15 God-Awful Video Game Commercials (LIST)

5. Magnavox Odyssey: now with exciting games like Geography

Video evidence presented above suggests the Magnavox Odyssey sold approximately two units.

The thing is marketed all wrong. It’s like watching people play with flashlights on a wall. And two grown adults playing this thing?  Yeah, right. Walking into a Sears and asking for a Magnavox Odyssey is equivalent to walking in and saying, “I haven’t had sex with my wife in 10 years. I will buy absolutely anything to divert my attention from how awful my boring sham of a marriage has become. Yes, I’ll play the flashlight TV game if it means I don’t have to listen to that harpy for five minutes.”

Or at least, that’s what I see when I watch this.

4. Dr. Mario inspires cross-cultural competition

Dr. Mario, in which the satisfaction you gain from vanquishing your foe is second only to the incredibly grating song parody we’re using to sell it. Prepare to have it stuck in your head for days.

Kudos to the actor playing the witch doctor, who sold out harder than probably anyone ever has.

3. Mario! Where are you! This crab got paint on me.

It may be ludicrous and awful, but it’s still better than the Super Mario Bros. movie.

It’s just kind of trippy to see Mario Bros. realized in any sort of real-life way. This spot is complete with paper mache monsters, fog machines and a pipes you can crawl inside.

Actually, lets be honest – throw a race car bed on that set and it becomes the greatest bedroom of all time.

2. I know! We’ll sell Zelda using interpretive dance!

The brilliant idea behind this Japanese spot is to not include any footage of the actual video game whatsoever.

Then they take it a step further – screw even pretending to show something about the game itself. Everyone can just dance. Kids dig dancing.

Though given the rampant popularity of Dance Dance Revolution games and their cones in Japan, this Zelda ad may be onto something.

1. The Legend of Zelda makes you do dumb things


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12 Comments on 15 God-Awful Video Game Commercials (LIST)

Daryl G.

On September 19, 2010 at 12:50 am

I distinctly remember both the Dr. Mario witchdoctor song and the Link’s Awakening song both being very popular amongst kids in the intended demographic.

God-awful should be a term used to describe really terrible and ineffective things, like this website for instance.


On September 19, 2010 at 4:37 am

That ad for Super Mario World 2 was nicked from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, not Se7en. Besides, Se7en is terrible. But not as terrible as that Legend of Zelda ad! ARGH!

Phil Hornshaw

On September 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

Didn’t mean to imply the Yoshi’s Island commercial is a rip off of Se7en. Only that in Se7en, a similar situation is a gory and horrible murder scene. Here it’s a video game ad.

worst name ever

On September 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Actually, the Yoshi commercial is more of a direct rip off from one of the skits in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. Like, it’s so ripped off it’s embarrassing.


On September 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I actually liked that Zelda dance commercial it was fun to watch! :)

johnny sack

On September 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm

How could you forget this zelda commercial… i think its the real #1 awful commercial

Phil Hornshaw

On September 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Have to agree, Johnny, it’s pretty terrible. Frankly, there were just so many awesomely terrible Zelda commercials, I didn’t want to overload the list with them. I’d say, that one’s an Honorable Mention to be sure – but the No. 1 commercial has terrible rapping AND insulting gamer stereotypes built in.


On September 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Actually at that point in time Nintendo was still the biggest console seller in the world.


On September 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm

the ps3 doll one of the best

James S

On September 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Most awesome list ever.


On September 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm

If you think that the Zelda commerical was bad then you clearly don’t know anything at all!


On September 20, 2010 at 8:28 am

the ps3 advert wasnt terrible, its terrifying.
sums up the initial launch of ps3 nicely. took months to repair the flaws that caused.
I did like the ad though, thought it was a brave stance to take.