being seeing teaser spots focusing on the systems innovative touch screen controls. Nintendo is taking a decidedly mature angle with the advertising for the DS, telling consumers “touching is good.” “When you're a kid,” says Perrin Kaplan, vice president of marketing at Nintendo of America, “you're always told you can't touch anything. Touching is good. You're grown-up now, so read it how you want.”

The television spots will feature a sexy female voice asking players to get up close with the new games for the DS. Print ads will appear in men’s magazines such as Maxim and Blender, and feature a model holding the DS with words displaying, “How to Score!… Start listening to her needs, playa!” Full length television ads being on November 18th, and will air during shows such as South Park. Advertising firm Leo Burnett, who are responsible for many Nintendo advertisements, is creating the ads.

Update: Here is Nintendo's official press release regarding the ad campaign.

Nintendo Launches Massive Media Blitz for Debut of Nintendo DS;

'Touching is Good' Campaign Features Provocative Spots

REDMOND, Wash.--Oct. 25, 2004--Do not adjust your TV sets. The

sultry voice you hear emanating amid the static heralds Nintendo's

massive, multimillion-dollar "Touching is good" campaign to spread the

word about the innovative, touch- and dual-screened Nintendo DS(TM).

The new hand-held video game and communications system launches Nov.

21, and will be backed by the largest launch program ever for a

Nintendo product.

Since childhood, we've been told "please do not touch" -- don't

touch that lamp, stop touching your food and don't touch anything in

this store. Nintendo DS changes those rules. The "Touching is good"

multimedia campaign creatively touts the unique features of the

dual-screened Nintendo DS, which include a touch screen, a built-in

chat function, wireless communication and voice recognition.

Intriguing pre-launch television ads begin airing on Oct. 25. The

series of three ads presents a static-filled screen with a female

voice-over that encourages viewers to interact with two blue boxes

that appear on the screen. The sultry requests for interaction

coincide with the special features of Nintendo DS.

To support this pre-launch effort, Nintendo has aligned itself

with powerful media partners that target a hip, male demographic. MTV

produced a custom ad for Nintendo DS featuring the stars of Wildboyz

using Nintendo DS to play a wireless multiplayer game, while engaging

in one of their exciting trademark adventures. Nintendo will offer a

video with behind-the-scenes footage of the making of this commercial

on Nintendo.com. In addition, custom advertorials will run exclusively

in Dennis Publishing's Maxim, Blender and Stuff magazines, instructing

readers "How to Score." The ads relate to readers and viewers of these

popular media brands by speaking their language.

During the launch phase for Nintendo DS, three new television ads

will showcase the unit's unique features. This engaging and surreal

campaign will demonstrate the appeal of Nintendo DS to a wide range of

ages and demographics. Consumers will not be identified simply by age,

but rather by the kinds of lifestyles they lead. Nintendo will market

Nintendo DS to the full spectrum of hipsters, budding enthusiasts and

hard-core gamers.

In December, Nintendo will run ads on more than 5,000 movie

screens across the country. Print ads in gaming magazines will support

the launch, along with a full range of Internet and broadband efforts.

There will be unique program integration with major TV networks. In

addition, Nintendo DS is being featured on the Nintendo Fusion Tour, a

multi-city tour that presents the best in music and video games.

"The campaign for Nintendo DS marks a different, bolder approach

for Nintendo," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice

president of marketing and corporate communications. "We think such a

radically different and creative device like Nintendo DS deserves the

backing of an equally innovative and provocative marketing campaign."

Nintendo's media agency of record, Starcom U.S.A., and its

specialist division, Starcom Entertainment, negotiated media placement

and branded integration with MTV and Dennis Publishing. Nintendo of

America's advertising agency, Leo Burnett USA, created the pre-launch

and launch television ads.

Nintendo DS will sell at an MSRP of $149.99. In addition to the

built-in PictoChat(TM) chat function, Nintendo DS will come bundled

with a playable demo of Metroid Prime(R) Hunters: First Hunt, the

latest installment in an extremely popular first-person shooter


Before the end of the year, Nintendo DS users will be able to

enjoy games of all kinds, from Super Mario(R) 64 DS from Nintendo,

Madden NFL 2005, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR(R) 2005 and The Urbz(TM): Sims

in the City(TM) from EA, and Spider-Man 2(TM) from Activision. Other

third-party titles available during the launch window include Ping

Pals from THQ, Feel the Magic(TM): XY/XX from SEGA, Rayman(R) DS and

Asphalt Urban GT(TM) from Ubisoft and Ridge Racer(R) DS and Mr.

DRILLER(R): Drill Spirits(TM) from Namco. More than 120 games remain

in development for Nintendo DS around the world.

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive

entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and

markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video

game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the

best-selling Game Boy(R) Advance, Nintendo DS(TM) and Nintendo

GameCube(TM) systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue

the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games

for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video

game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.9 billion video

games and more than 170 million hardware units globally, creating

enduring industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and

launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid(R),

Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of

America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for

Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site

at www.nintendo.com.


Berto2KOctober 24, 2004

Finally, the adverts start to come. People can stop complaining and whining like little babies about it. Whats strang though is that they are waiting till 3 days before launch to run the full lenth ads. But I'm attributing that to the fact that just about everyone who knows of it, and is getting one will get it at launch anyways. That 1 Million units isn't gonna last long, thats for sure.

IWannaBeSponsoredOctober 24, 2004

What a different angle. This sounds like they are trying to make the ds some kind of sex toy. Why? its a gaming machine. that is what Nintendo has always been about. In my Opinion, they could have and should have come up with a different way to appeal to older audiences than sex.

- NintendoFan -October 24, 2004

Well, I have seen one of the ads in FHM.

Berto2KOctober 24, 2004

Ya, the one in stuff magazine is good too seen here:


EricEnderOctober 24, 2004

that only thing missing on Nintendo DS is a vibrator

speaking of... there should be one like that little thing called cybiko which had a built in vibrate thingy

NinGurl69 *hugglesOctober 24, 2004

That's the DS "Rumble Pak" peripheral, coming this Xmas.

Bill AurionOctober 24, 2004

Ninty should do what they did with the 64 and package a rumble pack with a future game(Starfox DS, please? ='D)

PolemistisOctober 24, 2004

LOLZ! I like that ad ^_^

WuTangTurtleOctober 24, 2004

perfect ad, it makes sense and it gives you a bunch of information. Hopefully they don't go too muture and accidently make another advertisement like they did online where they put Mario's face over a ahem, statue, that was ummm, ahem holding a certain object, lol.

I don't wanna say what it was but Nintendo quickly took it off their website, im not sure how many ppl have even heard of this.

PaLaDiNOctober 24, 2004

That statue was holding a scepter.

You have a sick, sick mind.

Hostile CreationOctober 24, 2004

Pretty good. I sort of expected something a bit more. . . crude. . . at first. But that manages to be funny, informative, and tasteful all at once. Nice job, Ninty.

I never thought of it specifically, but they really could release a Rumble Pak for DS that plugs into the GBA slot.

KDR_11kOctober 24, 2004


Originally posted by: IWannaBeSponsored
What a different angle. This sounds like they are trying to make the ds some kind of sex toy. Why? its a gaming machine. that is what Nintendo has always been about. In my Opinion, they could have and should have come up with a different way to appeal to older audiences than sex.

Did you miss the announcement that Team Ninja is going to make games for the DS? Touch screen, girls in bikinis, Itagaki's sick mind: It all adds up!

odifiendOctober 25, 2004


Originally posted by: IWannaBeSponsored
What a different angle. This sounds like they are trying to make the ds some kind of sex toy. Why? its a gaming machine. that is what Nintendo has always been about. In my Opinion, they could have and should have come up with a different way to appeal to older audiences than sex.

You mean like violence or drugs? And it is innuendo not sex! face-icon-small-happy.gif

JubJubOctober 25, 2004

Hopefully Planetgamecube can get their hands on some of that official nintendo advertising dollar!

couchmonkeyOctober 25, 2004

I nominate "Start listening to her needs, playa!" for eye-rolling quote of the year. I'm a little afraid these ads will blow up in Nintendo's face, but the print ad is a fairly creative way to get the DS' features across.

Otherwise, it's nice to know NOA is starting up the DS hypewagon. Good luck to them!

LedgehammerousOctober 25, 2004

I'm not really a big fan of this kind of advertising.

Favorite Nintendo commercial ever: the ad for Mario and Luigi. Funny, clever, and not offensive to anyone. Second favorite Nintendo commercial: the original Legend of Zelda ad. "Wikky wikky wig!"

Ian SaneOctober 25, 2004

Well these ads target a more "mature" audience so that's good I guess. I don't know. I look at this and it sounds to me like the same types of ads Nintendo has done for the last five years only with a more racy attitude. Why is touching good? The DS is an innovative system that offers "new types of gaming". Shouldn't that incredibly significant pro be focused on in the ads?

The problem with Nintendo's ads is that they're so ambiguous. They're fun to watch and often funny but unless you know what the product is already it's hard to tell what the ad is even for. There's never any info given or any sort of "buy this it's awesome" persuasion. It's always "hey we've got this new product." And I should care why?

I remember the GBC ads. They were pretty much just "it's the Gameboy only now it's in COLOUR!!" Very simple and very effective. Everyone I knew was talking about it. This ad doesn't sound like it really explains what the DS even is. And in this case there's no Gameboy name recognition, something the GBA was always able to rely on regardless of it's marketing.

Nintendo's products would sell themselves if their ads just told people what the products are. They have to stop hiding the product behind some clever ad. Show off the games, show off the systems, and show off the products.

Darc RequiemOctober 25, 2004

Nintendo can't win it seems. They put out an ad targeting older games and people are complaining. They put out kid friendly ads people start complaining. Jeez....I mean this type ad is funny to me. It doesn't matter how they advertise to me...well except that terrible Mario Sunshine TV ad. Nintendo needs to pull in mainstream gamers if they hope to quelch the PSP hype....I say more power to them.

Darc Requiem

DjunknownOctober 25, 2004

talk about...titilating (SP?). The print ad that is.

It really seems a new day for the big N. IMHO, this is way better than the "Who are you" ad campaign. It was missing something, something I can't quite put my finger on. But this, hopefully will stop "teH NinTy's teH kiDy!" rant casual and rival fanboys keep mouthing off.

Dumb idea that might work: Feel the Magic Ad mixed with "Touching is good." I see the possibilities...

Berto2KOctober 25, 2004

Guys, just quite yer yapping and watch the ad first. Its good!


Hostile CreationOctober 26, 2004

Cool ad, methinks. Not what I expected, and it's a bit vague, but it's good and the voice is ver' sexy.

I like the Who Are You? ad campaign. There isn't a single ad, television or paper, Gamecube or Gameboy Advance, that I didn't like. They were all cool. Of course they had other ads going while those ran, too, it's not as if Who Are you? was it.

I have a massive collection of Nintendo ads, by the way. I have about fifty on my computer. Many of them are very cool.

JonLeungOctober 26, 2004

I think the print ad, featured in Maxim and FHM and Stuff-type magazines, is very fitting. It's appropriate in its context. And I think that works.

I'd have no problem with commercials like Super Mario Sunshine's "Clean is better than dirty" if they were airing in the appropriate time slot. Like maybe during Kirby: Right Back At Ya! or the Pokémon (the show), where their likely viewers would be younger gamers or die-hard Nintendo fans. For the more shallow and casual gamers, "Clean is better than dirty" on a prime time sitcom is not going to make Nintendo seem all that cool. If there were commercials for Resident Evil 4 or Metroid Prime 2: Echoes on prime time shows, that would fit.

It's all about context. Like context-sensitive action buttons in various games, ads should be context-sensitive. If you want to get a different demographic (or "psychographic", as I think Reggie Fils-Aime once said), like those of young men, you want ads in magazines like Maxim, and also look like they belong in Maxim. And this ad looks like it would.

Got a news tip? Send it in!