That's right, my retired 57-year-old parents bought a Nintendo Wii over the weekend. Contrary to the title of this post, which some may regard as ageist, I am absolutely thrilled by this exciting new development. This is major news in our family, the equivalent of Mom or Dad getting a tattoo or buying a Harley (neither of which has happened). In fact, I bragged to three of my best friends by texting them Saturday night and to absolutely no surprise, they were incredibly impressed. I suspect that they also gained a small measure of respect for me, because I am related to this hip 57-year-old couple.
I'm sharing this news with Bazaarblog readers because this is a word of mouth success story that I've been able to observe from a detached, empirical, third-party point of view. I didn't urge my parents to buy a Wii. I'm an XBOX 360 man myself, but more importantly, my parents have never been into video games. They've been consumers, of course, buying Atari 2600, NES, Super NES, and Sega Genesis consoles and games for my younger sister and myself during our childhoods, but with the exception of a Christmas-morning game of Duck Hunt, I don't have any memory whatsoever of my parents playing a video game or expressing a desire to play a video game.
But all that changed when their neighbors bought a Nintendo Wii. In short order, one of my Dad's go-to golf buddies was on the injured reserve list due to a wicked case of Wii elbow. Then came the cocktail-fueled Wii parties, which allowed my parents to observe similarly mature adults, without the aid of their children, enjoying games of virtual tennis, golf, and bowling with absolutely no shame. Fast forward a few weeks and they are now the proud owners a brand new Wii, purchased at Sam's Club. Advertising alone could have NEVER achieved this end result (Plot Spoiler: This is the actual point I'm trying to make in this cleverly titled blog post).
I'll spare you the many details, like how my sister solemnly broke the news to me by phone on Saturday afternoon and how we've scheduled our first family Wii party for next Saturday night and how my friends are already offering to loan my parents Wii games, but I couldn't resist sharing this amazing personal story of the power of word of mouth and how it changed my family forever.