Followup Friday: 1981 Atari Ad

No cartoon interpretations here, just a gorgeous rainbow stack of Atari game boxes in a beautifully designed print ad from 1981.  And an odd claim that Space Invaders “launched the space age game category”. Do they think Pong takes place on Earth?

The Computer Will “Razz” You – 1981 Atari VCS Catalog

The idea of print catalogs being annually mailed to houses as the sole way of informing a consumer of a company’s upcoming product line is a quaint one; it harkens a time when marketing technology was limited and opted-in consumer interest was guaranteed – two qualities that don’t exist anymore.   Taking that view would…

Don’t Drink It – MagiCans (1990)

Money in Coke cans?! Putrid smelling liquid in Coke cans?! People drinking putrid smelling liquid they found in Coke cans and getting sick? This 1990 Coca-Cola MagiCan promotion  really had it all. Coke kicked off the Summer of 1990 with an ambitious promotion: stash money or coupons redeemable for trips and other prizes into Coke…

All Hail the Hamburglar (1970-1980s)

It’s weird to single out individual aspects of McDonaldland for the sake of pointing out how strange that individual aspect is. The whole idea is strange.  The wonderful thing about McDonaldland isn’t just the absurdity of a fast-food themed magical wonderland populated with less than two-dozen beings each resembling a fast-food menu item or category…

Stephen King’s “IT” Ads (1990)

IT is most likely my favorite book. I’ve read better books, I’ve read more meaningful and profound books, and I’ve read (one or two) longer books, but IT edges them all out as the book that meant most to me at the time I read it (I was eleven) and as the book that grew with me…

Mario Teaches Typing/Mario Teaches Typing 2 (1991-1996)

THIS is how you license Mario out. Those who lived through the ’90s may remember the glut of typing tutorial programs that filled software store shelves.  Mavis Beacon ruled the roost with her legion of titles for all skill levels, but there was plenty of room for any company who had a half-cute character in…

Mario’s FUNdamentals/Mario’s Game Gallery (1995)

Nintendo got a little loose with the Mario license in the ’90s, allowing other companies the chance to develop titles for non-Nintendo systems like the CD-i and PC.  Most/all of these titles, like “Hotel Mario” and “Mario is Missing”, are completely off brand and best relegated to the ‘oops’ dustbin of Mario’s history.  “Mario’s FUNdamentals”…

In Moviedom – Universal Studios Florida: The Magic of Movies

I grew up in Orlando, Florida, and when you grow up in Orlando your familiarity with Central Florida’s various theme parks becomes such an ingrained part of your being that you tend to take it for granted.  Along with that familiarity comes the ability to reflexively make comparisons between the parks. Essentially, there are two…

Absolutely Rose Street – 1994 SEGA 32X Infomercial

Just to get the obvious out there: I love old video game ads. I love infomercials. I love ’90s video techniques and effects.  I love terrible things that are trying to not be terrible.  All that said, this 30-minute infomercial for SEGA’s 32X add-on to their Genesis system is a confusing mess of objectives and…

The Game Is Very Simple – The Great American Telephone Trivia Game (1990)

The dawn of the cable infomercial and the pay-per-minute 1-900 telephone business opened up some pretty suspicious scam opportunities. TV psychics could tell your future, you could spend quality time with a pre-recorded Corey Feldman or a myriad other celebrities, and of course you could find some foxy company for the night – all delivered…