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Promotional Consideration: Advertising with Power

Eric Caoili

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

As of October of this year, Nintendo of America relinquished its hold of Nintendo Power and handed over publishing duties to Future US, the same media corporation behind the official Xbox and PlayStation magazines. Two issues into the transition, Nintendo Power's writing staff and format haven't changed much, but the number of ads certainly has!

Brian E. recently wrote to Pulse, Nintendo Power's letter section, the following note: "The new Nintendo Power has way too many ads. I am otherwise glad about the change-over. Nintendo Power seems intact and just the way I like it, but the ads are really overwhelming."

Has there really been a noticeable increase of advertisements since Future US took over the reins? Let's compare Future US's first edition with the last issue released under Nintendo of America's administration.

Nintendo Power (Nintendo), November 2007/V221

  • 116 pages
  • Two-page ads: 1
  • One-page ads: 18
  • Half-page ads: 1
Nintendo Power (Future US), December 2007/V222
  • 98 pages
  • Two-page ads: 5
  • One-page ads: 31
  • Half-page ads: 1
Wow! That's significantly less content exchanged for a lot more ads. Of course, one has to take into account the high volume of new releases during the holiday months, as Chris Slate, Nintendo Power's new Editor in Chief, explains: "Love or hate the ads, their number should go down significantly over the next couple of issues as we move away from the busy holiday selling season. We saw a huge upswing in ad pages last month because more games than ever are being released right now for the red-hot Wii and DS. However, new titles will slow down midway through December, and the ads will follow suit."

Chris breaks down the advertising situation in a way we can all understand, but we'll have to wait and see if the content-to-ad ratio will improve in Nintendo Power's upcoming issues as he claims.

One change we're happy to see with Future US's takeover is the "Holiday Special," an extra issue (with extra ads) thrown in with your twelve-issue subscription. Since we're counting ads anyway, here's another quick analysis of Nintendo Power and rival magazine EGM's holiday editions.

Nintendo Power (Future US), Holiday 2007/V223
  • 100 pages
  • Poster ads: 2
  • Two-page ads: 3
  • One-page ads: 29
  • Half-page ads: 4
Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff-Davis), Holiday 2007/V223
  • 100 pages
  • Poster ads: 0
  • Two-page ads: 9
  • One-page ads: 17
  • Half-page ads: 2
The Nintendo Power issue has slightly more pages devoted to ads, but it's made up for by the kick-ass Godzilla: Unleashed poster/ad; you'll probably see it on Wii Fanboy later this week. The entire issue is pretty good, featuring an exclusive hands-on preview with Advance Wars: Days of Ruin and an entertaining interview with Grasshopper Manufacture's Goichi Suda (No More Heroes).

We were a little annoyed, however, with the Warhammer 40K: Squad Command ad for only using screenshots from the PSP version of the game and not the DS edition. Would it have killed THQ to switch the images to the Nintendo DS version for this ad before it appeared in an obviously Nintendo-focused magazine? The PSP game looks drastically different from its dual-screened brother.

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