Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 26, 2014

Amiibo viral marketing…

“Hey guys! I got an Amiibo! It’s so cool. Let me upload a photo of it with my phone. But then I had to get more Amiibos. And more! Here are all my Amiibos all lined up!”

Sigh…. It is so transparent. Aside from early adopters and collectors, there is no widespread interest in the Amiibo. Some of the reactions you hear are genuine, but much of it is being corralled by Nintendo marketing.

I mean… have you SEEN the marketing campaign for the Amiibos? They have their own displays at the game stores and other retail stores. That costs money. You better bet there is a marketing campaign for the Amiibos. However, why would Nintendo market Amiibos in a traditional way since Amiibos aren’t really a traditional product?

Ask yourself, “What is the marketing strategy for Amiibos?”

You don’t see it, do you? But you do see countless message forum threads on them. Now unless there is a marketing campaign going on with kids that I’m unaware of, I suspect much of the ‘activity’ online about Amiibos is the campaign strategy.

What the hell is there to discuss about Amiibos? And for now they are absorbed into Smash Brothers discussions anyway. There is no real genuine excitement for Amiibos in the greater population. No one is saying, “Open the door! I need to run out and buy some Amiibos!”

The odds are is that those who like Smash will be the prime customers for Amiibos. But not everyone likes Smash. Smash is a big Nintendo game, but it is not Mario Kart big.

And why the hell would grown adults be taking photos of their Amiibos? They all look the same! Except for those that are being custom painted (which is creepy).

Amiibos are interesting in that they are a tactile video game product when everything is switching to digital. It gives me the same feeling as cartridges do in a way. But for most, that is where the appeal ends. We’ve always had toy Nintendo figures. We even have DLC. Why on Earth would tons of people be excited for Amiibos? It is because they aren’t.

To understand the Amiibo, one needs to understand Nintendo hardware. Nintendo intentionally puts out console hardware without using all its functions. Part of the hardware is intentionally delayed to be used until years later into the console lifespan to ‘excite the consumers’. The best example of this is the DS and Wi-Fi. All DS systems have Wi-Fi. Nintendo didn’t fully utilize the Wi-Fi in the DS until years after the DS launched. Only then were online games made. Mario Kart DS was a big flagship for the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection.

The purpose of the Amiibos is to utilize the NFC (did I get the acronym right?) hardware of the Wii U to ‘excite the consumer market’ about the Wii U hardware. It is not Amiibos Nintendo is marketing so much as it is the hardware.

People get excited about games. Amiibos are not games. Why is Nintendo breaking Yamauchi’s rule that ‘Console is just a box people buy to get to Mario’?


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