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Commercial Break
Behind the Bad Advertising
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 03, 2006   |   Episode 17 (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 ...
Gundam Battle Assault (PlayStation)
You know those people who talk about how Sony hates 2D games? They point to Sony's reluctance to feature 2D titles at the system's launch and conclude that this must be their feelings across the board; claiming that Sony hates old school gamers and it's another reason to avoid their products. Well, I have a hunch those people aren't sticking up for 2D games like Gundam Battle Assault, the mediocre anime-game released on the original PlayStation!

This advertisement manages to break several of the rules Defunct Games has established in past Commercial Break episodes. For one thing, it's disgusting. Granted, it's not the type of advert that's going to ruin your stomach, but it's not about to make you want to buy this crummy game, either. Between cuts, blisters, rashes, stitches, and other painful situations, this hand is no looking good, and if this is the way your hand is going to look after your done playing Gundam Battle Assault then maybe you should pick up Metal Gear Solid instead.

Another problem with this advertisement is that it makes absolutely no sense to the people who have never actually watched this show. "Gash got going toe-to-toe against Psycho"?? Is that even English? "9 stitches. Exactly 23 less than I gave Quebeley." "Friction burn got after getting in Hygog's Face." If any of these statements make sense to you then perhaps you deserve your hand to look like that. It's time to turn off the Gundam game, there's a whole world out there and it's calling your name. Loser.

Action Man (PlayStation)
I think it's safe to say that Action Man is a self parody. With a name like Action Man (and an adventure named "Operation Extreme") it's painfully obvious that this game is able to poke fun at itself. But just because your game is able to laugh at itself doesn't mean it's safe from the Commercial Break. Action Man may be this generic on purpose, but we're still going to ridicule this advert until we reduce everybody involved to tears.

So who is this Action Man? Judging by this cover he's your high school gym teacher. He has a huge headset, Clark Kent glasses, and the worst logo ever. I have a hunch I don't want to hear his theme song. But forget about Action for a minute, who are those guys behind him? One is wrapped up like the Invisible Man, only there's no problem seeing him and his spiked purple hair. And then there's the other guy whose fist says he's ready to fight, but his head says no. And why are they wearing those clothes? What is this, Back to the Future 2?

Afraid you're going to miss something in this advertisement? Don't worry; you can see the entire advert all over again on the bottom right side of the commercial. You can always go ahead and read the short description, but it's probably not the type of thing you want to admit in public. If Hasbro was going for "generic" then they accomplished their goal, but if this is a serious attempt then this might just be the worst commercial of all time. Either way, though, this is pretty awful and deserves to be archived with the rest of the bad advertising.

Nyko Christmas
It's no easy task advertising your video game accessories. Game publishers have it easy; they can use artwork and screenshots to get their message across. But what's a company like Nyko supposed to do? You can only do so much with your joystick, hip clips, and neon game holders before it's just the same advert every month. Apparently it's even harder to make a good advertisement during the Christmas months, because this Nyko advert is nothing short of a disaster!

As funny a it sounds, this commercial is literally a collage of all the products featured in past episodes of the Commercial Break. From controls to snake lights, this Christmas tree is packed with products we've made fun of before. And hey, is that the Blob Light?? It is, it is!! And you thought we would never have another chance to make fun of the single worst video game accessory of all time. I mean really, how can we keep something as ridiculous as the Blob Light down?

But beyond the fact that all this creates a hideous looking tree, it also defies gravity! Just how is that purple control pad on the right staying on the tree? That thing is HUGE, and it's just kind of resting on some branches. It looks like it's going topple over at any time and squish that Blob Light. Or maybe it's just floating. It's a holiday miracle! I would say this is the worst thing Nyko has ever done, but it's hard to be so sure of that when they are reminding me of the Blob Light.

Worms World Party
It's hard to hate Worms. With its infectious theme song, silly voices, unique weapons, and destructible environments, Worms is easily one of the best party games to ever grace the consoles. But while it's hard for me to hate those little Worms, it's possible for me to loathe their ad campaign. Worms World Party may be one of the most exciting 16 player games out there ... but it makes for a lousy magazine commercial.

Instead of capitalizing on the fantastic artwork or character designs found in Worms, this Worms World Party advert decided to focus its attention to a gay bar. I guess these four dancing queens are here to represent the World Party going on, but it feels more like something you would see on an anti-ecstasy poster. This thing is complete with glow stick, terrible fashion, lesbian couples, and unconvincing wigs. And did I mention that dude's pants? I refuse to believe that there is a place in this world where that is acceptable. No wonder the girl he's "dancing" with is completely uninterested in him.

But why focus all this attention on the four people in the foreground? If we're going to be fair to Worms World Party then we need to focus our spotlight on the guy in the background. You might not notice him at first, but he's there blending into the background behind the two girls determining what dance to perform. The reason I bring this fellow up is because he clearly came to the wrong club. I've seen people dance like that ... and it's when they are listening to televangelists. This guy is praising Jesus and everybody else appears to be having a world party. Get this guy some Benny Hinn quick! The fact that he's able to get down at this club doesn't say much for the music being played.


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