Nintendo’s “No Politics” ad campaign explained

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Click the button below to start this article in quick view. The Mario Party commercial starts with a crowd of reporters rapidly asking questions which are vaguely Mario-related, but some more typical of political interviewers than others. One reporter asks, “Will your brother be on your team?” after someone chimes in, “Sir, are you afraid of the gorilla?” The commercial doesn’t exactly scream political advert, but the scene is all too familiar. That is, before a green shell hits a reporter in the gut and the camera pans to reveal Nintendo’s famous mascot and poster child Mario to be the person standing at the podium. Behind him a banner reads, “The Mario Party.”

Related: “RIP Mario” and “Mario Is Dead” Explained Modern Nintendo commercials all seem to feature real people playing the Switch, with Mario and others only involved in gameplay or cutscenes. Even though Mario frequently makes the peace symbol in games, there’s very little chance Nintendo would let Mario give the double peace sign in a politically-charged commercial today, since the gesture is closely associated with Nixon, the only U.S. President to resign from office amid scandal. Although the symbol was notorious in 2003 as well, Nintendo seems much more adverse these days to portraying its characters in any way that might bring criticism.

To modern audiences, seeing Mario pelt an innocent man with a green shell and brazenly celebrate the act is extremely odd. Since this commercial in 2003, Nintendo has become extremely protective of its characters. So protective, in fact, that the Paper Mario development team isn’t able to invent unique characters based on established Mario species. That means no unique named Toads or even Goombas can be created. This is just one result of Nintendo seemingly trying to remove all chances of scrutiny from its IP. Next: Why Nintendo 64 Controllers Gave Players Blisters

Modern Nintendo Commercials Aren’t as Outrageous After assaulting a reporter with a green shell, the Mario Party’s newest candidate Mario stands at the podium repeatedly raising double peace signs in the fashion of former U.S. President Richard Nixon. The peace sign often accompanies the phrase “V for victory” with the signers fingers making the shape of the letter V. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill helped popularize the symbol during the Second World War, reversing an offensive gesture where the signer’s palm faces their own body. Check out the commercial via EricInANutshell on YouTube below:

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Video Source: EricInANutshell/YouTube

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