Ah commercials. Like a modern day carnival barkers, they both inform and annoy us. They can be helpful in educating us about the products we purchase while providing time for us to get a snack. Other times they leave us wanting thirty seconds of our life back. As part of my effort to preserve the rich culture and history of video-games, I have scoured the world to categorize and compile this definitive list of the top 5 worst a best video game commercials.
Ad campaigns sometimes fail their products leaving the consumer confused as to what they’ve just watched. These are the ones that leave us scratching our heads. They may be full of misinformation, forced humor, or confusing premises that have nothing to do with the products they represent. The point is, they do more harm than good.
5) Westwood College “tighten up the graphics”
This first ad isn’t for a game or system. This commercial gives you a peek into exciting and not at all tedious career as a game tester/designer.
Hey the boss is coming you’d better randomly push those buttons faster!
Everything about this commercial is wrong. If you think this is what making video games is like, then I’m a Nigerian Prince and if you give me your banking account information I can make you a millionaire.
4) Dead or Alive 3 “She kicks high.”
This ad could insult the intelligence of a 14 year old. This commercial for DOA3 plays on old stereotypes that gamers are sweaty sexless nerds, when the fact of the matter is fighting games like this attract a more mainstream audience than say an RPG would. Instead of being inclusive, this ad seems to say “hey kids if you buy DOA3 you can be just like these two.”
Is this how they see us? Are we all mouth breathing man-children who play video-games because we’re afraid to talk to real girls? I for one find this stereotype insulting, but not entirely untrue.
3) Red Steel 2 “Pirate Sexual Harassment”
Everyday pirates all over the world deal with unwanted sexual advances from their employers and coworkers. It’s a struggle for them to find acceptance and equality in a world filled with hot blooded land lover perverts with grabby paws. Many blame it on the victims saying if they didn’t want this kind of attention they wouldn’t wear such provocative puffy shirts and eye patches, but we live in a more understanding age and no one should have to feel victimized in their workplace. This is a serious problem that Ubisoft has decided to make light of.
If you or a friend are a pirate facing abuse or unwanted sexual advances contact your human resources department and remember you’re not alone.
2) Xbox “life is short”
“We need an ad that makes people want to buy an Xbox”
“I’ve got it. Watch this.”
“What the hell was that?”
“Well you see, it symbolizes of man’s struggle to fight his own mortality”
“You’re fired! Clean out your desk!”
1) Playstation 3 “This is living”
Here in America, Sony subjected us to confusing ads featuring creepy baby dolls and rolling eggs then slapped the PS3 logo at the end of it. These ads made many want to hide under the covers in terror rather than leave our homes to purchase a Playstation 3. Believe it or not Europe had it much worse than us. The “This is living” ad campaign featured an ongoing story about guests in a hotel, each coming from different back grounds but sharing in bizarre fever-dream like experiences. At the end of each ad the hotel manager would look at the camera and say “This is living”. With only passing references to the PS3, you’d never know it was a commercial for a game console. You may instead think you were watching an ad for travelers checks. It all plays less like a commercial and more like a bizarre film school project. I’ve seen independent films that were more commercial than this. I should warn you, what you are about to see is from Europe and as such features partial nudity and a man who really, really likes soccer. You have been warned.
These are the commercials that make you run to the store are buy the product sight unseen. Maybe they make you laugh. Maybe the get your heart pumping. Either way they do their job, telling you what this game or system is and why you’ve gotta have it.
5) Pole position “skid marks on your soul!”
Imagine you’re a corporate executive on a family outing in the old grocery getter when a disembodied voice calls you a jerk and the hand of God picks up your car and drops your clan into Formula One race cars. POLE POSITION!!!!
A couple of notes here; One, the wife really seems to be enjoying herself. This may be the first time she’s felt this way without the use of a detachable shower head. Two, in the end the family seems to have been turn into half car cyborgs. Three, POLE POSITION!!
4) Smash brothers “happy together”
One day Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Pikachu skipped merrily along through a field of flowers…there were no survivors.
Who doesn’t want to beat the hell out of Pikachu while listening to The Turtles?
3) Golden Sun “Night at the opera”
An epic commercial for a truly epic game. Lets watch.
2) Mario Kart “Mustaches around the world”
If this commercial doesn’t make you want to play Mario Kart and/or grow a mustache nothing will.
Just listen to the French Mario try to pronounce “si vous plait” in Japanese phonetics.
1) Sega Saturn “Segata Sanshiro”
There is a legend of a man who in-bodied all the raw strength and explosive power of the Sega Saturn. To those who played the Sega Saturn he gave a hardy thumbs up. For those who didn’t, not even dental records could identify their corpses. Segata Sanshiro (roughly translated “You must play Sega Saturn”) was a character featured in 20 or so Japanese ads for the Sega Saturn. In these commercials he would bring the Sega gospel to the masses with furious fists and crippling judo throws.
This is only a small taste of the powerhouse that is Segata Sanshiro, check out these other great ads:
Shining Force 3
Though he was last seen riding a missile into space, Segata Sashiro will live in on in the hearts of those who loved the Sega Saturn, and in the nightmares of everyone else.
There you have it, if I’ve missed any or if you think I’m a total moron let me know by posting a comment below.