Growing up in the 90’s, you either had a Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo. The competition between the two companies showcased some of the most ludicrous marketing campaigns I’ve ever seen. Sega knew who there audience was, and tried to catch their eye with the craziest cross of sex and 90’s over-the-top humor this side of MTV.
The most recognized ad is “Genesis does what Nintendon’t.” While there’s something to be said about directly calling out the competition, this is by far the tamest. There’s something to be said about having faith in your product. When you directly call out the competition though, that just shows weakness.
While these are a little odd, things only get worse when the sexual innuendos were brought in. This was their campaign to sell the Sega 32x.
By the time the Sega Saturn rolled around, not a care was given. I don’t know if this came about as an act of desperation for the floundering console, from flagrant hubris, or was the result of a massive cocaine bender. Either way, this one is my favorite.
I would like to say that was the beginning and the end of their overly sexualized ads, but alas, it was not. Long before this was the Davis Cup World Tour ad for the Mega Drive. I can’t begin to list everything wrong with this.
Not stopping there, as some final affront to humanity, Virtua Tennis for the Dreamcast had this nonsense, which in someways, is worse.
An artist I am not, but my sensibilities are a lot better than this garbage. Can someone tell me what the hell is going on here?
I’m not saying Sega was off in left field with their advertisements, no one knew what they were doing. Sega just took it to another level. The company was ahead of their time in many ways, except advertising. There is no way you can convince me that some sort of illicit substance wasn’t involved in the creative process for any of this at some point. Seriously, someone was asleep at the wheel to greenlit this crap. As a final note, I leave you with this.
Think Sega took the crown as the best of the worst? Remember any other atrocities? Comment below!
Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell’em hi.
Cleared my search history after this one.
It’s as you said bro, there had to be someone on some kind of drug working in their marketing and management department. No way should this be a thing. I won’t lie, as a bloke the tennis add with the woman is quite stimulating, but these consoles were meant for kids at the time or maybe saga assumed teenage boys going through puberty would buy out all their stock in a day after seeing that, or maybe it was the drugs. Lol
I wish I kept my old magazines, I had piles of them. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Now I have to recall most of this from memory, and search.
I don’t think we can blame Sega’s marketing team for their poor sales. Those adverts are great.
Great as in, “That explosion was awesome?”
Well yeah, that kind of advertising is pretty eyecatching.
For the wrong reasons.
Genesis does what nintendon’t is pretty widely regarded, personally I think that is a pretty good slogan and really speaks to the fanboy audience they would have been addressing, the rest seem pretty terrible but you can’t judge them by today’s standards, need to consider the context of the time and the audience they were trying to grab.
The console wars between the Genesis and SNES were fun to watch. I think they helped create the modern fanboy. The Nintendon’t slogan is creative, but I still believe pointing out someone else yourself for others to compare and contrast is a sign of weakness.
I understand what you’re saying though, you can’t judge the 90’s for being the 90’s. This was mostly a fun look of where we were, and how far we’ve come.
nah I get that, enjoyed the article personally regardless, always nice to see the Genesis stuff as growing up in the U.K in the 90’s the rest of the world seemed far off an exotic. Found a load of old tips books from the Snes/mega drive era and it was superb getting to read through them again.
I had a pile of old EGM’s that I disposed about 5 years ago. I wish I kept them. The treasure trove that would be.
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