Is Youtube's "Wii Fit Underwear Girl" Actually A Marketing Campaign?

Nintendo is facing accusations that a popular Youtube video is nothing more than a viral-video marketing campaign for the Wii Fit, reports The Telegraph. The video, quite simply, features a young woman using a virtual hula-hoop in her underwear. What separates it from other videos is that the 2 people in the video have both been identified as employees of the same advertising company. Nintendo denies the allegations. The video and details, inside…

The article says,

The clip, which has been viewed more than two million times, shows 25-year-old Lauren Bernat hula hooping in time with the fitness video game.

Rumours that the clip was a clever marketing ploy for the Wii Fit spread after it emerged that both Miss Bernat and her boyfriend, who filmed the footage, work in advertising.

Giovanny Gutierrez, 30, works as director of interactive media for Tinsley Advertising in Miami, Florida. According to his biography on the firm’s website, he “creates web, e-mail and interactive marketing solutions that perfectly integrate with television, radio and print campaigns.”

“Gio is a master of e-commerce, having created web portals for scores of businesses,” the biography adds.

Miss Bernat works as an account executive at Tinsley Advertising, where her duties include “evaluating the responses to our Internet advertising”.

But Nintendo has denied that the footage is part of an advertising campaign. “This has and is absolutely 100 per cent nothing to do with Nintendo,” a spokesman said. “Nintendo did not create it and were not aware of it until it was brought it to our attention.”

Mr Gutierrez has also denied that it was a viral advert for the Wii Fit.

The game, which allows Nintendo Wii owners to do a range of exercises and stretches under the guidance of on on-screen fitness expert, hardly needs the free publicity, having sold more than 300,000 copies in the UK in its first two weeks on sale, and sold out in many parts of the world.

But the YouTube affair has done much to boost the profile of Mr Gutierrez and his agency.

The evidence that this is an organized marketing campaign seems circumstantial to us. However, advertisers are always coming up with new ways to turn attention toward new products so who knows? We’ll just have to keep watching the video until we figure it out.

Wii Fit underwear girl: A marketing hoax? [The Telegraph]

Comments

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  1. Darascon says:

    Does it matter? Nintendo says it wasn’t. They say it wasn’t. Who the F cares? I mean really why do we have to waste all this time over some ass jiggling in underoos? It’s not like anyone was under age or nekkid. People need to build a bridge and get the F over it.

  2. gibbersome says:

    I’ve decided thats a very inappropriate video…after watching it 20 times.

  3. jdlyga says:

    If it was a viral video for nintendo, there wouldn’t be rock band drums in the background

  4. donkeyjote says:

    But the YouTube affair has done much to boost the profile of Mr Gutierrez and his agency.

    Nuff Said.

    Also, I think I saw a video on Redtube or YouPorn that started out like this….

  5. Ben Popken says:

    I read an interview with the guy who made it. He denied it was for Nintendo. I believe him.

  6. dottat1 says:

    danger will robinson.. malfunction…

    She looks fit enough to me :)

  7. donkeyjote says:

    Wii Fit Goofy Snowbunny :P

  8. There is one driving force for all technology. Porn. Wii fit was designed to produce things like this. Some genius realized that making a hula hoop video game in the age of YouTube would provide him with enjoyment for at least a few months.

  9. ooo la la….
    @Darascon: THANK YOU. Geeez. Common sense. We can show a blood bath on the news, but OH MY!

    When she starts riding the controller, let me know. I’ll create an uproar, then.

  10. @donkeyjote: Must have been cold on the slopes. She looks like it was a little bit nipply.

  11. Televiper says:

    One time I was DJ’ing with my friend and we got a couple speaker dancers in front of us. One was wearing spandex hot pants with the bottoms of her cheeks exposed, and a see through blouse. This isn’t as good as that.

  12. Isn’t it possible that it’s just a young techno-savy guy filming his hot girlfriend shaking her very attractive assets?

    And even if it is viral marketing, there is no big deal about it. Well done viral marketing pieces capture interest, and it’s fun for the public to try to solve the ‘mystery’ of the author’s intentions.

    Preventative disclaimer:
    For anyone who is unhappy that this video shows the hottie in her underwear, make sure you never go to the beach, where (GASP!) women wear even less. The biggest difference between the common panty and bikini swimwear is the packaging they were purchased in.

  13. donkeyjote says:

    @heavylee-again: *would make a ‘wet’ joke, but thar be bone-killing femanazi’s lurking* >_>

  14. Sidecutter says:

    Well, first of all, if this is a marketing schtick, he’s failing at his purported mission to perfectly integrate with TV, radio, etc. ads. Nintendo is too concerned with family-friendliness to be having anything like this on TV or the internet under their official sanction. Not that there’s anything wrong with underwear-clad women, specifically, but we all know how the prudes make noise here.

    Second, if the goal was to make you want some of that action yourself, he could have picked a much more attractive woman.

    @heavylee-again: I agree. Never ever have I been able to understand why this society finds it perfectly acceptable to trot around in tiny scraps on the beach or at the pool – but identically shaped and placed tiny scraps, in similarly opaque (or not, in some swimsuits and lengerie…) fabrics are considered indecent exposure elsewhere.

  15. TheDude06 says:

    I dont understand what happened this week to add to the story. News broke, and the connection between the marketing company and the video, approx 3 weeks ago. Ive seen this pop up on 4-5 sites this weekend for some reason.

  16. Kevino says:

    I feel so alone in this world because I thought it was an obvious viral advertisement. It’s the hot thing to do right now as it gets the most attention, such as it is now.

    Viral advertising makes me do the opposite of what they are trying to accomplish though.

  17. Pasketti says:

    This person isn’t amused: [crave.cnet.com]

  18. Im with Darascon

  19. donkeyjote : that is the stupidist things ever, and the fact shes ripping on something stupid is terrible and esp the fact she did it herself
    lol

  20. Angryrider says:

    Dude? Who cares? Over at Kotaku we’ve been discussing this for at least a week. Nobody seems to care about the fact about the Wii Fit, but it’s more about that attractive woman in the photo.
    A librarian is angry about it because it defames her.
    [kotaku.com]

  21. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @heavylee-again: Also, the common panty doesn’t repel water.

    @Pasketti: I hadn’t even heard of the video until now and I admit I couldn’t figure out how this would sell more Wii Fits. According to the article you linked to the video’s real title is “Why every guy should buy his girlfriend a Wii Fit”.
    Wouldn’t a guy buying his girlfriend a Wii Fit be a rather expensive way of calling her fat?

    I feel bad for the librarian but really any employer too stupid to think that there are multiple people with the same name is probably too stupid to work for.

  22. I watched it once and was like, “Eh, that’s trashy.” Doesn’t really do it for me. Am I the only one?

  23. donkeyjote says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: No, more like a rather inexpensive way of saying “I would buy you a pole so you could dance around in ne’rnothings for me, but then you would think I was a cad”

  24. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @donkeyjote: I would have thought that exercising in sweatpants would be like the opposite of pole dancing.

    I learn something new everyday.

  25. OnceWasCool says:

    Ok, I am a hiney worshiper and LOVE that Lauren Bernat video. Real or fake, a butt & leg fan like me can appreciate that.
    Does it make me want to buy a Wii? NO.

  26. Ayo says:

    yeah, because advertising agencies use there employees and actors all the time. Seriously guys?

  27. m.ravian says:

    @OnceWasCool:
    the phrase “hiney worshiper” has given me a migraine. thanks.

  28. Rajio says:

    sorry but how is this a ‘hoax’?!

  29. Sarcasmo48 says:

    @jdlyga: Touche! I smell Miami ad Douchebag wants to film his girlfriend in her underwear AND boost his profile, hence the douchebag part.

  30. katylostherart says:

    ok i wanted a wii before this. and i’m actually all for creative advertising. at this point in america, they just show us the product and expect us to buy it and for the most part it works. if marketers had to put some sort of effort into selling us shit i might be more inclined to pay attention to ehri ads in the first place. at least make it entertaining if you’re going to make it impossible to avoid with a full withdrawl from society.

  31. Jabberkaty says:

    If it was, good on them. If it wasn’t, so what? Either way people get to watch a cutie in her undies exercise.

    Viral is going to be the next big ad campaign area – why are we surprised?

  32. katylostherart says:

    *their

    wtf brain?

  33. Sarcasmo48 says:

    @Kevino: “Viral advertising makes me do the opposite of what they are trying to accomplish though.”

    Completely 100% agree. Most advertising does that to me.

  34. Sarcasmo48 says:

    @katylostherart: “if marketers had to put some sort of effort into selling us shit i might be more inclined to pay attention to ehri ads in the first place”

    I agree… but I want advertising to admit it is advertising, even if it is very well done.

  35. Sarcasmo48 says:

    @Ayo: Another excellent point. What ad agency would ever, EVER ask an employee to do that? And then not expect to get sued. OR, what AE would ever ever suggest HERSELF to use a product in her underwear and put it on the web.

  36. loueloui says:

    I’m not so appaled that this girl is in her underwear, I mean aside from Battlestar Galactica fans, who hasn’t seen that?

    I am more annoyed that this douchebag put this out there as either a ‘viral’ ad campaign -which I detest, or for self-promotion (attention whoring).

  37. JPropaganda says:

    OK seriously. This is neither self promotion nor viral. Just because someone works in advertising doesn’t mean everything they do is an advertisement. Don’t be ridiculous.

    I work in interactive advertising. Does that mean every time I post a clip of my standup that involves a joke about Dateline NBC that that’s a viral piece for dateline?!

  38. Yeah I have to call “unlikely” on the potential that this is a add. I think Nintendo is much too focussed on the “Family” side of gaming to put out something like this.

  39. Carl3000 says:

    Well of course theyre going to lie about it. It becomes 100% less cool when you find out they were paid to make a viral ad. You’re just mad cause you all got played

  40. donkeyjote says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Not if they are wearing the right set of sweats :P

  41. how much is a wii again? my girlfriend uses real hula hoops. i think they are about a dollar each. great use of technology.

  42. Superawesomerad says:

    @edicius: Not trashy, exactly, but it does make me wonder about Ms. Bernat’s common sense. She’s ostensibly an executive (granted, title inflation has rendered this term practically meaningless); that is, a professional, and posting an identifiable video of herself doing the hula in her underwear is pretty borderline. A more conservative boss might see it as fireable.

  43. Eels says:

    dude needs to get his eyebrows waxed.

  44. Gann says:

    At least they had the good taste not to post a vid of her doing the downward dog.

  45. donkeyjote says:

    @Superawesomerad: And a more litigious employee might see getting fired over this as actionable >_>

  46. macinjosh says:

    I wanna know who was the guy that identified her from that angle.

  47. @Superawesomerad: A more conservative boss might see it as fireable.

    I think it is almost always inappropriate for a person to be fired for an off-the-clock activity that makes one ‘wonder about a person’s common sense’ as you put it. As long as it’s not illegal, almost without exception there should be no link between a person’s private life and their professional career.

    However, I understand that everyone does not always agree with me. I’m still working on that…. :)

  48. Superawesomerad says:

    @heavylee-again: I’ve worked in HR, and I’ve seen people fired over less than this. You may not agree with it (I don’t, not always) but that’s the way it works at some companies. If you post shit that could potentially be seen as reflecting poorly on you and/or your employer, you’re putting yourself in an unnecessarily precarious position. Every new employee orientation I’ve been to recently warns about this. That’s why I called the woman’s common sense into question.

    “[T]here should be no link between a person’s private life and their professional career.” Yeah, well, it’s not exactly private if you post it on YouTube where it gets viewed over 2 million times.

  49. Nope, not for nintendo. Like the other commenter said, Rock band in the back ground, plus nintendo = family oriented, this is not exactly a family oriented ad. Although the guy works for the company that is supposed to be advertising the wii fit, I don’t think this was supposed to be a viral marketing campaign.
    More likely they got one to take home to test/come up with ideas, and the girlfriend hopped on one morning, and voila…
    Gotta give him credit though, all this free publicity probably helps his cause, I mean who even heard of this guy before this thing hit youtube? Not me.

  50. Kali Mama says:

    I loved the DNA art on his wall. Wait what was the point of the video again?

  51. MeOhMy says:

    @loueloui: Actually BSG also shows women in their underwear, so everyone has seen it!

  52. RedSonSuperDave says:

    I’d “boost” her “profile”, if you know what I mean.

    *Wiggles eyebrows* Aww riiiight.

  53. The_IT_Crone says:

    I agree with several of you that are saying she should not be fired for an off-the-clock activity. IF and ONLY IF this is not a viral ad campaign, it reminds me of the teachers we keep hearing about that are fired because people find “immoral” pictures of them online. It also reminds me of homosexual military members that are kicked out for their off-duty life.

    SO WHAT?! As long as the teacher/ad executive/soldier does not bring that material/activity to work, it should have no bearing on the future of their job(s).

    The only people that should be given crap for their off-the-clock activity are those that campaign against it FOR their jobs (i.e. politicians, religious leaders, etc).

    /sure it’s incredibly stupid to put that kind of thing online when you can be indentified, but without these incredibly stupid acts the Internet wouldn’t be nearly as amusing.

    //also don’t forget to check out some of the RESPONSES to this video. They’re hilarious!

    ://lj-toys.com/?journalid=445771&moduleid=15&preview=&auth_token=sessionless:1213635600:embedcontentiurl=http://i.ytimg.com/vi/ZwEw6f2wtwc/default.jpg

  54. sketchy says:

    @jdlyga: Frunkis

  55. Scorcho says:

    @edicius: Yes, yes you are.

  56. rjgnyc says:

    @Kevino: Viral advertising makes you not talk about a product in a manner that spreads information about it in a viral manner? Because that’s all viral advertising wants you to do. The goal isn’t to make you want to buy the product then and there, but go around talking about the product. Like any good game of telephone, eventually even people who were talking about it in a “boy that Wii advertisement about product X is stupid” sense will get their message boiled down to “Wii product X!”

    Think about it. This ad, if it was actually from Nintendo, offers no actual information about the product. It isn’t encouraging anyone with facts about it, and the product itself isn’t even center stage. It’s not a selling point tool as much as a “Gabbo Gabbo Gabbo – BUT WHAT IS GABBO NOW I WANT TO KNOW” tool. And at that point people will google it or pass it by at a store and go “oh isn’t that the thing from the thing that someone once mentioned to me.”

  57. ceez says:

    man that’s some good hulla hooping! who cares! :) she gets my vote for hulla olympics!!!

  58. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    Me like YouTube video. Nothing wrong with this at all.

  59. macinjosh says:

    @sketchy: Don’t forget his radio partner Ramon

  60. Bix says:

    Who cares? It’s not like it’s that “All I Want For X-mas ia a PSP” debacle: [consumerist.com]

  61. Nakko says:

    I do not care.

    Who cares if it’s marketing from Nintendo. If it was, I love Nintendo forever.

    Because this is the best thing I have ever seen.

    Ever.

  62. Ein2015 says:

    This is GOOD advertising, regardless of who or why.

  63. cac67 says:

    Good advertising. Makes me want to run right out and get a nice piece of ass.

  64. savvy999 says:

    I just don’t get it. Maybe because whoever that girl is, is wearing underoos, and is young enough to be my daughter.

    And so, as a protective father-type, my first impulse is to beat up that chump filming her and putting her on the internet. I would probably break his arm just a little bit, just so he remembers not to be an idiot ever again, and keep things that should be private, to himself.

    But that’s just me.

  65. CapitalC says:

    Sorry, I didn’t bother reading the article, I was too busy watching her fine behind doing that wiggle. :D~

  66. TheName says:

    I’m shocked–SHOCKED–that someone might film a young, innocent woman in her small clothes enjoying a game for the television! And for advertising, no less?! Never–NEVER–has such a scandalously clad member of the fairer sex been photogrammed in such a compromising get up especially in the name of some product! SHOCKED!

    Thankfully, I will now retreat to the rest of these internets, those without such scanty clothing and/or moral fiber!

  67. mendelini says:

    Everyone between 25 and 35 is in advertising.

  68. mykasoda says:

    “IT’S JUST SOFTCORE PORN.

    Why is everyone flocking to watch this somewhat attractive woman in her underwear move her but around in a semi-circle when you can see the same thing on any given episode of Sex and the City? (protest all you want, I still watch it on mute) And lets not forget pretty much every show on G4TV or Spike finds a way to sexually exploit some woman in a bathing suit, or have we already forgotten the hotdog swallowing contest on Attack of the Show?

    I know what you’re going to say “But it’s funny too!”, bullshit, it’s mildly amusing at best, and thats not why you watched it. “
    – Taken From [www.twobitnews.com]

  69. coren says:

    If this is a viral campaign, are all the other girls shaking their asses on Youtube playing with Wiis (hahaha, and people mocked the name when it came out) also paid to do so?

  70. temporaryerror says:

    IIRC, the guy linked the video directly to his advertising firm…at least when I saw it.

  71. The Nemrel says:

    But where can I purchase the Wii? This is the important question here. Also – I can imagine this becoming a new fetish. A lot of Johns pay prostitutes large sums of money to do strange things with them – strange things that don’t include sex. Like rolling eggs to each other on a hardwood floor. Most prostitutes prefer the sex stuff and will charge more for the “weird” stuff that doesn’t involve sex. So I can just imagine some guys paying prostitutes just to watch them play Wii Fit in front of them in undies.