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Just how did Nintendo promote it's power?
Matt - 07/24/00

The Nintendo Entertainment System may have let you 'play with power', but sometimes they did a really shitty job trying to advertising that power. Today, we see video game ads that look like big budget movie trailers. Back in the 80s? Well, see for yourself...

I found a couple of old Nintendo commercials, and after hearing them again, I can't believe I was so into video games. In fact, I'm surprised I didn't disown video games altogether. Check these out...each commercial has an accompanying audio file...

The Legend Of Zelda

This one will really take you back. The Legend of Zelda became one of Nintendo's most popular and successful games of all time - a game which is still seeing heavy play to this day. Thank god for word-of-mouth advertising, because I sincerely doubt anyone - anywhere - would think to buy this game based on the commercial alone.

A guy dressed in a black sweatsuit (who eerily looks exactly like Larry from Perfect Strangers) waddles around a black room, screaming nonsensical noises and painfully imitating the bad guys from the game. It's not just a bad commercial, it's an insane commercial, complete with said psychopath screaming 'Zelda!' every four seconds.

How on Earth a game like Zelda got such a shitty commercial is beyond me. The guy featured here could tell me that I'd get a million dollars just by calling his 800 number, and I still wouldn't do it out of revenge for having to watch him bumble around like an idiot, wasting 30 seconds of my life that I'd never get back. In terms of promotion, saying this commercial did nothing for the game would be a gross understatement. If anything, it made people think Zelda was going to end up being a really, really bad game.

Download the .RA Audio Clip (50 KB) by clicking here!

The Nintendo Entertainment System Has Arrived!

This is a really early commercial promoting the hip new system we all came to know and love as the NES. It might seem bad, but hey, it did it's job pretty well.

It features three kids (complete with haircuts which 50 year old businessmen felt were 'hip' with the times) walking down a futuristic hallway, when, as fate would have it, giant television screens start shooting at them! Well, the only way they could survive this onslaught was to pick up the controllers and play such hot new titles as Kung-Fu and Hogan's Alley!

You know, now that I think about it, commercials like this were vastly superior to the kind Atari was shilling out at the time, so it's not like Nintendo was behind the competition. I'd much rather watch some kids in spacesuits play video games than hear a rap song about how the Atari was now just fifty bucks! Fifty bucks!

Download the .RA Audio Clip (57 KB) by clicking here!

SuperSonic Controller!

I had to save the best for last... All I can say about this one This thing epitomizes the 80s better than neon, better than a cool Michael Jackson, even better than cocaine! It's the SuperSonic controller - where wires weren't only unnecessary - they were fucking evil!

Camerica released a few Nintendo games, but they also gave us some nifty controllers, including the wireless giant pizza-shaped one featured here. I hated controllers like this. If I was using one today, it might not be that bad since my hands have grown a bit in the past 15 years or so. But back then? I felt like midget trying to crack Teletran-1.

In a tagline at the bottom of the ad, it says that 'based on US Video Game Team findings', this kid had achieved better scores! If that's not enough - no wires! And if that's not enough - his parents are more excited about it than him! And if you need more, it's got a cliche 80s rap song promoting it! It doesn't get much better than this.

The lyrics to the rap song. I wouldn't be lying if I said this was the best song Camerica ever produced:

Supersonic is the #1 bet
It's got no wires, it's the one to get
Arcade action is where you'll be
Supersonic will set you free!

"No wires!"

It works with Nintendo, it will do
Games for players one and two
Higher scores is what you'll see
Supersonic will set you free!

"No wires!"

Download The .WAV File (340 KB) by clicking here!

Asshole: Zelda!


- Matt
ICQ - 77566397