Radvertisements: Sonic Sells Out

An important part of advertising is the mascot. If you associate your product with a colorful cartoon character with his own catchphrase it will be burned into people’s minds. But sometimes the mascot isn’t enough. When this is the case, ad companies will take an already established character or TV personality that’s popular at the time and get them to hock their product. It certainly isn’t glamorous. Many actors will go to Japan to sell things and make some extra cash like Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lucky for us, one of our favorite characters actually came from Japan to here. It’s difficult to over exaggerate how popular Sonic the Hedgehog was in the 90s. Homeboy was all over the place. That’s why this weeks Radvertisements is about Sonic selling out.

Here’s a good example of bringing in a big hitter to spice up the old boring spokesman. All this commercial does is illustrate how cool Sonic is and how lame the Cheerios bee is. Also eagle-eared readers will notice Futurama and Ren and Stimpy’s Billy West as the Cheerios bee and the announcer. He voices the bee along with many other mascots like the red M&M to this day.

This ad is brilliant as it works on three seperate levels. At the same time it sells pasta, Sonic the Hedgehog on the Genesis AND the little known SEGA FOODeratorX. It’s become super rare in collector’s markets today because it was quickly discontinued after it became too easy to use the device to pirate food products. Street vendors in China Town were selling bootleg Chef Boyardee and Armor Hot Dogs.

I don’t quite get what this ad is supposed to tell me. I guess it’s a cautionary film against the dangerous effects of eating this Sonic ice cream. The ad illustrates that eating one of these ice cream bars will electrocute you and make you light up bulbs like Uncle Fester. It certainly doesn’t make me want to eat them. Not any more than that scene from Reservoir Dogs makes me hope someone will cut my ear off.

In the 90’s Tiger had a trend of taking an awesome game and creating a really, really shitty portable version of it. No kid ever wanted one of these but we all had a stack of them. Practically the entire reason for their existence was to trick Grandmothers into bringing them home for Christmas and asking you, “This is the one, right?” You’re not going to say no, are ya? I would pray for socks and underwear.

This ad is just ridiculous. The kid forgot his toy at the restaurant or someone forgot to give him one so Sonic chases them down to give it to him. Does Sonic work at McDonald’s? Around this time, I could believe that. But if he did, he certainly wouldn’t care about his job that much. Half the time they don’t even get my damn order right and they could not give half a shit about fixing it. Especially not enough to chase me down. And this was around the time that Sega was trying to convince us Cream the Rabbit was a good character. Ridiculous.

This last ad is probably the most Sonic has ever sold out. Did you know he has his own chain restaurant? What does that have to do with videogames, Sonic?

What are some of your favorite SEGA related ads? Let me know in the comments or in the forum thread and remember Genesis does what Nintendon’t. Whore itself out.

  • Jayred Potter

    These ads make my head hurt…so much

  • GamingFiend

    Milk ice…

    I think I’m going to go into a closet and never come out.

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