Mercedes-Benz explains their partnership with Nintendo


When Mario Kart 8 released a free DLC pack featuring several models of Mercedes vehicles, gamers were understandably stumped about why a company was placing what seemed like advertising within a $60 game. Alongside the vehicle release, a live-action commercial was produced and just recently, a Super Mario Maker level was created.

So what’s up with all the targeted advertising in Nintendo games? In a short interview with Fortune magazine, Caroline Pilz, the head of product placement revealed that it’s all about appealing to gamer’s nostalgia.

Many people grew up with Mario during the last 30 years, so there are quite a lot of 30- and 40-somethings around for which Super Mario Maker hails back to their childhood days and gives them a large dose of nostalgia.

Of course, Pilz was quick to add that they understand many gamers see the added content as an advertisement more than a feature and that they’re carefully walking the line between valid content and gratuitous advertising. She said plenty of thought went into designing the most recent Super Mario Maker level that was released.

While we received a lot of positive feedback on the campaign and the integration of our cars into Mario Kart 8, we also learned that many gamers are skeptical about brands appearing in their games. So we made sure to put a lot of effort and passion into designing the actual level.

What do you think about Mercedes-Benz putting its cars in Mario Kart 8 and showing up with a Super Mario Maker level? Do you think this partnership is okay, or is it just advertising with no benefit to you?