Nintendo Ad Campaigns Retrospective

Get N Or Get Out

Almost looking like an ironic twist to how Nintendo handled third parties in the NES era, Nintendo grew some balls and presented gamers with an ultimatum, Get N or Get Out. It was a pretty simple gesture about the N64. You either get it or you don’t. You’re either in or you’re out. Though considering what Nintendo was up against, it seemed more like Nintendo was saying “you’re with us or you’re against us.”

One interesting development here was that even third party companies used this ad campaign. I’m guessing Nintendo wanted to show the game industry that they weren’t the unfriendly company that the media was portraying them as when it came to third parties during this era. Games like Earthworm Jim 3D, Shadow Man, and South Park 64 were part of the campaign. There were still a few games that had shades of the radical Play It Loud campaign, like Cruisin’ World and the Player’s Choice ad. Overall, there was a lot more variety with these ads as many companies had their own ideas for advertising their game.

Get N or Get Out also spawned what may be the most memorable commercial for the campaign, and maybe even videogame advertising history (though Ocarina of Time might be a close second for the hype and length of the commercial). The commercial in question is of course the one for Super Smash Bros. that you’re seeing up there. In an act normally reserved for game pool commercials, here we see some of Nintendo’s dignitaries chilling out in an open field with “So Happy Together” from The Turtles playing in the background. And then Mario goes “Fuck this” and kicks Yoshi in the leg. Then an all-out fight ensues between these four. This blew the minds of many kids and older gamers alike back then. Some probably didn’t know Nintendo was making a fighting game featuring their own Nintendo characters until this commercial aired.

One commercial that sorta became the precursor to the more serious and hardcore commercials Nintendo would air in the future would be the one to Majora’s Mask. Somber and brooding in tone and atmosphere, it almost seems believable that the world is hoping that this kid beats Majora’s Mask and spare them their lives (and ridiculous as this setup is). The commercial is not tied to an ad campaign and is a standalone. When you look at the commercial and how serious it takes itself, it almost makes sense why the next couple of campaigns for the next system would go in this similar route. First order of business: condense the videogame world into a cube in our world.

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