With less than two weeks until the Nintendo 3DS launches in the United States, Nintendo is showing off its first commercial for the 3D gaming handheld. And in doing so, the company has raised a question that comes up every time someone tries to advertise 3D: How, exactly, do you market something that can only be witnessed in person?
In a way, this issue has dogged television makers for years. Back when tube televisions ruled, electronics companies had to convince us of HDTV’s visual fidelity through words or metaphor. That’s true with any incremental improvement in picture quality. But while it’s easy to believe that a new TV simply looks better than an old one, 3D has the challenge of selling the public on an entirely different way of viewing video. Take a look at how Nintendo handles it:
I think the visual effect of jumping into and out of the game is a valiant effort. If I were 20 years younger, I’d probably be flipping out over this stuff, and it definitely does a better job of selling the 3D concept than most 3D TV ads. (My personal least favorite is the one from Panasonic where a family gets sucked into outer space, accompanied by a voiceover from a creepy, whispering child.)
One other thing that strikes me about the Nintendo 3DS ad: the users. These people are my age, which is to say they fall into the stereotypical gamer demographic. In recent years, Nintendo’s made a killing by targeting everyone else.