Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Commercial Break
What I Like About Bad Advertising
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 16, 2006   |   Episode 14 (Show Archive)  

While digging through all of my old magazines for inspiration and reference I discovered that there are a lot of awesomely great advertisements that have been completely forgotten. Instead of keeping this gold mine to myself I decided to talk about four of these old advertisements each and every week. And so was born the Commercial Break, a place where I can really let them know what I think of their adverts! Looks like we have four of them right here ...
Naki Red Sight Light Gun
"Let's see your joystick do this!" the tagline reads. Do what? Squirt out of a solid flow of red blood? Enough blood to literally break a TV set? I hope my joystick never does that, it certainly doesn't sound like a pleasant way to spend an afternoon! I considered consulting a doctor to see what would lead to something like that, but decided that might be too expensive and just put me in a bad mood. For a few minutes there I considered that I was looking at the picture wrong, that the bushy-haired dude was not actually shooting blood, but rather something else that would be a lot less painful. I starred at that advertisement trying to figure it out, and then it hit me ... this is just bad marketing and there's no reason for me to spend any more time thinking about it.

Well, I guess I have to spend a little more time talking about it. If I don't find other things to talk about then this episode of Commercial Break will come to a grinding halt, and nobody wants that. Anyway ... "finally, there's violence on T.V. worth getting excited about." That's the opening quote on this commercial; it's inviting you to get excited about something really violent on TV. "Blow away enemies cowering behind obstacles, pick out terrorists without killing hostages - any time the situation demands pinpoint accuracy, you've gotta power up the Red Sight Laser." Power up the Red Sight Laser? Are we still talking about my joystick??

One of Naki's selling points is that their products are "lightweight" and "durable" because, you know, you're really going to be putting some wear and tear into the Red Sight Laser. It's not like you'll be using this to go hunting, getting into pistol fights with friends, or robbing liquor stores with Naki's products, so why would you need it to be "durable"? But the question is, are you the type of man who wants his TV set to bleed? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Nyko Blob Light
So, um, this is the Blob Light. Um, yeah. As you can tell it's by Nyko, a makers of video game accessories. Don't confuse them with Naki, the makers of that painful Red Sight Laser, this is Nyko the makers of the oh-so-scary Blob Light. Um, yeah. That's Blob Light. I mean really, doesn't it seem like this critique has already been written? Look at that thing, it's a light for your Game Boy Color ... but it's in the shape of a blob. What more do I need to say people, it's Blob Light! I can't make this stuff up.

The problem with Blob Light (beyond the fact that it's a Blob freaking Light) is that somebody had to think this idea up. Some moron in a big tall building actually thought it would be a good idea to release a light that looked a lot like a big blob of goo with three freakish eyes. What's even worse, that moron was able to convince a bunch of other addle-pates into going along with his terrible, terrible idea! I mean, fella, this is one of the worst ideas I've ever seen ... and I've seen the Rock 'N Roller!

And Nyko, buddy, you're getting off easy! Just imagine those kids who got the Blob Light for Christmas (or Halloween) and took it to school. You might as well have burned the words "kick me" into this kid's forehead, this is bully bait if I've ever seen it! And you know what's sad, any kid sporting this Blob Light has it coming. That's right, bully's you can feel free to beat the living snot out of anybody with this Blob Light, because they should know better than attach something like the Blob Light to their Game Boy Color. I mean really, the Blob Light??

Adam Sandler's Little Nicky (Game Boy Color)
Oh. My. GOD!!! I don't usually complain about movie games in the Commercial Break, this is a time when I normally bitch about stupid artwork and terrible catchphrases. But Adam Sandler's Little Nicky is an exception, it marries a terrible game design with a truly forgettable ad campaign. Look at that commercial over there, that thing is horrendous! You wouldn't buy the game after seeing that advert, would you? I didn't think so.

Adam Sandler's comedy is not the type that is easy to turn into a game. He's not the type of comedian where you can just look at him and laugh, his comedy lies more in the situations he gets himself into and how angry he seems to get over the smallest problems. Perhaps that's the problem with this Little Nicky game, nothing about this commercial screams funny. In fact, there are a few things in the advert that are the anti-funny; you have to feel bad for the people responsible for making this commercial. They must not have had much to work with.

Getting back to Adam Sandler, well, in Little Nicky he just wasn't funny. Look at that face, that haircut, the hand gestures he's making ... this movie had failure written all over it. It failed miserably at the box office, bringing in only half of what it cost to make. It shouldn't surprise anybody that Little Nicky makes for a horrible game, but the least they could do is come up with a better way of advertising it. "Raise Some Hell"? Are you kidding me?? There are people that throw up better advertisements than this dud, why would anybody want to buy this game? Seriously, if you own this game you need to write me RIGHT NOW and tell me why. I await your email.

Disney's Dinosaur
Let's stay on that movie theme for another advertisement, this time looking at Disney's Dinosaur, based on their poorly received life-action/computer-animation movie you've probably never seen. If there's one thing you can expect it's happy stories with cute little animal friends and evil witches that never end up being all that scary. Well, that's not what Dinosaur was all about. Imagine a computer animated version of Dances with Wolves, only take out Kevin Cosner and put in a bunch of boring dinosaurs. Oh, and forget about the Indians, Dinosaur is really about a bunch of Dinosaurs going on a ... oh, who am I kidding, I fell asleep trying to watch this snoozefest!

Is this the kind of "fun" experience that awaits us in Dinosaur for the Dreamcast, PlayStation, or Game Boy Color? The fact that this commercial asks if we can survive it doesn't bode well to its overall quality. But don't worry, this commercial decides to veer off into some obvious territory. "Extinction is not an option in Disney's Dinosaur," this commercial reads. Is extinction ever an option?? When we're planning out our day we never say "do the dishes, do the laundry, wash the car, and don't forget that extinction is an option." If your boss ever says that "extinction is not an option" then you might want to get another job, perhaps something in the fast food industry.

"March cross terrifying 3D landscapes racing with lava, raptors, carnotaurs, and more. It's the ultimate trek for srurvival." What, are you trying to scare me? Raptors? Lava? Oh, you're going to have to do better than that. I'm not scared of a T-Rex and some hot sauce, didn't you hear, extinction is not an option! The other reason I'm not afraid is because I've seen what the enemy looks like, and it looks like a yummy candy dinosaur. Check it out; see the two dinosaurs in the advert? Do either of those big guys instill any amount of fear in you? I bet you're not trembling at all; you're probably pretty hungry ... that dinosaur looks so good you could eat it. Well, perhaps all you need to know is that this game is based on the single most boring movie you will ever see. Trust me, this is the type of experience where you pray for a "watching grass grow" mini game.


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