Promotional Consideration: Underground Brain Training

Eric Caoili
E. Caoili|08.27.07

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Promotional Consideration: Underground Brain Training

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

Those of you lucky enough to live in a city with a rapid transit system have likely seen at least one ad for a handheld game during your commutes. After all, what better audience to advertise a portable title to than people who're trapped in a high-speed steel car full of strangers while they wait to be ferried from one spot to another?

In honor of Brain Age 2's release in the states last week, we'll be looking at a few ads we found for Nintendo's educational software that've appeared in transit stations in countries like Canada and France. Join us past the post break for this week's edition of Promotional Consideration.

"Train rides can be pretty boring, can't they?"
Disembodied head. Staring at you. Talking jibber-jabber.

This clever, dyslexic ad was found in a Toronto depot, bewildering passerbys with its jumbled text. Dr Kawashima's smarmy smirk challenges you to stop for a second and decrypt his muddled message. At the bottom, the copy reads, "Stay sharp with engaging and fun activities like Word Scramble on new Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day!"

We're doubtful on the authenticity of this poster for the original Brain Age -- also photographed in Canada, and then put up on Warp Pipe's forums -- but even if it is a fake, the ad is still much too good to dismiss. Presented as a mock exercise guide, the playful piece invites you to work out your prefrontal cortex just like you'd condition any other part of your body. Though it's undoubtedly vulgar, it's quite effective at grabbing your attention.

Crossing the Atlantic, this French Mother's Day sign, spotted at a stop in Paris, abandons the jokes and puzzles of its Canadian counterparts, opting instead to sell an image of an implicitly intelligent, well-to-do woman. Nintendo of Europe wants you to know that even if you're a middle-aged mother of three, Brain Training is for you!

And it's for dads too! Like the previous Fête des Mères advertisement, Nintendo took advantage of this year's Father's Day in France by positioning Brain Training as the perfect gift for your old man. Notice the drawn-on whiskers!

Vandals also hit one of these ads posted at the Montparnasse station, striking out the word "pères" and replacing it with "papis," exchanging father for grandfather. Now that they mention it, the model does look older than what was probably intended for the campaign ...

Réaumur station's Brain Training sign suffered a similar fate, except this time, the prankster compared the gray-haired paternal figure to Philippe Gildas, a 71-year-old journalist and television host in France.

Ah, there really is a resemblance!

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