A lot of people might remember the manic ads that Sega put out in the 90’s (SEGAAA!), and consider them the apex (or nadir) of video game advertisements.
But Atari kind of created the mold here, with this insane 60 second spot that aired in 1983, announcing the crossing of their arcade hit Pole Position over to the 2600 and 5200 video game systems. You know that any ad which starts with a giant hand reaching down and shaking the douche-bag corporate executive “who keeps interesting things from happening” and family out of their VW Rabbit and into Formula One racecars is DEFINITELY a keeper.
Please enjoy the mayhem, and remember: THIS WAY, CLARENCE!
Today the Visual Cortex hatches an ad for the Atari 2600 and 5200 versions of Williams’ arcade hit Joust:
Click to enlarge
Running in periodicals in 1984, it’s short on actual screenshots of the game, and heavy on artist renditions of the action. I also find it humourous how it tries to sex-up the “beasts of the air” you fly in the game, the ostriches from the original arcade game. The ad copy starts off with an unusual, confusing take on the classic opening words of the Star Wars movies:
Well, which is it? Long ago, or a distant future? Anyway, I don’t think I want to purchase a game that spits eggs out of my TV screen, from whence evil, sharp-taloned dragons attack me.