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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

10 Classic Video Game Commercials

Posted by Rich Shievener

Super Mario Bros. 3 joined the UN in '90.

And the nostalgia begins! Back in the day, Nintendo, SEGA and others hit the TV markets hard with clever adverts aimed at young kids who already loved Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter II and something called SEGA CD (ahem). 

We thought it would be fun to revisit some of these masterpieces of marketing to see how far companies like Nintendo have come.

Our list begins, though, with a little love for Atari and Pac-Man.

10) Ms. Pac-Man

This woman was not only kicking more ghost ass than her hubby, she was also apparently Broadway bound, or something like that. "Don'tcha know? I'm more than Pac-Man with a bow!"

9) Dr. Mario

Now it's stuck in your head - get over it. Yes, Nintendo went a little overboard pushing this Tetris-y game out to the masses, but that's not to say this is ridiculous. Unless you factor in that kid's scat solo.

8) Super Mario Bros. 3

Most of us joined the Mario cult (shown here) when this dropped stateside in 1990. In terms of this commercial, it's interesting because it lacks a gameplay clip, and instead hypes Mario's popularity. Wallets were drained immediately.

7) Legend of Zelda

See? No game clips in this Japanese ad. That's okay, though, because we're watching the awesomest Nintendo rap ever. Seriously, it's 30 seconds away from being a music video.

6) Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Ah, an early sign of viral marketing. Mom grated cheese with this, and my wiener dog had a copy, too.

5) Street Fighter II

Capcom likely had to toughen up its adverts when Mortal Kombat started ripping heads off in '92. Why not just throw Blanka in the ring with Raiden?

4) Mortal Kombat

Creepy. Something about this. Is Creepy. It's the menacing kid and his sense of anarchy. Parents beware (maybe).

3) Game Genie

Hyping the hackers' delight of video games, it's an obvious homage to Bill and Ted, dudes, championing the lazy. And the stoned?

2) Doom

We're taking you to hell with the Jaguar. This console
pretty much only had Doom to count on for sales, hence the reason for
creating this shadowy commercial.


You heard it: Sega! Sega CD's Samuel L. Jackson carbon copy scared us into rigging our Genesis with this short-lived add-on. Here's another, except it's not as twisted.


Brian said:
How could you possibly miss this one:

To this day ... whenever I think of Zelda, this commercial comes to mind.

VeenReen said:
OK this makes a lot of sense dude.

Games On PlayStation 3 said:
Wow, the old SEGA! yell, how i missed it.

Kevin said:

That original MK commercial brings back some great memories

Mark said:
Where the hell is the Mario RPG commercial with the insane old man?

Rich said:

Zoss said:
@Brian: That is a great one. That commercial still pops up in my head every now and again as well.

Adam said:

Is that Don Pardo doing the announcing on the Ms. Pac Man commercial?

Kevin said:
That original MK commercial brings back some great memories

Mark said:
Where the hell is the Mario RPG commercial with the insane old man?

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