There was a piece on NPR today about marketing gadgets to women. Molly Wood, host of the CNET podcast "The Gadgettes," is one of the interviewees, and she tells NPR that one of her favorite gadgets marketed towards women is the Nintendo DS Lite. Wood describes it as not specifically designed for women, though it is "cute and small and portable." In addition, the games are "fun without being hardcore or alienating." Listening to Wood talk I realized I had seen the Nintendo DS ads already, but like a good capitalist pawn I only noticed that they featured America Ferrera, Carrie Underwood and Liv Tyler. I didn't even register what they were selling (except subliminally)! Anyway, the ad with Liv Tyler depicts the adorable actress lying on her bed in pajamas, cooing at a pink-hued game. I can't really tell what the game entails, but it IS markedly unthreatening. As many of our commenters and the legions of girlgamers out there can attest, a lot of women like games that are "hardcore" and don't find them "alienating." It's kind of insulting that Nintendo thinks it needs to show a superstar with her name bedazzled on her hand held game (yes, America's name is on her DS in rhinestones in her commercial) to sell it to women — don't worry, everyone, the DS comes in pink!. Liv's commercial is after the jump.
I think making the consoles pink is a silly way to attract people. I am not into video games at all and a pink console won't change my mind.
The commercial that kills me is the one where Carrie Underwood plays with her online dog. It makes her seem rather sad and simple. Here she is living life in her tour bus, unable to have a pet so she must make do with her e-pet and giggle to herself as if that is the same thing and as if the game was not created for 6 year olds.