5 replies
Mario understands USP.

Rather, Shigeru Miyamoto - the man who created Donkey Kong, Mario and
Zelda - understands USP.

I recommend finding any interview you can with this man. His insight into how
people act and react to stimulus is amazing. But his real "boon" for copywriters
is how he looks at Mario, the game.

In Mario - any version - you play a character who runs from left to right,
jumping on enemies and collecting coins. Simple as simple can be.

And when you get to the very right end of the level, you start a new level.
From the left of that level.

Along the way, you encounter enemies, ladders, platforms... Anything and
everything you can imagine to make getting from left to right more difficult,
more interactive, and more fun.

So you can imagine most people would be bored, running from left to right
over 80 times in a row. Yet Mario, the games, have become cult classics
with people of all ages. In multiple generations.

This is because of Mr. Miyamoto's incredible grasp on USP. Especially with
his level design.

You see, each level of Mario is completely unique. Not because it shuffles
together thirty enemies, five different kinds of traps and a bunch of "tough"
obstacles in a "unique" order...

Nope, each Mario level focuses on one game mechanic, and one game
mechanic only. So each level is completely unique. This makes going through
80 some-odd levels fun and engaging. Because you can immediately
"swallow" each level as a unique individual.

What's more - Mr. Miyamoto said each level was designed this way, so
fellow Mario players could talk to each other about levels in their own,
unique short hand. One ANY Mario player could understand.

For example: If you've ever played Super Mario 3, when I talk about "the
dark sun level"... You know exactly what I'm talking about. And instantly,
you and me have rapport. We're together, cursing out whirlwinds, evil
suns and an unforgiving sonnuvabitch level that cost me WAY too many
"green mushrooms" ;-)

Keep this in mind when writing your copy -

The human mind can easily swallow one good idea at a time. Anything more
than that, and we naturally get confused. The "vision" of our message gets
muddled.

That's why we're taught to write in short, punchy sentences. So we give
our reader only one message, one IMAGE, per sentence. That's all she can
handle. It's all she can process.

And when you're crafting your sales piece, focus on your one main message,
as well.

For me, this has been difficult. When I have mountains and mountains of
ammo, I want to go to war with platoons full of machine guns... Not just
one sniper's bullet.

But sometimes, one good claim is all you need.

As long as you don't do anything to get in it's way.

So when you're writing your next promotion, try thinking about Mario. He
may make you a few bucks - and save you a few headaches.

- HR
#mario #plumber
  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    Very good point, Hank. People often complicate things to seem more important when the most sticky lessons are simple ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author myeanne
    I've heard this story before and I always remember this everytime im in this situation.
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    • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
      Not quite Mario, but here's a very relevant, very interesting video about continuity that I think you will like. It's a shame I can't embed it.

      The GAME OVERTHINKER: Episode 29: "Continuum"

      Best Regards,
      vip-ip ...
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      • Profile picture of the author Hank Rearden
        Great video. Thank you :-)

        - HR
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        • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
          Mario? Halo is da bomb!

          I kid with you a bit here. I do agree with a lot of what you are
          saying in this thread. Thank you for sharing your insight.
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