Chandrakant Isi Nov 13, 2015 12:11:09 IST
The gaming industry has grown bigger than the movie business in terms of revenues. Little wonder then, that video game companies spend millions on marketing. We have seen excellent ads from some of these brands that can put Hollywood trailers to shame. Take for instance, Sony's 'Greatness Awaits' and Microsoft's 'Invite' commercials. However, that is not always the case. In fact, there have been instances where the marketing campaigns have hurt the brand reputation. Here are 6 of the worst gaming ads of all time!
Sony's racist ad
In 2006, Sony was dominating the gaming console market. By that time, PS2 had become the best-selling console of all times. The upcoming PS3, showcased at previous year's E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), was already on gamer's wish list. How do you leverage all this consumer love to promote the white variant of your handheld gaming device PlayStation Vita? For Sony, the answer was simple: make a super racist ad and attract irk from every sensible person on this planet. Don't take my word for it, check it out yourself!
Sony's sexist ad
A few years later, Sony launched its next handheld console dubbed PS Vita. The device had unique touch sensitive controls on the front and back. Definitely an interesting aspect for a game console. If you were Sony, how would you highlight this new feature? Well, make an absurdly sexist ad comparing the new control scheme with a woman with four breasts. To make it even more absurd, throw in the tagline "Touch both sides for added enjoyment".
Acclaim Entertainment is hard to beat when it comes to tasteless marketing. For its Action-adventure game Shadow Man: 2econd Coming, the company came up with a plan to slap advertisements on gravestones. As reported by The Guardian back in 2002, an Acclaim spokesperson said: "It's a dark, gory type of game and we thought it was appropriate to raise advertising to a new level." If all this wasn't terrible enough, the company went on to state that the promotional fee might "particularly interest poorer families." In an ironic twist of fate, the company died in 2004 due to financial problems.
Nintendo ferret ad
Nintendo's Game Boy has been one of the most successful portable consoles in the world. However, it seems that handheld game consoles and absurd marketing went hand in hand. So while normal people may call it an incredibly fun gadget, folks at Nintendo had devised a scale to gauge the fun this console offered. To be precise, it was "more fun than a ferret down your trousers." Well, now I know what Nintendo's marketing executives did in their free time. Notice how these "creative" heads are very particular about the ferret's position?
Atari's ‘Warning’ ad
Overstating is fine in video game commercials. Many companies promised incredible graphics and gameplay, but delivered none. The reason why Atari's Jaguar ad has made it to the list is due to its incredibly stupid choice of words. "64 exploding Bits of raw power (this is acceptable). 16.7 million brain burning colors. And 3-D graphics real enough to make you blow chuncks." So basically, Atari is telling its potential customers that this game console will fry your brain and make you throw up. While Atari tried to pull up a smart "reverse psychology" stunt, the consumers probably took the company's warning seriously. Little wonder then, the Atari Jaguar did not sell well.
Don't like Sega’s Game Gear? You're a retard!
Making fun of your competition in ads is normal. Rant all day long how your product is superior to what the competition. People may not agree with you, but nobody will take offence. However, Sega almost called gamers who picked-up Nintendo's product a bunch of retards. Here's what the company's ad says: "If you were colorblind and had an IQ less than twelve, then you wouldn't care which portable you had. (Of course you wouldn't care if you drank from the toilet either)". Drank from the toiled? What a brilliant way to peeve off your target audience. Oh, and according to most IQ test classifications, anything below IQ 68 is considered as a sign of retardation.
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