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For a very long time, Nintendo used to change Kirby’s expression in advertisements and game boxes. Over in Japan, Kirby always had a smile on his face, no matter what the opposition. In North America and Europe, Kirby was much more serious, with a frown and furrowed brow. It doesn’t happy nearly as much nowadays, but it seems someone else has taken up the mantle.

In the image above, you can see two different versions of Tails from the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie poster. On the left is Tails from the Japanese version, and he’s sporting quite a happy demeanor. On the right-hand side is Tails from the North American version, and he’s all business.

You have to wonder just how much of a difference this kind of marketing changes in the grand scheme of things. Are there really people who wouldn’t see these films if Tails had a frown in Japan, or a smile in North America? I guess there’s marketing research somewhere that shows there’s an argument to be made!

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Comments (7)

kolma

1M ago

That's a really bad photoshop job


pc2

1M ago

American Tails is hardcore.


goatonastick

1M ago

@kolma

that's not a Photoshop. that's a complete rerender... the exact opposite of a Photoshop quick fix.


jake_a

1M ago

They probably show variants of the poster to focus groups to determine which ones need to be printed. For a movie like Sonic 2, I don't think it would make a huge difference because it's a sequel to a popular film. But I guess they wanna cover their bases in case it flops so they (the marketing research team) don't get blamed for it.


They could have easily used a higher resolution image, or just overly sharpened it for this purpose. Changed the color, and slapped a new face on. It just doesn't look like the direction of the face matches the direction of the head. (Not talking about the eyes, talking about the face as a whole)


[deleted]

nekotaku

1M ago

@rawmeatcowboy

The classic. Cute is king in Japan.
Spotted in error in the writing, "It doesn’t HAPPY nearly as much".