Nintendo's super Bowl ad performed well, but for $5 million it missed an opportunity to really stand out
I think Nintendo's ad did it's job, but it was much tamer than other entries vying for eyeballs and day-after water cooler discussions.
Prior to the Patriots talking the Super Bowl into an unheard of overtime and overturning what seemed like a savage defeat, I watched Nintendo's commercials online - both the extended and 30-second versions. My first reaction was positive. Both versions showcased the home-to-portable concept and the extended version displayed a few games.
There's nothing wrong with the ad and it performed well according to the metrics, but seeing it next to the typical over-the-top fare, it seemed a bit subdued as though it needed a bit more excitement and emotion. The guy playing Zelda seemed utterly bored.
It's a hard thing to judge since half the battle is simply getting mainstream shoppers to realize a new Nintendo console coming soon and the features that set it apart from Sony and Microsoft's consoles. The comercial achieved those goals, but it's also important for the Switch to be on consumer's minds - and not just gamers. Switch needs to appeal to a wide audience to succeed.
Various metrics I've seen all indicate the Switch ad was well received and fell into the several top-ten lists. The real success will be at the registers in March and we hope they have acquired better data regarding consumer demand. The NES Classic Edition's disappointing inventory levels are still not resolved three months after it's launch.
Hopefully, the pre-orders will give Nintendo a better sense of inventory levels for the Switch. They will also need to account for folks like me who weren't able to place pre-orders. We'll have all the answers in a few weeks!