Nintendo's Labo ASMR ad is uncomfortably creepy, but it's nowhere close to the strangest Nintendo commercial the company has ever made.
Nintendo Labo is a weird product. ASMR is also a weird entertainment niche. Putting them together produces something exponentially creepier. Yet that’s exactly what Nintendo Australia did on its YouTube channel.
ASMR, short for autonomous sensory meridian response, “describes a feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation” that some people experience when they listen to sounds that you wouldn’t normally consider all that pleasurable. Sounds like tapping on a table or scraping a cardboard box.
It’s not my thing, but to each their own.
What’s bizarre is that Nintendo is jumping in on the practice.
But do you know what else doesn’t make sense? Plenty of other Nintendo commercials. I would love to say that Nintendo’s Labo ASMR ad is one of Nintendo’s creepiest ones, but the sad truth is that it’s not.
The Japanese video game giant has been churning out strange TV spots for decades, certainly long before Nintendo Labo had survived its first pitch meeting.
Case in point, this old commercial for Kirby’s Dream Land on the Game Boy.
Yeah, you really did just see Kirby suck up a person and then spit them back out as a grotesque ball of meat. The fact that it’s a cartoon doesn’t make it any less disturbing.
Kirby isn’t the only Nintendo franchise that has been the subject of strange commercials in the past.
Just take a look at this one for The Legend of Zelda.
Why is this man running around yelling out Zelda’s name? Is there a reason he’s in an empty room by himself? Is he hallucinating? We’ll never know. And that’s probably for the best.
Funnily enough, this might not be the strangest The Legend of Zelda commercial out there.
This next one was exclusive to Japan, but, via the magic of YouTube, gamers everywhere have long been tormented by its cringy dance number.
This Zelda commercial is admittedly not as bizarre as the previous one. The intention is clear, but putting The Legend of Zelda into a stage play with a special dance and song is still pretty high on the abnormal meter.
It also wouldn’t be a weird Nintendo commercial collection without this gem from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island.
That was just dang gross.
It’s hard to understand how Nintendo, with its family-friendly image, approved a commercial like this, but here it is, in all its unsettling glory.
All of these commercials are from the 1980s and 1990s, which were admittedly bizarre decades for pop culture. How about something a little more recent? Say, Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo GameCube.
Yet again, it’s hard to understand what’s going on here. Did that goth girl turn into the GameCube? Was everything an illusion? At least I know what’s going on in the Nintendo Labo ad.
This last one is actually a collection of commercials from the already-strange collaboration between Nintendo and Mercedes-Benz for Mario Kart 8.
Seeing the Mario crew as gritty and realistic-looking is just offputting. I can’t believe I prefer the Super Mario Bros. movie designs over this.
The Nintendo Labo ASMR commercial may not be as over-the-top insane as these ones, but it shows Nintendo won’t be shying away from odd advertisements any time soon.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC