Hyper-literal Paper Mario ad
This ad came out when the N64 was basically dead, so we aren’t surprised the US ad team went so out there with this Paper Mario commercial. What were they going to say? “Get this RPG for a system you forgot you owned.” Instead, they made lead into commercial gold.
Creepy Mario invasion
Though the words at the end are English and it has an ESRB rating, this feels very Japanese, with the strange, cultish atmosphere and the oddness of all the Marios glaring at you. And there’s the fact that almost everyone in it looks Japanese. So, yeah…
Mario’s vacation interrupted
This is probably the second weirdest one on the list, as Mario is on vacation reminiscing about his golf and tennis games, but also about going to a fancy party. What? Then he decides to cut his vacation short by conquering the only genre left: the RPG. Much later, a US commercial had another strange set-up in a similar vein.
Hot Mario Bros
Around 2005, Nintendo of Japan started a series of commercials for many of the Mario titles that featured the “Hot Mario Bros.” This duo took the titular brothers to a strange new position, replacing the dumpy Italians with handsome, goofy Japanese guys. The campaign seems to be over now, but looking at all these, it’s hard not to consider them a success.