Here are 8 ridiculous (or maybe ridiculously awesome) video game commercials from 1983:
Pole PositionSo here's the conversation I imagine started the concept of this commercial. Person 1: "Those corporate executives are always trying to keep us down." Person 2: "Hey, how about we take out our frustrations from "the man" in the new Pole Position commercial? We could verbally abuse him and drag his entire family through a Mad Max gauntlet of racing and heavy metal music!" Person 1: "Right, and then we could have these acid trip sequences."
Dig DugHere's your slogan for the ad..."Dig Dug, tapping into the fears of California residents since 1982."
Star WarsSomebody needs to force choke a chill pill down this guy's throat. The only way I'd get that excited over a Star Wars video game is if it was for the Wii and came with a light saber controller. (Hey wait, that's actually a good idea! Why did that never happen?)
Atari 5200Sand powered video games...I don't think Mr. Wizard could even pull that off. However, it appears Atari did get the target market about right for such a concept: 1) Guys who wear skin-tight striped shirts. 2) Girls who can't pour water worth a damn.
Wizard of Wor
We all know that John Madden can sell some football video games, but what basis did marketers have for putting him in a video game ad in '83? "Hey, that John Madden can peddle some beer and he's in our price range. Let's setup a fake video game league and see how he does!"
Valley Girl Atari 2600 Game Offer
Like, let's put the most annoying sounding person in the world in our commercial! It will be a hit, for sure! This ad might have worked if you were totally selling a shopping video game at $500 each, but what valley girl ever cared about saving money?
G.I. Joe: Cobra Air StrikeHere's how this meeting went: Person 1: "Quiet down people. We have a shoestring budget for this new G.I. Joe game. Anyone have a suggestion?" Person 2: "One of us could do it. How about Herb, he's between projects right now." Person 1: "Wait, doesn't he suffer from bipolar disease?"
SmurfWhen you don't understand what words to Smurf, just "Smurf it all!" That's probably how my dad felt when he tried to get into my world back then, but I think it was more frustration than the dad's "excitement" depicted in this ad.