Nintendo Surprises Southwest Airlines Fliers With Free Wii U's

Nintendo Surprises Southwest Airlines Fliers With Free Wii U's

Nintendo and Southwest Airlines are joining forces to surprise entire flights of travelers with complimentary game consoles.

When I get on a plane, I don't hope for much more than a window seat and some pretzels that aren't stale. So I can't imagine how surprised the passengers of Southwest Airlines flight 1883 were when they boarded their plane and were greeted by Mario himself, handing out Wii U consoles like candy on Halloween. Over a hundred passengers received complimentary systems, and that's only the beginning of Nintendo's new partnership with Southwest Airlines.

The partnership, which runs through the holiday season, will surprise thousands more travelers on random Southwest flights with free consoles. Nintendo will also be setting up Wii U Gaming Lounges in select airports, where travelers can spend time playing the newest Nintendo games while waiting for their flights. Keep an eye out if you're flying through Dallas Love Field, Chicago (Midway), Denver, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, or St. Louis airports from now until December 22.

Nintendo and Southwest may not seem like the most logical of partners, but I doubt the lucky passengers getting free stuff will be complaining. "As Southwest's video game partner, our aim is to bring smiles to travelers and Southwest employees through the fun of Nintendo video games," says Nintendo's Scott Moffitt. And from the look of the first batch of holiday surprises, it seems that the partnership is already off to a great start on that goal.

Source: Nintendo Enthusiast

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Well, if you can't get people to buy your product, give them it! It is one way to get an installed user base! This must be the last page of the "how to sell your shit" book for dummies.

Now, how many will end up on ebay so mums can buy it for christmas?

I can't say for sure if that is a promotion stunt or if they're just that desperate to get rid of them...

Chaosritter:
I can't say for sure if that is a promotion stunt or if they're just that desperate to get rid of them...

That's sorta the vibe that I'm getting from this, but then again those people are lucky that they got a free console. That'll increase the install base at least.

Hey, goodwill and good press. A lot of PR events cost more than five figures. I'd certainly be thrilled to get a Wii-U for free- and if it gets people talking about how nice Nintendo is, it was certainly worth it from their point of view. Particularly if those people weren't pre-inclined to buy the system.

I'm just going to resign myself to the fact that I'm only ever going to read about people getting free expensive stuff I crave, rather than being on the receiving end for once :(

(Yes, yes, woe is me. Also, would you like to give my world's smallest violin a spin and play us all a sad, sad song?)

Smart move. Get the console into more people's hands and get more people talking about it after playing it at the airport. Maybe they'd even buy one.

On a more selfish note, I want a free Wii U. :( Oh well, when Bayonetta 2 gets a solid release date I'll buy one. I keep saying that, but I might break down and buy one sooner. lol

a goo dPR move that will buy them alot of good will and word of mouth from people especially in the lead up to the holiday season. probably 12 months too late for it to be really effective but i guess every bit helps

Nintendo, I could really do with one if you want to fling one my way!

Not a bad bit of P.R., though I have to question the Mario mascot in an airport with the way security is these days... picturing TSA frisking the poor guy in the suit down to make sure he's not smuggling something.

Well shit. My family and I use Southwest Airlines. I could have gotten a free Wii U.

Ah well, getting one for my birthday isn't bad either.

Them warehouses getting full eh Nintendo?

Still though, like it or hate it a free console is nothing to balk at.

anthony87:
Them warehouses getting full eh Nintendo?

Still though, like it or hate it a free console is nothing to balk at.

damn straight, there is nothing bad i can really think of for this, good PR, makes install base bigger, gets people talking about it, what's to dislike???

oh man I can only imagine any nintendo defense force people who use southwest airlines...straight creamin their pants as soon as they read this article.

DaxStrife:
Not a bad bit of P.R., though I have to question the Mario mascot in an airport with the way security is these days... picturing TSA frisking the poor guy in the suit down to make sure he's not smuggling something.

You made me picture it too and that made me chuckle quite a bit. Thank your for that mental image, such a great way to start the day. My guess here is that he changed into the Mario outfit after passing through security.

OT: We'll see how this turns out. This might be a quite expensive stunt, but if they're increasing their customer base by a few hundreds while also gaining some goodwill from people who hears about this I can see this turning out quite beneficial. Especially right before Christmas. "Hmm, what should I buy my kid for Christmas? That console that which like a VHS player and costs 500? The Playstation with a higher number priced 400? Oh, how about 3 games for this free console we got for 120?" I have a feeling this have made Christmas shopping so much easier for some. However a few of those Wii Us probably ended up with people with no interest in the system who might not have any family members to give it away to or want to go through the process of selling it. It's a gamble, but nevertheless they have gained some good PR on it.

... and made some people jealous...

Can you spell "Dumping excess stock"?

Seriously; they are REALLY that desperate to get units out the door!

Yup, jealous.

I'm not surprised that some people are claiming "oh they're just trying to get rid of them" (and they're probably right), but who cares? Free stuff is free stuff. It's a cool PR move that could only help them, at worst they've emptied a few warehouses. While they probably should have advertised the damn thing in the first place, practically giving them away is probably a good way to get people talking about it.

Companies need to pull more moves like this where they at least PRETEND to be generous and a cool company to support. Hell, it worked for Valve.

You know, seeing the recent news about Child's Play and now this PR campaign... why don't they give their consoles to sick children in hospitals for advertisement?

GG Nintendo! Their problem all along has been poor marketing, so it's good to see them actually getting the word out to people. Seems like a pretty expensive campaign, but you gotta spend money to make money! It should work out good for them... in theory.

truckspond:
Can you spell "Dumping excess stock"?

Seriously; they are REALLY that desperate to get units out the door!

didn't sony do basically the exact same thing through taco bell? giving out consoles for free to spread word and goodwill is hardly new or even unusaul

I'm kinda wondering how many people on those flights reacted like this:

"What am I supposed to do with this? I don't have a Wii at home."

Still, at least Nintendo seems like they're trying to turn around that disastrous early marketing.

Good PR if nothing else. On a similar note, I see that the mall near me placed two Wii U kiosks out in the mall's common space (still near the toy store). So you can just be strolling around and get a Wii U experience all up in your face WITHOUT having to go into a toy store and seek it out. Also a good move.

 

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