Crafting a commercial for a new videogame or a console sounds like a pretty demanding task.
Nevertheless, every so often there comes a commercial for a game-related thing that’s so weirdly bizarre or just plain idiotic that the only thing that races through your mind is the simple question of “what were they thinking?”
It’s with this mindset that we look back at a handful of those oddball commercials. Some will make you laugh at their wackiness. Others may just rub you the wrong way.
Quirkiest Game Commercial: The Legend of Zelda: A Link the Past Japanese Commercial
File this one under the usual bit of quirkiness found in Japanese media.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (subtitled in Japan as Triforce of the Gods) marked one of the biggest releases for the still-fresh Super Famicom. So how did Nintendo decide to advertise this occasion? With a Michael Jackson-esque dance number that’s accompanied by a Japanese Zelda rap done in the style of Vanilla Ice. And then there’s the whole dancing crossplay of Link that’s accompanied by his uncle, mummies, wizrobes, and stalfos. What?!
I’ll never quite understand why the commercial doesn’t show a single second of gameplay footage, but dammit if it isn’t hilarious. You also have to love that awkward claymation of Ganon.
- Patrick Kulikowski
Most Japanese-y-est Game Commercial: Wii Would Like to Play
That one commercial that says it all. Two Japanese men in a smart car drive all around the world (or America) with one simple declarative sentence: Wii Would Like to Play. And all hell breaks loose. You’ve got people golfing, fighting with swords, hula-hooping. You name it, they’re doing it! People hugging these two very suave Japanese men, smiling and laughing.
The music by the Yoshida Brothers is also pretty damn catchy. But honestly, this commercial captures the essence of the Wii: slightly off-kilter, Japanese and totally intuitive. By showing how people played, these two Japanese guys got their message across.
It really brings out a weird sense of nostalgia in me. The whole disbelief in me that no one else thought to market this and how it was so mind-blowing when it did come out. A remarkable time for consoles, let me tell you.
- Karen Rivera
Creepiest Game Commercial: Play B3yond “Baby” commercial
What you have just witnessed is your soul being eaten and regurgitated by Sony’s creepy baby doll. If you still have some sense of sanity left, do read on.
When Sony decided to go with their Play B3yond ad campaign for the launch of the PS3 back in 2006, I thought they were going to show us what the next generation of graphics would bring to gamers. But instead, we were given some of the weirdest and most nonsensical commercials to have entered my retinas.
And, as you saw above, the worst of those showed just how dark and creepy the imagination of Sony’s marketing team can get. I mean, what’s the best way to advertise your newest cutting edge console other than scaring the living hell out of all your potential buyers instead of pointing out its strengths and advantages, right? Who needs facts when you have soul-sucking babies.
Sony’s baby may have scared plenty of gamers away, but luckily for us it grew up to become the very likeable Kevin Butler, VP of not being a scary baby doll.
- Allain Richard
Most Unnecessarily Vulgar Game Commercial: Game Boy Micro commercial
Let’s recap. Yes, that was a mouse. And yes, it was doing exactly what you thought it was doing to that Game Boy Micro. So while you may have witnessed true love between mouse and machine, that doesn’t make it any less weird.
The Game Boy Micro was an interesting choice by Nintendo. They created a system so small and compact that it could be taken anywhere and fit in any pocket. This meant drastically reducing the screen size, making players with diminished sight very frustrated.
However, anyone with the use of their eyes, either good or bad, would feel uncomfortable after seeing such a display. To be honest, who would really want to buy the system if that was how Nintendo wanted to describe it? As something that rats enjoyed carnal relations with?
All that’s left is to hope that these preferences weren’t something that everyone wanted, and that certain lines are better left uncrossed.