Nintendo Ads Show The Differences Between The West And Japan

Pikmin 3 is already out in Japan. It's headed to the US on August 4. The game is the same, but the Pikmin 3 commercials couldn't be more different.

Let's have a look.

Here is the Japanese commercial for Pikmin 3. In the ad, actress Juri Ueno watches a Red Pikmin carry a cherry. She then tells the Pikmin to stop and comments on how cute the little character is.

(You can also watch the second and third ad in this series. Note that there are also gameplay commercials that feature a soothing voice.)

This is the US commercial. It's certainly different from the Japanese ad.

Recently, the difference between these commercials has become a topic on 2ch, Japan's largest bulletin board. What were the reactions? Some liked the US ad, while others preferred the Japanese one.

People have been quick to point out how the commercials vary and what that says about how Pikmin 3 is sold in each region. "They want to sell to different segments," wrote one 2ch commenter. That doesn't just mean different regions, but rather, different target groups within each area.

Some 2ch users pointed out how the Japanese commercial is focused more more on the atmosphere, while Nintendo of America is trying to sell the game to kids, pushing the strategy element.

"I felt like the American version was more interesting," wrote one commenter. It seemed like the Japanese version didn't really offer much of an explanation of what Pikmin 3 was, the commenter continued. "C'mon, the Japanese commercial was better," a commenter countered.

"So much was implied that I didn't know what was going on," wrote one commenter. The commercial is so focused on the mood and avoids stating things outright that it "feels Japanese". In Japanese language and culture, much is often implied and inferred, with much going unspoken.

Another commenter pointed out that there are gameplay-only commercials (mentioned above) that provide good explanations. Wrote on commenter, "Perhaps this style of commercials works best for Japan." There were also opinions that the Japanese commercial seems more confident — like, I guess, Nintendo knows the game will sell in Japan.

Here, however, there also might be an appeal of what's different: Some 2ch commenters might prefer the American Pikmin 3 commercial because it's direct and to the point. They also might have liked it because it was so different. By that same token, some Westerners might prefer the Japanese spot because it's different!

"This is definitely an interesting comparison," wrote one 2ch commenter, perhaps summing this up the best. It definitely is.

日本とアメリカでこんなにも違うピクミンCM [2ch]


    The japanese versions seem a lot more clever (simplicity works well in Advertising), while the US version seems too noisy and has too much of a 'hur, 'merica' atmosphere.

    The japan version almost makes me want to get a Wii-U just for Pikmin 3.


      Well the american ad is clever taking into account the call of duty dominated game market more so the war game craze. Also considering that us americans are bombarded with military ads on a minute to minute basis. Also taking into account our nation's inflated ego and are false sense of being the end all be all super power. It only makes sense to put a militant mood to the ad promising you the control of a legion and basically only showcasing the violence etc etc. Personally I had no idea what was said in the Japanese ad but liked it better. It played to the more light hearted easy going side of the game witch I think truly represents why i would buy it.

      Do it man. Pikman 3, Monster Hunter 3, Smash, and new Zeldas.

      I bought one, and they're pretty neat.

      Last edited 23/07/13 12:03 pm

      Just when I decided against the WiiU I go and see these Pikmin ads...

      I'll wait for a probable bundle/price cut though at Xmas.

    The American ad wasn't too bad, until the voice over. I don't some 'grizzled' voice screeching at me as if Pikmin were the new COD.

    I do prefer the Japanese one, but then I'm a long time Pikmin fan, I could see why the American one would be great for new players (just change the voice over!)/

      This. I like the concept behind the ad, but the voice over was absolutely terrible. If I didn't already know what Pikmin was I'd assume from this ad that it was designed for testosterone fuelled young boys; rather than being the clever strategy game that it is.

    I don't usually support the whole variety/drama show circlejerk of actors and actresses in Japan, but I do have to admit the Japanese commercial is, from an advertising standpoint, a much better ad.

    The American ad is just so... American? Just short of monster trucks and yelling at me not to miss it. It definitely explains the game a lot better, but I think the Japanese ad is refreshing.

    Last edited 23/07/13 8:39 am

    That American ad reminds me of early 90’s children’s toy ads.

    I hope this game gets good enough reviews that this game ships consoles. It could be a bit niche for what Nintendo needs right now as far as getting Westerners to buy the system (they’ve clearly decided their target market is children).

    The Japanese ad is much better.

    Like someone said before, the french one would be the best ad (complete with original soundtrack+gameplay trailer):

    I'm wondering which way the Australian ads will go.

    - assuming we get some. I sometimes wonder what Nintendo Australia does all day...

      I tried going onto the website to find a release date for Pikmin 3 (I don't always trust Wikipedia), but all it said was "Q2 2013" and all the screenshots were from last year's E3 over a year ago. =(

    do we know what time slot these ads were aired in?

    I'd hazard to guess that the US version was during the morning and afternoon kids cartoons/shows.

    That alone would have a massive bearing on the tone and style of the ad rather than which country it was marketed in.

    I guess I am in a the minority but The JP ad was uninteresting to myself. The US ad was ok but got worst as soon as the voice over came into it. First ad to me didn't represent the game enough so I wouldn't be intrigued. The second game made me understood what the game was but the voice over made it sound extremely mediocre. They both need improving. But that's just me.

    Americans don't believe in subtlety. Only difference I see.

    The JP ad would make me want to research the game, the US ad would make me think there was a new skylanders clone.. But im buying it anyway as I played 1 and enjoyed it, I did sadly drown them all :(

    Last edited 23/07/13 8:56 pm

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