While I was reading a great article on going vegetarian, it reminded me of a big stunt that PETA pulled on the release of Super Mario 3D Land. Now, I’m not hating on the ethical treatment of animals. I think it’s a noble cause and I do support the concept 100%. It’s actually more about the company. PETA is, at it’s core, the worst. Although I do agree on the values and beliefs that PETA has, I completely disagree with their marketing tactics. What I am referring to is their recent marketing campaign to save raccoon dogs. In order to “save” raccoon dogs, PETA maliciously attacked video gaming’s greatest legend, Super Mario, in a stunt they’ve titled: Mario Kills Tanooki. Yes, that’s right. The beloved italian plumber with a heart of gold has been painted with stains of blood and gore in the latest PR stunt by PETA.
You want to know what the funniest thing is? Raccoon dogs (also known as Tanuki 狸 in Japanese) aren’t actually super endangered. Though their numbers have been decreasing over the years and they are hunted, they’re not classified as an endangered animal. PETA is just trying to grab attention to their organization through whatever crap they can dish out of their own arses. In terms of business PR (public relations), by tying in the famous video gaming icon Mario with killing “endangered” animals, PETA is attempting to get a lot of attention. Sad to say… it worked. Their snarky marketing team relies on the expression, “Any news is better than no news” to get attention. Reminds me of a Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian similarity. In essence, it’s fame for the wrong reasons. PS: Here’s your interest raccoon dog fact of the week:
In Japanese folklore, tanukis are regarded as mischievous creatures with high sex drives and magical powers that enable them to change their shape at will. Statues of fat, jolly tanukis holding a bottle of sake are the Japanese equivalent of garden gnomes. They can be found everywhere and are said to bring good luck. Tanukis and badgers have traditionally been hunted for meat and fur. Mujina is the name a stew eaten in mountain areas made from badger, tanuki or both.
The picture on the left is what a Japanese portrayal of a Raccoon Dog (Tanuki) looks like. You can find several of these statues scattered throughout many of Japan’s temples and old-fashion homes. But moving away from the cuteness of raccoon dogs, PETA’s hissy fit continued when Nintendo chose to respond to the allegations against their beloved mascot. Nintendo responded to the negative PR stunt in an interview with popular gaming blog Eurogamer stating the following:
“Mario often takes the appearance of certain animals and objects in his games, these have included a frog, a penguin, a balloon and even a metallic version of himself. These lighthearted and whimsical transformations give Mario different abilities and make his games fun to play. The different forms that Mario takes make no statement beyond the games themselves.”
Of course, Nintendo being Nintendo, gave out nothing more than that. It’s a very humble response indeed. But deep down you know they’re saying, “U MAD?” I found it quite hilarious when PETA talked back, apologized, and came out saying, “It was all a joke.” I guess the moral of the story is never mess with Mario. Negative PR is not a new concept, but it’s not always a good concept. Sure you generate buzz, but you create negative and hateful emotions with the public. Not a very meaningful relationship if you ask me. An easier way to understand this concept: PETA are just trolls of the internet. They prey on anything to upset others and take pleasure in doing so without any care for the relevant topic. This stunt doesn’t make me want to save raccoon dogs, it just makes me hate PETA. But that may just be me. What’s your opinion, world?
One of the funniest things to come out of this whole PR stunt is that PETA makes no attempt to reference the fact that Mario has been jumping on and squashing, no, rather brutally murdering turtles over the last 26 years. PETA has never addressed the death of countless Koopas, let alone big Bowser himself. And what about all the mushrooms and stuff he jumps on and crushes? PETA, to you I give a super big #smh. If PETA were to go bankrupt and to disappear in the world, whatever company replaces them would do the “people for the ethical treatment of animals” justice and do the job 100% better. Case in point, PETA, for attacking the best italian plumber of gaming, you suck.