'Sega does what Nintendon't' and other trolling game ads
7th Nov 2012 | 16:51
These days the marketing of video games and consoles is very gentlemanly, but there was a time when calling out the competition and publicly mocking it was the winning strategy.
Perhaps 'winning' isn't the right word since Sega, which as you'll see in the list below, was synonymous with the adversarial approach to promotion and rarely made it to the top of the winner's podium.
Regardless of whether it worked or not, it was entertaining to watch. Much of our childhoods were spent locked in heated battles against proponents from the competing camp.
Of course we never really had any hard facts, most of our ammunition was based on magazine adverts and TV commercials. Listed below are some of our favourite video game marketing jabs, let us know your's in the comments below.
Humans Agains Genesis
The first of many Sega commercials taking a pop at its rivals, this particular commercial featured an elderly lady representing Humans Against Genesis, or HAG. In it she wishes Sonic would lose the attitude, slow his roll and behave like a good good mascot - like that sweetie Mario.
Sega does what Nintendon't
This cheeky little turn of phrase was the tagline for Sega's continued assault on Nintendo. The house of Sonic harped on about its superior features such as Blast Processing and...well, that was pretty much it. True or not, the phrase proved to be particularly effective in playground wars of words.
Adopting the 'make a mountain out of a molehill strategy' Sega placed a spotlight on the price difference between games purchased for the Genesis and the Super Nintendo. The adverts not-so-subtly drew attention to the discrepancy by showing a mosquito sucking the blood out of a gaming kid. Get it?
For the most part Nintendo's response to Sega's open mocking was quintessentially Japanese; it took the high road, let the SNES speak for itself. Except that one Donkey Kong Country commercial. To be fair DK did look amazing, and few Genesis titles stacked up to the visual quality it offered.
Alright, so there was also that other time where Nintendo snipped at Sonic to promote Super Mario Land 2. It wasn't very witty, or particularly clever.
Another one with Sega on the offence, this time taking aim at the Game Boy and its colour deficiency. In bold is an insult of the Game Boy's inferior display, squint your eyes and read the small print and you'll find even more damning derisions. Sometimes the smaller cuts hurt the most. Game Boy's swampy screen was even called out in a series of adverts, such as the one below. And yes, that is Randy from My Name is Earl.
More ire from Japan, this time with Sega pitting its Saturn against Sony's PlayStation, which it referred to as "that other system" and "Play Thing". Of course Sony's newcomer went on to thoroughly trounce the Saturn. At least it put up a fight...
Cinco de Mayo flans suck
Before he turned traitor and appeared in an advert playing the Wii fictional Sony mouthpiece Kevin Butler poked fun at Microsoft's Kinect by essentially saying it's for children. We weren't entirely on board with his asserting that only children like to pretend they're finger's are guns (sometimes my fist is a grenade) but we like a little fighting talk, and Butler made it entertaining.
What are you waiting for?
This Sega ad has a goofy kid getting chewed out by an irate looking man on TV for not purchasing a Sega CD.
"What are you waiting for Nintendo to make one?" he asks angrily. "Hhhhyuk" replies the kid while shaking his head.
We're not actually sure if this is insulting or not. It's clear that Sega's heart just wasn't in this one though.
This one takes a bit of reading between the lines and is somewhat ironic considering the PS Vita commercial may-or-may not be making fun of the Nintendo 3DS for making a mistake Sony famously made in its last portable. Not cool.