Trivia Thursday: How Nintendo Evolved

Trivia Thursday: How Nintendo Evolved

As we know it today, Nintendo wasn’t into consumer electronics for its first 80 years. But as the Nintendo name is commonly assumed to mean ‘leave luck to heaven‘, the company did just that. March 10 is annually celebrated as Mario Day by the fans of the media franchise and hence in this week’s Trivia Thursday let’s take a look at how this company evolved into what it is today by adapting to the growing market needs.

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us explore the evolution of Nintendo.

Nintendo was founded on 23 September 1889 by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce and distribute Hanafuda, a Japanese variety of cards.

With a favorable start for the first few decades, the company faced many challenges from 1933 to 1963 , for example – the aftermaths of World War II, decline in sales of traditional cards and national sentiments on foreign collaborations. 

Trying Out New Ideas
As a result, from 1963 Nintendo started investing in several business lines which were far from its traditional market and for the most part were unsuccessful. Among these ventures were packages of instant rice, a chain of love hotels, and a taxi service.

In search of other markets, Nintendo increased its investment in the Research & Development department. During this period, Nintendo built a new production plant outside of Kyoto and distributed classic tabletop games popular across Japan such as chess, shogi, and mahjong.

Finding The Right Note?
The early 1970s represented a watershed moment in Nintendo’s history as it released Japan’s first electronic toy—the Nintendo Beam Gun, an optoelectronic pistol. In total, more than a million units were sold.

After producing similar products throughout the 1970s, in 1980, one of the first handheld video game systems, the Game & Watch, was created by Nintendo from the technology used in portable calculators. It became one of the company’s most successful products, with over 43.4 million units sold worldwide during its production period. 

Donkey Kong and Mario
Nintendo’s success in arcade games grew in 1981 with the release of Donkey Kong, which was one of the first video games that allowed the player character to jump. The character, Jumpman, would later become Mario and Nintendo’s official mascot.

The Game Changer
The Famicom was released in Japan in July 1983 and its success was such that in 1984, it surpassed the market share held by
Sega’s SG-1000.

To differentiate the Famicom from its competitors in America, Nintendo opted to redesign the Famicom as an “entertainment system” compatible with “Game Paks“, a euphemism for cartridges, and with a design reminiscent of a VCR.

The resulting product was the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, which was released in North America in 1985.

Production of the NES lasted until 1995, and production of the Famicom lasted until 2003. In total, around 62 million Famicom and NES consoles were sold worldwide.

Nintendo – The Video Game Company
After this, products like Gameboy, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Gameboy Color, Game cube and Gameboy Advance were released in the late 1990s and early 2000s which competed with the upcoming Playstations and Xbox Consoles.

Read our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: Brands Which Aced Marketing In India

Trivia Thursday: Brands Which Aced Marketing In India

Trivia Thursday: Brands Which Aced Marketing In India

Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product, service, or good. It requires a great deal of creativity and decision making to pull a successful marketing campaign. In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us have a look at 4 Indian brands which aced marketing.

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us explore some insane marketing campaigns run

  1. Amul

From its tagline to its topical ad, Amul has always been a brand which is directly associated with
India and its people. In 1966, Amul decided to give their account to the ad agency called Advertising and Sales Promotion (ASP). The company decided to create something that would grab the attention of every housewife in the country.

The agency also designed a campaign as a series of hoardings with topical ads, relating to day-to-day issues with the Amul girl in them. The campaign earned a Guinness world record for the longest-running ad campaign in the world.

2. Cadbury India

  • With its clever marketing campaigns and business tactics, Cadbury has successfully redefined its target market multiple times over the years.
  • With a product targeted towards kids, cadbury expanded its target market by getting Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador.
  • With this move, Cadbury was now able to advertise its product to all age groups.

With campaigns like ‘Shubh Aarambh’, ‘Kuch Achha Ho Jaaye’ and ‘Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye’, Cadbury made an attempt of substituting the tradition of exchanging or gifting sweets with chocolates.

Accompanied with products like Cadbury Silk and Celebration Package, it skyrocketed the sales and successfully associated the brand with happiness which every age group can enjoy. Cadbury has more than 66% share in India’s Chocolate market

3. Frooti

As competition increased, Frooti was unable to break the brand image of a drink which was majorly consumed by children because from the packaging to the tagline, everything was designed to target kids

So the company launched the ‘Why Grow Up’ campaign to embody the mango spirit and its correlation with childhood. And by hiring ambassadors like Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt, Frooti was able to capture a larger audience while sticking to its core brand image. 

4. Zomato

  • Zomato started off as a small home project back in 2008 when two techies – Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, frustrated by how tough it was to find restaurant menus online. Backed by Sequoia Capital, Ant Financial (Alibaba) and Neeraj Arora, Zomato is now one of the two largest food delivery platforms in India.
  • None of this success would have been possible without a robust marketing strategy and Zomato has invested heavily in just that.

With an engaging and comparatively unconventional tone of marketing through their social media, Zomato has always stood out from the competition. Their Twitter account adopts a tone that is frivolous, witty and sometimes even counter intuitive. With specific campaigns around festivals and events like IPL, Zomato has mastered the social media side of Marketing.

Read our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: 7 Forgotten Apple Products

Trivia Thursday: 7 Forgotten Apple Products

Trivia Thursday: 7 Forgotten Apple Products

As yesterday was the 66th birth anniversary of Steve Jobs, in this week’s Trivia Thursday we look back to 7 products by Apple which did not take off. This will also give us a possible glimpse behind what influenced Jobs’ design towards all the Apple products, and his personal fashion too.

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us have a look at some of the forgotten products launched by Apple.

Macintosh Bashful (1983)
This was a tablet prototype dedicated to one of the 7 Dwarfs from Disney and Apple’s “Snow White Industrial-Design Language”.

Apple Clothing (1986)
One year after Steve Jobs resigned as the chairman, the company launched a line of Apple-branded clothing, accessories, and lifestyle items.

Apple Time Band (1991)
Featured in Japanese magazine Axis, it resembled the personal digital assistant, Apple Newton, worn on a wrist.

Adjustable Keyboard (1993)
It had the ability to split in half for better ergonomic typing.

iPod Socks (2004)
Apple sold them in 6 catchy colors as the iPod protector.

iPod Hi-Fi (2006)
Apple designed this speaker system, specifically for the iPod.

Flower Power iMac
It was a throwback edition to Steve Jobs’ hippie roots in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Job’s Koumpounophobia
Steve Jobs suffered from koumpounophobia (phobia of buttons). Some have speculated that his condition influenced the trend towards touch screens and virtual keyboards in the design of Apple devices.

Take a look at our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: Quirky Things About Bitcoin

Trivia Thursday: Quirky Things About Bitcoin

Trivia Thursday: Quirky Things About Bitcoin

Did you know that Bitcoin mining consumes more power than it is used to power the whole of Argentina? Well, with Bitcoin breaching the $51,000 mark, and cryptocurrencies like DogeCoin soaring at all-time highs, in this week’s Trivia Thursday, let’s have a look at some interesting trivia like that around the “King of Cryptos” Bitcoin.

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us have a look at quirky things about Bitcoin.

Let’ start by taking a look at the market cap of Bitcoin in comparison with a Nation’s GDP and companies:

Power Consumption
Mining for cryptocurrency is a power-hungry affair, involving heavy computer calculations to verify transactions. Cambridge researchers say it consumes around 121.36 Terawatt-hour (TWh) a year. And is unlikely to fall unless the value of the currency slumps. 

Bitcoin is now among the world’s top 30 energy users. It consumes more energy than used to power whole of Argentina.

Lost Bitcoins
Research shows that at least 60% of all Bitcoin addresses are ghosts, which means a huge chunk of the people using Bitcoins have lost their addresses and have no way to access their wallets. 

Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has 2 guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million. And this is one of many such cases.

National Currency

  • Liberland, officially the Free Republic of Liberland, is a micronation claiming an uninhabited parcel of disputed land on the western bank of the Danube, between Croatia and Serbia. 
  • It was proclaimed on 13 April 2015 by Czech right-libertarian politician and activist Vít Jedlička. The official currency of Liberland is Bitcoin.
  • The govt believes that blockchain provides a secure and transparent method for recording electronic, financial, and physical assets.

Unit Of Bitcoin
As a sign of respect for Bitcoin’s creator(s), the smallest unit of a bitcoin is known as a satoshi. The satoshi to bitcoin ratio is 100 million satoshis to one bitcoin.

Take a look at our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: Iconic Super Bowl Advertisements.

Trivia Thursday: Iconic Super Bowl Advertisements

Trivia Thursday: Iconic Super Bowl Advertisements

Known as the Mecca of advertisements, the Super Bowl ad spot is one of the most expensive ad spots. In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let’s take a look at some Super Bowl ad campaigns which popularised the brands and gave us some revolutionary ads at the same time.

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us have a look at Super Bowl advertisement campaigns.

Super Bowl Ads
The prominence of airing a commercial during the Super Bowl (SB) has carried an increasingly high price. The average cost of a 30-second commercial in 1967, Super Bowl I was: $37,500 and in 2020, Super Bowl LIV was: $5.6 million.

Xerox At SB XI (1977)
Xerox aired an advertisement entitled “Monks,” starring Jack Eagle as a monk discovering that he could create copies of a manuscript using a new Xerox photocopier.

Y&R New York described it as the “first viral ad“, saying it “was the first commercial that got people to request to see it again on TV.”

Apple At SB XVIII (1984)
1984’ is an American TV commercial introducing the Apple Macintosh PC. Its only national televised airing was on 22 January 1984, during a break in the third quarter of the telecast of Super Bowl XVIII by CBS (a TV network).

The ad was an allusion to George Orwell’s noted 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which described a dystopian future ruled by a televised “Big Brother.”

In 1995, The Clio Awards added it to its Hall of Fame, and Advertising Age placed it on the top of its list of 50 greatest commercials.

Doritos At SB XLIII (2009)
In 2006, Doritos began a promotion called ‘Crash the Super Bowl’, soliciting viewers to film their own Doritos commercials to possibly be aired during the game.

At Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, an additional bonus prize of $1 million was added if any of the winning entries were named #1 on the Super Bowl Ad Meter survey results.

Doritos did reach the #1 spot on the survey that year with an ad entitled “Free Doritos“. It was one of the early user-generated ads to be aired on SuperBowl.

Old Spice At SB XLIV (2010)
‘Smell like a Man, Man’ is a TV ad campaign created by Old Spice. Also the title of the campaign’s initial 30-second commercial, ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ is an alternate name the ad is known by. 

Because ~60% of men’s products were bought by Women, Old Spice targeted women for the ad of a men’s product.

Interestingly, due to budget constraints, the ad was never advertised on Super bowl, but was released on YouTube during the same time and was able to direct all the internet searches towards itself.

It is considered to be one of the most successful super bowl ads, which never aired on superbowl.

PewDiePie At SB LIII (2019)
In 2019, when the meme ‘subscribe to pewdiepie‘ was at its peak, a famous YouTuber called Mr Beast appeared at the Super Bowl with his friends wearing “Subscribe to PewDiePie” shirts, bringing the internet campaign to a whole new level.

The shirts appeared a couple of times on stream, and even managed to make it into an official ESPN tweet.

Take a look at our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: Private Space Technology