Nintendo Owns My Soul and Your Eyeballs But In Return I’ve Completely Changed the Face of Brand-Blogger Relations

11/28/2010 By Shawn Burns

I, being awesome, receive plenty of pitches. I reject 99% of them. I have pretty high standards when it comes to participating in marketing endeavours. Those standards are:

1. Pay me a zillion dollars.

2. If a zillion dollars is not in the budget then play along when I name my non-monetary terms.

I was pitched to be a Nintendo Brand Ambassador. I hesitated about accepting the responsibilities of this office because the duties seemed onerous: Play lots of video games and invite friends to play lots of video games. I wasn’t sure I could commit.

But…it was Nintendo. Nintendo: makers of fine products like “Dragon Warrior” and the Power Glove, sponsors of such films as The Wizard, and advocates for Italian plumbers’ rights to keep dinosaurs as pets. I keep a Gameboy Advance around just so I can play “Zelda II” every now and then and get pissed off that there is no savegame feature in that 80’s masterpiece. “Tetris” is a bathroom accessory in many a home I’ve visited. Admit it. It’s in your bathroom right now, isn’t it?

I was born to be a Nintendo Brand Ambassador, growing up on “Rad Racer” and “Punch Out” and “Contra”. I never owned a non-Nintendo console, ever. I’ve been a Nintendo Loyalist my entire post-Atari life, and if Nintendo had been around in Carp, Ontario in 1982 well then maybe I wouldn’t have been completely fed up with Atari’s “Adventure” after two weeks and abandoned console gaming until “Duck Hunt” came along several years later.

However, from what I can tell about companies, none of them have a zillion dollars. Nintendo does have products, and they were willing to provide me with some. But that alone wouldn’t have convinced me to, in effect, sell all of your eyeballs to THE MAN. Your eyeballs are more valuable to me than some free Nintendo products. Not that much more valuable. But a little.

So, I held out for a commitment from Nintendo to completely restructure their brand-blogger philosophy.

I held out for you. Well, not for all of you. Less than half of you, really.

I held out for the dads.

Because instead of agreeing to associate myself with a company as a Brand Ambassador I forced them to create a whole new position for those of us of the male persuasion.

I am Nintendo’s Esteemed Ambassadad.


Yeah, that’s right. Ambassadad. I made that up. For you, guys. For you. Before I agreed to join the Nintendo family of bloggers I made them open the door to all of us dads who are no longer willing to just hang on to the coattails of successful product bloggers. This is our space, and our time now. Nintendo is just the beginning. Soon Ambassadads will be everywhere, opining on products in never-before-seen ways. Perhaps from the comfort of reclining chairs with beers in hand and steaks on the grill. Or jumping from an airplane. I don’t know. We’ll figure it out. There will be duct tape involved in the solution.

It’s not like we haven’t already been engaging with brands. But I encourage all of you who want to participate in the shilling of products to your readers to adopt the Ambassadad label yourself. You will not be a Brand Ambassador, because that sounds ridiculous. Ambassadad, though. Well, that’s just awesome.

Mom bloggers have had plenty of practice swimming at this end of the blogging pool. And the ladies have been wonderfully accommodating so far in letting the guys play too. There have been lots of events targeted at mom bloggers that also have a token dad. But we’re all grown up now and it’s time to strike out on our own. You will no longer need to watch momversations about things or girls nights out about other things and wonder if it’s okay to chime in. You will no longer settle for being included as an afterthought.

No, you will be an Ambassadad, and the world will tremble before your power.

Also please stay tuned to this space for plenty of biased gushing about Nintendo products because I love Nintendo woohoo Nintendo.

(Editor’s Note: I’m not sure that there is an Official Ambassadad position in Nintendo’s hierarchy, but Nintendo’s representatives have, so far, demonstrated a great sense of humour and tolerance for my shenanigans. That counts for a lot.)