In a garish display of opportunism, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has ambushed Nintendo’s marketing of Super Mario 3D Land to remind people that wearing fur is wrong. This isn’t the first time that the organisation has piggy-backed its message off the videogaming industry; a couple of months ago PETA told people to play Super Tofu Boy instead of Super Meat Boy.
In Super Mario 3D Land, Mario has access to the Tanooki Suit that allows him to glide after each jump. PETA says that including animal suits is “sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur”. They’ve set up a flash game called Super Tanooki Skin 2D, in which a newly skinned and bloodied tanooki has to race after Mario to get his skin back. Link to the game after the jump.
While PETA’s message is totally agreeable (wearing fur is wrong) their guerrilla marketing target is somewhat questionable. The Mario games have always been light-hearted, kid friendly titles so to have the latest release turned into something it isn’t might brush some gamers up the wrong way. And we all know what happens to companies that piss off the gamer collective.
Anyway, check out the gory game for yourself and see whether you think this is good or questionable marketing for a message.
In related news, the video below shows how they transformed New York’s Time Square into a Mario Land to celebrate the launch of Super Mario 3D Land. We bet every kids having a blast in this video is secretly harbouring desires to kill and skin defenceless animals so they can also wear Tanooki suits.