Mario Kart IRL
Ever wanted to play Mario Kart in real life?
How about inside a Target, using shopping carts as go-karts?
4th grade me is so excited
If you answered yes to either of these questions (and really, how could you not?), then you’re in luck. Target is currently running a cross-promotion with Nintendo Switch, turning a select number of their stores (650 to be exact) into real-life Mario Kart courses. Courses that also happen to contain a ton of retail items available for purchase.
Mario Kart fans, I rejoice with you. Target employees, my heart weeps for you.
From a marketing perspective, this is a great idea. Turning shopping carts into go-karts? What child would not get excited about that, and proceed to beg their parents for the upcoming Mario Kart game? And better yet, the new (and infamously difficult to find in stock) Nintendo Switch?
As far as video game releases go, this certainly seems to be one of the more interesting and involved promotions. Not only do the shopping carts feature decals that transform into one of the characters’ go-karts from the video game, but the entrances to the stores will have the black-and-white checkerboard pattern definitive of the starting line.
As you enter, the motion sensors at the entrance will then begin flashing lights, as well as play the now legendary Mario theme song.
You can tell whether a Target store is participating in the promotion by checking the “bollards” (known in Layman’s terms as: “those giant red spheres outside of Target”) near the entrance of the store.
If they seem to have suddenly morphed into the cranium(s) of Mario and/or Luigi, then you can bet that the store has been influenced by the magic of Mario Kart.
It will be madness.
Dante’s 10th circle
Seriously, from the perspective of a retail employee, this will be a living nightmare. I can picture it now: customers dashing with shopping carts from the entrance. People smashing their carts into one another’s. Toy boxes strewn about to be ran over with carts, akin to the power-ups so commonly found on Mario Kart courses. Bananas and banana peels placed all over the store, to make other “racers” spin out. And no, these won’t be bananas brought from home.
Lest we forget, Target has a produce section now.
Don’t be surprised if the next time you go grocery shopping at Target some sort of guard is there keeping an especially watchful eye on those cartons of bananas. Many will assume that it is ill-behaved younger children they need worry about the most, but in my experience, they would be mistaken. I’m looking at you high schoolers and college kids.
Good luck, Target employees
No word on how long the promotion is supposed to last, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is set to be released on April 28th. Therefore, it’s a fairly safe bet that the promotion will continue at least into May. Good luck to you, long-suffering Target employees.
And no, that is not me with the green shopping cart yelling “Yoshi” in a nasally voice. That guys just happens to look like me.