15 God-Awful Video Game Commercials (LIST)
10. Tetris, schizophrenic ’80s style
This commercial is like a bad nightmare and makes about as much sense. At what point does this make clear what the hell Tetris is even about? What 10-year-old could decipher this visual riddle enough to want to go out and buy this game?
The thing that’s surprising is that this ad didn’t spawn a series of false advertising lawsuits. Anybody who watched this commercial and rushed out to snag a copy of Tetris would have been intensely disappointed when they got their Russian construction block puzzle game home. There are certainly no sunglasses or awesome opera singers to be found within.
9. Makeup in this Asteroids commercial helps hide your identity
Luckily, the actors desperate enough to take part in this Asteroids ad didn’t have to speak English or show their unaltered faces. They might have had careers beyond this point, however unlikely.
We do get to see the unfathomably fun Asteroids in action during the spot, though, and I’m sure this was responsible for tons of sales. Colored blobs float across your screen! Get it right now!
Side note: How much do you think the set and props cost Atari? Bad investment, guys.
8. Journey needs your help! That’s right. Journey.
Billed as “The First Rock and Roll Game Ever,” Journey: The Escape has you helping the band dodge…groupies. Wait, what? Aren’t groupies the entire point of starting a band?
Were people really that excited about any Journey merchandise, much less a video game tie-in? Apparently there really was someone in an office somewhere who thought, “I know how we’ll make money – Journey video game.” It was probably raining, and he could hear Journey through the wall as he stood at the back of the club, hoping to catch a glimpse – oh, wait. That’s Foreigner.
The shots of the game itself are almost indecipherable. Guide the stick guy past the scarecrows to the…what is that, a Big Mac? Fallout shelter? Wood chipper?
Let’s go with wood chipper.
7. This is way too much information about Hey You, Pikachu
So this kid sits and talks about Hey You, Pikachu, a Nintendo 64 game where you use a microphone to talk to a virtual Pikachu. He tells us about it for, like, three whole minutes. In between he mentions his horrible family life, where he’s ignored pretty much constantly.
He even says the Pikachu is his best friend. It’s really sad.
Apparently his mom works in a coal mine that has an entrance in their kitchen and even his friends actually just use him for his stuff. Someone needs to intervene before this kid ends up a serial killer.
6. A Left 4 Dead Boomer promotes Yoshi’s Island
Clearly nobody knew what they were doing when it came to game ads fifteen years ago. This one, for Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, employs the tactic of using something both disgusting and barely related to get kids to head to their local Funcoland.
Meanwhile, the poor actors in this spot get absolutely drenched with thick green slop. We, the audience, hardly have it any better just watching. I mean, the dude just ate till he burst. That was a torturous, horrific murder in the movie Se7en. It is not a marketing technique for anything involving Yoshi – I don’t care how much eating and crapping he does in that game.