Watch a modern video game commercial and you’ll notice it’s pretty straightforward, and usually made up of a few key elements:
Gameplay footage, epic music, maybe some plot, perhaps some voiceover from one of the characters, blurbs of favorable critical reviews, box art, and things like that.
Back in the ’80s, making a game ad was a bit more of a challenge, mostly because games back then just didn’t look that good. To sell a game, you didn’t sell what it looked like: You sold how it made you feel, and the fun you could have playing it.
This led to some creative video game commercials in that era, and in 2007, the Video Game Commercial Archive released an hourlong DVD highlighting some of the most memorable. Now, that video has found its way onto YouTube, and it’s a real trip (via Boing Boing).
One thing that stuck out to me, aside from the general absurdity of most of these ads, is that there were a lot more commercials promoting a console and its library of games, instead of just a specific game. Back to the absurdity, though, there’s a boatload of it: In various ads, you can see things like baseball legend Pete Rose stumping for Atari, original songs, cartoon frogs playing Frogger, live-action aliens, bikini-clad women playing Centipede for Atari at the beach, and more that just wouldn’t make the cut on a modern commercial.
What’s your favorite ad in the video? Are there any stone-cold classics that aren’t included here? Let us know what you think down in the comments!
Featured image: Dave Freeman