What were they thinking? Well, these commercials might be stupid and often weird, but it's great for nostalgia!

“What were they thinking?” weird video game commercials

What were they thinking? Well, these commercials might be stupid and often weird, but it's great for nostalgia!

Some people often say that advertising is an art form. In the case of these video game commercials, all that comes to mind is some kind of bizarre, creepy performance art. 

It's hard trying to market a product to as big as audience as possible. However, you can't help but wonder how someone thought these commercials were a good idea.

Regardless, it makes for a great, yet bizarre nostalgia trip through the stupidity and weirdness of video game advertising!

Image source: Push Square


Recommended Videos

"Down with Zelda" Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

So you're an advertising executive for Nintendo in the early 90s and you want to sell a Zelda game to kids. Well, the kids in the 90s sure did like their rap music. They also enjoyed themselves some Zelda as well. So it was only natural to combine the two, right? RIGHT?!

Well, that's the core of this commercial's problem. Zelda and rap music don't really go well together. I will admit the rap is catchy though. Out of place, but catchy. Also, the rap does not really sell much on the game except for the game's overhead view. If you were a Zelda fan in the early 90s, you were likely already expecting the game to have an overhead view. It's kind of like advertising a first-person perspective in Call of Duty.

Also, I'm no advertising expert, but it's probably not a great idea to obscure the gameplay images to the point where you can hardly see them. 

The rap is catchy though, right?

Video source: YouTube

"Just One More Bite" Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island 

It must have been a blast to work in Nintendo's marketing department in the 90s. Although this one lacks a sweet rap song, it does feature an exploding fat guy. Nintendo never lets us down!

Okay, so, the commercial actually does a good job at showing off the game at the beginning. The problem with this commercial is that...well, it's nauseating. 

It's not very appealing watching a guy cram food into his mouth and definitely gross to see him explode all over everyone at the end. I get that these commercials are marketed to kids, specifically boys, and boys tend to like gross stuff.

However, I don't know if it's a good idea to associate your game with liquified man guts spewed all over innocent restaurant patrons.

Video source: YouTube

"Do the Math" Atari Jaguar 

What's the best way to get your point across? If you answered, "screaming loudly into someone's face", then Atari's marketing department for the Jaguar agrees with you.

There is something strange about this commercial. Is it the scary, violent tone of the teacher, her haircut, or knowing how much the Jaguar flopped? Maybe it's a combination of all three.

If you were enrolled in Video Game Marketing 101, you'd know the answer.

Video source: YouTube

"The Witch Doctor" Dr. Mario

At the point, I know it seems as if I'm picking on Nintendo. Honestly I'm not, their marketing department was just "cray cray" in the 90s.

I remember seeing this commercial when I was a kid and thought it was scary. It wasn't the witch doctor, it was the guy's small head that freaked me out. 

The commercial hardly shows any gameplay footage. Although it was Dr. Mario, so that was probably intentional. If people actually knew it was a puzzle game, they would have likely ran for the hills.

Video source: YouTube


"We Suck Your Eyeballs Out" Sega Saturn

Honestly, I don't know what this commercial was trying to go for. It is hard to even make sense of what's going on in Sega's artistic attempt to sell you a Saturn.

I am assuming the man who had his eyeballs sucked out of his head is experiencing the pure, amazing realism that is the Sega Saturn. It's ambitious and weird, but I don't think it was that effective.

Especially when the man utters "reality always hurt", making us wonder who in the hell would want to buy a Sega Saturn after seeing that.

Spoilers: no one did.

Video source: YouTube

"Crying Baby" PlayStation 3

Well, you had to have known this was coming. After all, it was featured as the main image to this article.

So what does a freakish baby doll have to do with a PlayStation 3? Thankfully, nothing, but someone at Sony thought it would be a good idea for a commercial to advertise their new system.

Although this commercial is trying to be weird, it did too good of a job at it. First the baby sits there idly, then starts to cry, and finishes with a creepy laugh.

It's a good thing the PlayStation 3 was a successful system as the weird advertisements didn't do much for Saturn or Jaguar sales.

Video source: YouTube

Big faced Sega Saturn man doesn't want to see you go. 

I know I left out some great weird commercials, so feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments!

Image source: Wikia

GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of katlaborde
Writer. Gamer. Lover. The self-proclaimed master of multi-tasking. :)