Italian plumber more memorable than Harper, Dion

    Harris/Decima survey finds Nintendo's iconic Mario(TM) character more
    recognized than prime minister and federal opposition leader

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    VANCOUVER, Nov. 13 /CNW/ - Front-page headlines as the country's most
powerful politician apparently doesn't make you more recognizable than an
animated Italian plumber.
    According to a Harris/Decima survey commissioned by Nintendo of Canada,
more people in Calgary, Toronto and Halifax can identify a photo of Nintendo's
iconic video game character, Mario, than can identify a photo of Prime
Minister Stephen Harper. Even in Calgary, which includes Harper's home riding
of Calgary Southwest, Mario was more recognizable (47 per cent vs.
41 per cent). More women across Canada were also able to identify Mario than
the country's top politician (66 per cent vs. 63 per cent) and nationwide, the
animated plumber is just as well-known as the prime minister. Both were
recognized by 70 per cent of respondents in five major centres when asked to
identify photographs by name.
    Mario, who launches his newest title Super Mario Galaxy(TM) for
Nintendo's Wii(TM), also outshone opposition leader Stephane Dion. Less than
half of Canadians surveyed - 48 per cent - were able to identify Dion's photo,
which included a Canadian flag in the background. In fact, in Montreal, which
includes Dion's home riding of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, more people
recognized Mario than the Liberal party leader (78 per cent vs. 71 per cent).
    "Canadian politicians are lucky Mario doesn't have his Canadian
citizenship and could campaign for office," said Ron Bertram, general manager
of Nintendo of Canada. "It's no surprise that Mario is more recognized than
high-profile politicians: he's entertained generations of Canadians and
inspires only happy thoughts."
    "Super Mario Galaxy for Wii will further boost Mario's stature in Canada"
said Bertram. "Moms and dads will have some great Mario fun alongside their
    Nintendo's Mario character is the bestselling video game franchise of all
time, selling more than 200-million units worldwide. Mario has appeared in
more than 200 games since his debut in the original Donkey Kong(R) in 1981. He
first headlined a title in 1983 in Mario Bros.(R) and soon after in the
revolutionary Super Mario Bros.(R) in 1985 on the Nintendo Entertainment
System(R) (NES).
    Super Mario Galaxy, available across Canada with gameplay in English and
French, is the latest innovative title in the popular franchise, using unique
motion-based controls in a gravity-defying adventure. Super Mario Galaxy
brings Mario to the Wii generation - young or old, gamer or not. And with the
game's innovative "co-star mode," even the most inexperienced players can join
in the action.

    Other Mario facts:
    -   Mario is the brainchild of legendary video game designer
        Shigeru Miyamoto, who also created the Donkey Kong and Legend of
        Zelda(R) franchises
    -   Mario was known as Jumpman when he debuted in the Donkey Kong arcade
        game in 1981
    -   Mario's original occupation was a carpenter, not a plumber
    -   The Mario franchise has spawned a cartoon TV show, comic book series
        and a rock opera
    -   Academy-award winning actor Bob Hoskins played Mario in the
        live-action 1993 Hollywood film Super Mario Bros
    -   Mario made history in 2003 by becoming the first video game character
        to be honored with a wax figure in the legendary Hollywood Wax Museum
    -   The world's largest metal Super Mario was built in downtown Toronto
        in 2006. The 10-foot high structure was built in a day with 4,000
        cans of food weighing close to 2,600 pounds. All food was later
        donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto.

    About the survey

    Harris/Decima conducted the survey research between October 11 and
October 16 via mall intercepts with randomly selected Canadians in Vancouver,
Calgary, Toronto GTA, Montreal and Halifax. The sample margin of error is
+/-5.5%, 19 times out of 20. Surveys were conducted in both English and
French. Results are weighted to reflect Statistics Canada regional

    About Nintendo

    The worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment,
Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and
software for its Wii(TM), Nintendo DS(TM), Game Boy(R) Advance and Nintendo
GameCube(TM) systems. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold nearly 2.4 billion video
games and more than 409 million hardware units globally, and has created
industry icons like Mario(TM), Donkey Kong(R), Metroid(R), Zelda(TM) and
Pokémon(R). A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in
Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the
Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's
Web site at

For further information:

For further information: Cohn & Wolfe Toronto, Lorena Cordoba, Andrea De
la Cuba, (416) 924-5700 Ext. 4089, 4071,,

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