Ninja has partnered with esports-focused gaming brand Finalmouse to create the most bizarre, grandiose marketing campaign of the year. It starts with the words "Based on a true story," which is typically either a prelude to a movie that's going to make you cry or some completely unbelievable nonsense. In this case, it's completely unbelievable anime nonsense.
Cue the promotional video: Ninja is playing computer games, when his mouse transforms into a giant mystical bird, flies out of the window, and takes Ninja on a journey to a magical cherry blossom tree. He touches it, and some pretty lights spread through the forest below. It's a lot.
“Valley of the Air” – Based on a true story. This is the story of how @Finalmouse and I discovered the truth and finally bridged two worlds.I’ll see you guys at the popup shop in LA December 1st where I’ll reveal the magic. Eventbrite registration https://t.co/j5CdduoFKW pic.twitter.com/RGxJUNJ3c9November 27, 2018
Tyler Blevins, despite his streamer handle, is not an actual ninja, but this ad really leans into it. The side of Ninja's house evokes a classical Japanese onsen; there's a landscape shot clearly inspired by Mount Fuji; and in front of the cherry blossom tree, there's a single torii gate, which screams "this mountain is very sacred!!" Alternatively, the entire video screams: We got high, watched every Studio Ghibli film, and then stretched a generic anime skin over a product announcement while whispering dude, this is so deep.
Again: this is for a gaming mouse. I'm really into gaming mice: I like learning about the minute technical differences between sensors, about the iteration that goes into the shape of a mouse and the plastics used in its construction. I do believe a better mouse can help you play a game better. I don't believe it's going to give you a spiritual awakening but uh, I'll let Finalmouse take it from here.
You thought this was still about mice? This is our time. The next century is our time.November 27, 2018
This is our time. To sell you a mouse.
How many times we gotta say it’s not branded. This is beyond branding. This is going to be a museum piece.November 26, 2018
Starry Night is a museum piece. Pretty sure this is going to be a mouse.
If we revealed the product now the drop would get too crazy. Not joking.November 25, 2018
One picture, and the LA pop-up event would be mobbed with ravenous gamers.
Lots of people flying out to LA for December 1st and asking about hotel accommodations. Here are the recommended nearby hotels: The Waldorf: https://t.co/ugVFhN8vfHThe Beverly Hilton: https://t.co/xohCERxrjOThe Intercontinental: https://t.co/pQ5g8HSScYNovember 20, 2018
Would you like to purchase our mouse? May I recommend spending a night at The Waldorf?
On this beautiful walk thinking about how you guys are going to be blown away by the utter sexuality of this new drop. You really think we aren’t gonna live up to the hype ? We shift the universe through love. pic.twitter.com/t4R144dGryNovember 20, 2018
Do you ever go for a walk and think about the utter sexuality of your computer peripherals?
There's also "living legend Ninja" and "we are taking the world to a whole different level" which I can't even formulate a joke about because I'm still processing "This is the story of how we discovered the truth alongside Ninja and finally bridged two worlds. On December 1 we will share this truth with you in person and shift the consciousness."
Have fun with your marketing. Be playful. Tell me what makes your product special. But don't promise a spiritual awakening or show me your mouse turning into a magic bird, because I'll roll my eyes so hard I'll shatter the fabric of reality, and at that point I'll be too busy living through some kind of interdimensional crisis to worry about buying a $90 gaming mouse.