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Commercial Break
Who Shot Bad Advertising? (Part One)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on September 19, 2005   |   Episode 5 (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 ...
Absolutely Rose Street
I have never been more confused by an advertisement as I am with Absolutely Rose Street, which may or may not have been a real show that people actually watched. From this advertisement it looks like it has something to do with Sega, a guy with no sense of style, a lesbian, and a leggy supermodel. Oh, and they keep calling me Bub, I really hate being called Bub. But what the hell is this show about, and why do I hate it so much after only seeing this advertisement? Oh Absolutely Rose Street, I have a feeling you and I are going to be enemies for a long, long time!

No matter whether this is a game, TV show, or new line of clothing, there is one thing for sure, this advertisement is so poorly put together we hope Sega didn't pay anybody more than minimum wage for this atrocity. There is not one single part of this commercial that makes any sense what so ever, and when you start reading the text it seems to make even less sense than before. It seems to have something to do with you choosing between the busty blonde (I think) and "Game Beat," a poorly named show somebody is trying to cancel. They talk about you making the call and getting on the phone, yet nowhere in this commercial does it say who to call or what the phone number is.

One of the main problems with this commercial is that it seems to understand that it's pitching a painfully bad product. At the top it comments that "it's too late, it's already on the air," not exactly what I would call a good omen. And then there's the guy at the bottom letting these people know that their show sucks. He's just there, hanging out, letting them know that this show is pointless and that we shouldn't watch. And look at that, we didn't watch, Absolutely Rose Street has been long forgotten, and this advertisement could be a big part of the reason why. Still, I am somewhat interested to see what that "secret Sega stuff" is they keep talking about.

SNK Neo*Geo
In the early days of the Neo*Geo SNK did not have a lot to run on, they were offering a $600 system that played games that cost more than their competition's entire systems. Yet this commercial demonstrates that SNK was ready to turn lemons into lemonade and go to the only thing in their arsenal ... name calling. This early Neo*Geo commercial completely ignores the $600 price tag and takes the war to Sega and Nintendo by insulting and ignoring some key facts that kept the system from selling as well as the Super NES or Genesis.

When somebody starts an argument with "think it over," nine times out of ten the person doesn't know what they are talking about. "Think it over" is generally followed with something crazy like "just because all the globes you see are round doesn't mean the Earth isn't flat" or "there's nothing wrong with sweatshops, the kids love it." True to form it's followed by a long list of boring technical specs, all that border on not actually sounding real. 4-Dimensional realism, eh? I guess they were saving that for just the right time.

But the meat of this commercial isn't the technical specs (which are revisited in funny chart form later in the advertisement); it's the funny comparison between the weenie and full hot dog. They do mention that the system costs more, but then suggest that you are getting what you pay for ... since the Super NES and Genesis are, in their words, similar to "Squirrel Burgers" and a "Yugo." Now, I've had Squirrel Burger and let me tell you, the Super NES and Genesis are way better than Squirrel Burger. But I digress, the one thing this Neo*Geo commercial lacks is the games, perhaps it's because most of the big titles of the early 1990s were driving in the Yugo.

Peak Performance
Toilet humor is just one of the many clich?s for selling your product, but knowing when you have too much is critical if you actually want to sell something. This commercial for Peak Performance decides to go way past that line, you could use this advertisement as a toilet and it would be an improvement to what we have to look at here. But before we pick all of this apart let's just try to imagine the men and women that came up with this ad campaign, do they think that lowly of us game players to where we would be interested in a page full of vomit? Or perhaps a better question is, are these advertisers interested in a page full of vomit?

Regardless of what the answer to that question is, the fact still remains that we're dealing with a page full of green, gross vomit. Not just a little vomit either, I'm talking about a full page of this stuff. And to make it all that much more disgusting, there are clear patches and areas with far more chunks ... all of which leads to a very unappetizing advertisement. Vomit is generally gross, but in this commercial it's so bad you can almost smell it. If that's your idea of good advertising then perhaps you and I should never meet in person.

When you look at this advertisement it shouldn't take long before you realize that no matter how good a game looks, if you mix it in with vomit the chances are good nobody will want to buy it. Unfortunately for Peak Performance it didn't look good to begin with, making the vomit that much worse. Of course, it's not like Atlus is doing this game any favors with the screenshots, who can resist that picture of the side of a bus? And that one that looks like a course in Tiger Woods PGA Tour, who thought including that would be a good idea? And while we're asking questions, how the heck was the guy able to vomit without taking his helmet off? Perhaps these are the questions we will never get the answers to.

Streets of Rage 3
I've been a huge fan of the Streets of Rage series since the first time I got my hands on it on the Sega Genesis. I had already gone through Final Fight on the Super NES and was somewhat let down by the edited port, but Sega knew what I was looking for, and Streets of Rage was everything Capcom's brawler should have been and more. It was followed up with Streets of Rage 2, a fantastic sequel that was all but ignored in the wake of Street Fighter II on the Super NES. Obviously by the time Sega got around to Streets of Rage 3 something had gone horribly wrong, because this commercial is just the start of this franchises problems.

Why do I bring all this up? Mostly because I really don't have a clue what to say about this Streets of Rage 3 advertisement. Every time I look at it I'm hit with another batch of confusing, yet worthwhile questions. Things I'll never get an answer to, but I'd like to ask anyway. Questions like, why is that guy flying through the air with rollerblades? Would a brick wall really leave that mark if you threw somebody through it? Who is this O'Bricks guy, and what do they have against the Irish? Oh, and why did they have to beat up the stand up comedian, now who is going to make this audience laugh?

Of course, if you spend too much time looking at this commercial, chances are you will start to come up with more statements than questions. For example, I'd like to warn those people that there's a guy behind them that seems to be harnessing the power of a star! Oh, and did you guys see that kangaroo? They look all cute and cuddly on the TV, but I assure you that they are mean and will cause serious damage if you aren't careful. Even to you, Mr. Arm on Fire! These are the kinds of things I would like to yell at the people in the advertisement, but they won't hear me. They never hear me. Instead I have spent my time figuring out who they are going to replace that stand-up comedian with, and you will find out who it is on the next episode of Commercial Break ...


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