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Pit: Look! It's Luigi!
Viridi: Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
Pit: Aw, don't say that. After all, he even had his own year.
Viridi: I don't remember that.
Palutena's Guidance conversation in Super Smash Bros.
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For decades, while his older brother has acted as one of the most iconic and well-known characters in the history of video games, the other super plumber brother has never been more than the "King of Second Bananas." Not to say Luigi's ever been outright ignored, but divergent character evolution didn't do The Man in Green any favors. By the 2010s, he'd become the eternal kid brother forever stuck in his brother's shadow and, in SpinOffs, the target of endless mockery and ridicule from NPCs. Heck, in the Mario & Luigi series, Bowser can't even remember Luigi's existence most of the time. So maybe he deserves a moment to feel like he's number one...

The Year of Luigi was a year-long Nintendo advertising campaign revolving around the aforementioned character, celebrating the 30th anniversary of his first appearance in Mario Bros.. The celebration began on March 19, 2013 and officially concluded on March 18, 2014, though products related to the event continued to release until July. During this celebration, four major Luigi-centric games were released, alongside various other pieces of content and merchandise.

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The Year of Luigi included:

Games (in order of release)

Merchandise

  • Depending on the region, Club Nintendonote  offered:
    • The Year of Luigi Sound Selection, a CD consisting of 30 songs from various games starring the character.
    • A chance to win 1 of 980 Luigi pins if one purchased the original DLC release of New Super Luigi U within a month of launch.
    • A Year of Luigi coin with a small green bag.
    • A Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon diorama.
    • A Year of Luigi poster as part of a three-poster set as an optional Platinum reward for Club Nintendo members who ranked the status by July 2013.
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  • A Luigi-themed Nintendo 3DS XL with Mario & Luigi: Dream Team pre-installed
  • A Luigi Nendoroid

Other


This marketing campaign provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Mascot: Subverted. Mario was only briefly retired as a major mascot for the company, and mostly on social media; he was still utilized in advertising for titles that featured him prominently.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Or rather, a year in the limelight. Instead of focusing on Mario, Bowser, or other popular Nintendo characters, this campaign made almost everything about Luigi. Of course, it didn't last.
  • The Cameo: Every stage in New Super Luigi U features Luigi sightings, and numerous courses and challenges in Super Mario 3D World, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and NES Remix 2 feature a hidden Luigi sprite.
  • Old Save Bonus: Super Mario 3D World lets you play an altered version of the original Mario Bros. (entitled Luigi Bros.). This is unlocked immediately if you have New Super Luigi U save data on your system, but requires beating the game if you don't.


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