The below ad aired some time in early May, but I am one of those weird people that only watches TV on the internet (yay, Hulu?) so the first time I saw this ad was yesterday. Did I miss the parade? I will admit I spend a lot of time on here talking about what displeases me regarding gender in the video game industry, but this ad gets it whatever that “it” is.
The 30 second ad opens up with two women in their late 20’s, early 30’s, sitting on a park bench. One woman looks professional in every sense of the word- from her attire, to her make-up, to her calm but gracious behavior – all while being sexy. The other character in this ad looks like she engages in a more relaxed lifestyle- she is not in business attire, wearing a patterned shirt, eating chips or cookies and presumably slurping a soft drink. This second character gets caught up in the moment and does things spontaneously, like talk to strangers. Right off the bat we know this game is for every type of woman (well, “white” at least).
This ad puts a new spin on what many parents think of as just a child’s toy. Both of these women are beautiful and fit, proving that you don’t have to be an overweight loser nerd in their parents basement to like video games. These video game playing gals are also outside, loving life! Perhaps employed and on a lunch break! They don’t look depressed.
The professional woman is playing a puzzle game on the Nintendo DS. Why play Sudoku, or do a crossword puzzles, when you can do it on a portable high-tech consumer gadget? We don’t need to chop down any trees for these types of puzzles… or be at home linked into a social network like our older aunts. The free bird character (played by Jama Williamson, the actress who plays Aziz Ansari’s ex wife in Parks & Recreation) jumps in at the end of the commercial and helps solve the puzzle. The professional woman has enough class to not be phased and the two women move closer to each other on the bench so they can both play, indicating that these two can be friends in real life after all! How idyllic – no back seat gamer there. Nintendo says “See, technology can bring people together!”
Way to go, Nintendo! Look at you, understanding the older untapped female market with all your research and consumer reports! Your good efforts almost make me want to go out and buy another DS game …. from the used bin.