Being a huge Sega nerd I get ragged on a lot because of how over the top and badical Sega’s image was in the Genesis era. People forget Sega came to prominence in a time when The Ninja Turtles and Vanilla Ice ruled the world. We look back at the rad times and laugh now but at the time that shit was dope.
Check out this UK ad for the first Sonic game:
This commercial doesn’t even make SENSE. Then again, does it really have to?
This kid lives in some kind of 18 wheeler/carnival ride/arcade spinning chair… thing. And what does that ninja want? After the kid throws the ninja at his mattress which then flings him out of the big rig’s skylight he says ‘Don’t worry, I’ll catch him.’ Dude, you were just HOLDING him. Why didn’t you catch him now? And you’d think with all that crap he’s got, he’d have a bigger TV.
This guy was actually the star of a series of UK Genesis ads. here’s one for Golden Axe:
This one makes even LESS sense! What’s with the Colin Hay-esque soundtrack? The ninjas back but this time is trying a more stealthy aproach (like a NINJA?) than just flipping madly into the dude’s front door. The kid is this time playing Golden Axe instead of Sonic and his chair is spinning constantly as he plays. I guess Golden Axe isn’t extreme enough sitting still. Then while playing he yanks the lever of a slot machine. To me this just looks like he’s bored with Golden Axe and is just fiddling with stuff around him. Then the slot machine fires 3 apples at him. I guess he didn’t have much room left in that rig for a fridge with all that Sega crap lying around. The ninja decides to forgo the whole stealth thing and return to his earlier strategy of diving into the truck screaming his head off. After being tripped up by the Sega kid the ninja is revealed to be a small Asian child referred to by the guy as ‘my sidekick.’
This just blows the doors off the ad for me. Are we to assume these two have some sort of Pink Panther/Kato relationship? Has the Sega kid hired the Asian child as some sort of bodyguard who also attacks him periodically to keep his martial arts skills in shape? You barely see Golden Axe in the ad and I’m ok with that because I want more of these two! Someone write a spec script right now about a teenager and his 14 year old Asian protoge travelling the country in their giant flashy big rig and playing the raddest games the Sega Genesis has to offer.
As much as I mock these ads, I’d give anything to be this guy.
The UK also had some of the best print ads for Sega. Being a little less uptight than us, their ads are allowed to be a bit raunchier. Check out this series of ads for the Genesis and the Gamegear in British adult comic Viz.:
I think it’s safe to say that even today we’d never see ads like these pop up in EGM or Game Informer.
That’s all for this week, folks. Got a favorite Sega ad? Leave it in the comments, email me or post it in the official Radvertisements thread in the forum. I especially want to hear about it if it’s from another country. And remember, Genesis does what Nintendon’t.