Southwest Airlines has teamed up with Nintendo after they were asked if they could make a level for Super Mario Maker on the Wii U. The company obliged with a sky-themed level for the Wii U exclusive that features the Sky Pop from the old 1989 version of Super Mario Land.
Gamespot spotted the blog post over on the official Southwest Airlines website, where Southwest's Adam Rucker explained that the level is inspired by various aspects of the company and its themes, writing in the blog post...
Wii U users can play the Southwest Air Adventure level by visiting Course World in Super Mario Maker. Users will take to the skies in an air-travel adventure, with unique Southwest-themed obstacles before ending at our signature Southwest Heart, made out of coins, of course!
Unfortunately, the blog does not post up a video of the level in action but they do provide a couple of screenshots of Mario riding in the Sky Pop, along with the heart-shaped coin design near the end of the course, just as Rucker explained in the post.
The Southwest Air Adventure level centers around players making their way around the level with a focus on using the Sky Pop. Players will find the vehicle in a mystery mushroom, which will help with navigating the level.
According to the Gamespot article, this is one of various other corporate collaborations that Nintendo has had when it comes to Super Mario Maker. Both Mercedes-Benz and Facebook have also made levels for the game, in addition to the millions of levels that other players, designers, developers, artists and everyone else in between have made for the game.
It's not surprising that Mercedes was involved with the promotion of the platform creation toolset given that back in 2014, the car company and the software and hardware maker teamed up together for downloadable content in Mario Kart 8. That's right, Mercedes provided Nintendo with various cars that were available in the colorful racing game for the Wii U.
Nintendo has been slowly reaching out and making some connections with spreading their branding to more markets and in different ways. This has also become evident with their deal with DeNA, whom they've partnered with for their upcoming mobile titles based around various Nintendo properties.
In a way, this is good publicity all the way around because Nintendo is able to get their branding out there and bring in more partnerships while those brands outside of gaming get to spread the word about their products to an all new demographic. And in this case, Southwest Airlines gets to advertise in Super Mario Maker with little more than making a level, while Nintendo gets free publicity for their invitation of bringing in a company completely unrelated to games to make a level for an exclusive title.
It's just a shame that Nintendo wasn't this aggressive with their marketing back in the early days of the Wii U where they were too reliant on the casual audience to pick up and purchase the console instead of aggressively trying to saturate a specific market segment. Maybe they've learned their lesson and will carry this new mentality of making and bridging connections into the release of the Nintendo NX.