Super Mario Bros 2: Vintage Style

Advertisement Design - Casting - Graphic Design - Image Retouching - Location Scouting - Photography - Post-Production - Production Management

Project Details

  • Client: Nintendo

Our challenge was to create a “vintage” New Super Mario Bros. 2 campaign for Nintendo of Europe that combined the optimism and feeling of yesteryear with contemporary expectations towards technology and visuals.  The challenge was to make this campaign nostalgic for older fans who remembered Super Mario Bros. on the NES, while still accessible to younger gamers who did not have those same brand associations.  

It also had to showcase the new features of New Super Mario Bros. 2 in order to distinguish it from its predecessor, the 2008 DS title New Super Mario Bros.  Highlighting the “newness” and innovation of a sequel to a popular game while evoking “oldness” and affectionate nostalgia would be no easy feat.

Project Description 

In order to evoke the Golden Age of video-gaming, we researched vintage Nintendo advertisements from the eighties and early nineties. We also viewed films from the 80’s and other contemporaneous material in order to get a sense of the type of aesthetic we wanted to emulate. Video game advertisements from the 80’s shared certain design features that we decided to recreate in order to recall that sense of recognition and nostalgia. These features included: retro fonts, neon colors, and a layout devoting the top half of the page to game art or photography with the lower half devoted to promotional copy.

We also had to determine what features of the game to highlight.  New Super Mario Bros. 2 was a side-scrolling platformer, the same style of game as its DS predecessor and the franchise’s flagship game, the 1985 original Super Mario Bros.  New Super Mario Bros. 2 added elements that focused gameplay on the collection of coins, such as the Gold Flower item, which turns blocks into coins, and the post-game Coin Rush mode, which utilized the 3DS’s SpotPass function to allow players to post high scores and compare them with their friends.  The decision to highlight these new features gave a focus to some of our advertisements.

We coordinated casting for the entire photoshoot, pulling our talents primarily from Germany.

THE RESULTS: 

We produced seven approved print advertisements, all of which were accepted by Nintendo of Europe and placed into publication.  None of our final productions were rejected or sidelined.  The images were used for online marketing, print marketing, and direct mail. 

Nintendo’s retro-themed campaign went over very well with gaming magazines and industry insiders, who loved the attention to detail and the heart-warming vintage style.

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