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Joystiq presents

Promotional Consideration: It pays to have word ability (word smarts)

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

While we've exposed you to sexually-charged promotional materials in the past, much to the disapproval of your uptight parents, the last game we ever expected to feature for its immodest advertising was My Word Coach, a vocabulary trainer due for the DS and Wii this November 6th. Read on for the titillating piece and our analysis on how Ubisoft put together one of the most salacious ads to appear in Nintendo Power in recent memory without baring a single inch of skin.

"Covering the bases"
Improve your vocabulary. Score big.

There's not much here to compel Nintendo Power's primary audience, an assumedly younger set, to keep their eyes on this page stuck in between the magazine's coverage of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Trauma Center: New Blood. Even with its spread, sans-serif letters, it lacks the attention-grabbing screenshots and full-page ninja artwork that Naruto-crazed kids crave.

If you spend a moment taking in its innuendo and unraveling its baseball metaphor, though, the deceptively playful message is quite bold. It's hard to believe that Ubisoft, the same publisher that approved the repulsive Jam Sessions ad, was also behind this suggestive text:

"My Word Coach is the fun new game that improves your vocabulary. And when you have a large vocabulary, you have a better chance of getting what you want. Knowing the right word makes all the difference." [emphasis ours]

In this case, that "difference" could be between a handshake goodnight and "Business Time."


Now, as commandants of the written word and, likewise, complete dorks, we can assure you that that isn't the case whatsoever -- it just isn't in most people's nature to fall head over heels for your wordsmithery. Our own attempts to dazzle the opposite sex with our sesquipedalian ways have, unsurprisingly, all ended in spectacular failure. Seriously, people died.

Still, it pleases us to no end to imagine a world in which vocabulary is the currency of love and an ornate compliment can purchase a make-out session ... or more. We've put together some artwork to demonstrate more clearly what My Word Coach hopes to accomplish for you with its vocabulary-boosting features.

First Base:

"You sure are swell."

Second Base:

"You're quite the winsome lady."

Third Base:

"Please excuse my flattery, but your eyes are absolutely intoxicating."

Home Run:

"You could measure my infatuation for you with a protractor, meticulously plotting points on graphing paper and calculating its exact curvature. You'll find that, mathematically, you've won my heart."

[Illustrations courtesy of my lovely wife Alexis]

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