Monday, April 11, 2016

Five Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Commercials!

After a 2 month sabbatical because life tends to get in the way, Retro Game Dad is back and this time we are going to follow up on a previous post regarding Super Nintendo television commercials. This time, we want to give the Sega kids on the playground some debate ammo when the Nintendo fans come at you with their whack arguments!

Click through for more!

Blast Processing

One of the hottest arguments in Sega Genesis/Mega Drive advertising during the peak of the 16 bit Console Warz was the Genesis' use of something called "blast processing." Now, what exactly is blast processing? Giant Bomb says "While the main Ricoh 5A22 processor of the SNES was clocked at 3.58 MHz, the main 68000 CPU processor of the Genesis was clocked at 7.67 MHz, twice the clock speed of its rival." In reality, there is generally much more at play than CPU clock speeds, but that didn't stop Sega from creating a buzzword that sounded badass in commercials against imagery of Super Mario Kart being attached to a busted jalopy.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 "Infomercial"

One of my favorite Genesis ads from the period is this Sonic the Hedgehog 2 promoting the fact that you could buy a Sega Genesis bundled with first two Sonic games for one sweet, low price. The commercial is done in the style of cheesy As Seen on TV product ads promoting the fact that Sonic 2 can clean stains, cover bald spots, and help you out in the kitchen. This is genuinely a good ad.

Streets of Rage 2

Bobby has a bully problem when he goes to school, so he does what any self-respecting kid would do to get leverage over those assholes, he buys a Sega Genesis bundled with Streets of Rage 2! By the end of the ad, Bobby seems to become the bully, whining about cookie preferences and forcing his adversaries to shout "Sega!" I can attest as a child of the 90s that owning a game console your friends didn't made you a big shot, but this ad makes it look like the Genesis turns you into a dickhead. Streets of Rage 2 is awesome, though, so who cares?

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers

Rita Repulsa is so amazed by the newly-released Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers fighting game on Sega Genesis that she commands Goldar to go to earth, turn into a giant and destroy Angel Grove so he can steal a copy of the game for her. The Power Rangers can't blame her, citing the game's graphics, moves and "battle zones." In the end, though, the Power Rangers defeat Goldar and inform Rita that she is going to have to buy the game like everyone else. Wouldn't it be easier to steal a single copy of a video game if you weren't hundreds of feet tall?

Genesis Does What Nintendon't

You can't talk about Sega Genesis commercials without talking about the king. There was a two year window between the release of the Sega Genesis in August of 1989 and the release of the Super Nintendo in 1991 in the United States. During this time period, the 16 bit powerhouse's only competition from Nintendo was the aging 8 bit NES. During this period their advertising on all fronts focused on the technical superiority of the Genesis. The most popular advertising campaign from this period is the "Genesis Does What Nintendon't" line of commercials. These commercials told you that "You can't do this on Nintendo." And they weren't wrong. You can't really blame Sega for taking advantage of the window of opportunity they had in front of them.

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