Video game marketing covers a wide variety of media. From magazines and other printed media to TV commercials and gigantic murals, video games are actually all over. Now, this article will celebrate the best commercials for video games.
Take note, the title says ‘commercials’. It means it has to be aired on the television to be part of this list. The Dead Island trailer, no matter how well-crafted it is, is a trailer. Thus it won’t be featured in this list.
PS3 – Michael
A commercial in memory of a deceased gamer, it takes all of the most popular PlayStation game characters in one epic commercial. Nathan Drake talks to FFXIII’s Lightning, while Assassin’s Creed’s Ezio and MGS’s Old Snake lurk in their respective corners. It’s just such a fitting tribute to a gamer who tragically lost his life too young. What’s even better is that they got the characters’ voice actors/actresses to play their characters in this commercial!
Gears of War – Mad World
Haunting visuals accompanied by haunting music, this commercial definitely sets the tone of the game. It doesn’t really represent the gameplay, but it does showcase the game’s gritty atmosphere very well. The ad shows the protagonist traveling through a ruined city trying to escape whatever threats that are hunting him. The commercial sealed the song’s link to the game. Now, gamers can’t listen to the song without thinking of the game.
Super Smash Bros – Happy Together
The first ever Super Smash Bros game on the Nintendo 64 had this amazing commercial. It starts out with the classic Nintendo characters Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Pikachu all happily frolicking through a field of flowers. All of a sudden, Mario trips Yoshi and it turns into an all-out brawl. Thus begins a popular franchise that now spans consoles and multiple games.
Halo 3 – Believe
A camera pans through a diorama of marines fighting (and losing to?) the Covenant. Everything is still and silent, showing various scenes and faces. That is until it pans to Master Chief’s plasma grenade, and he looks up. It has to be seen to be believed.
Ratchet and Clank – Weapons Testing
A group of teenagers somehow got real-life (not really) weapons from the Ratchet & Clank games. They try the weapons out, resulting in hilarious (and dangerous) situations. From accidentally turning their friend into a chicken to setting a tree on fire, the commercial sure does its job of making people want to play the game.
Mortal Kombat – Mortal Monday
Mortal Kombat’s four versions were released simultaneously, and the date was henceforth dubbed “Mortal Monday”. The release was announced by a slew of TV commercials. A young man shouts “MORTAL MONDAY” interspersed with shots of people running and converging on a crossroad. The crown then watches scenes from the game like they’re watching a rock concert.
Battlefield Bad Company
Another series of ads this time poking fun at or parodying other video games or their ads. One takes a jab at the Gears of War “Mad World” commercial, and another took a shot at MGS’s silly camouflage techniques. They’re funny and worth a watch. Unfortunately, there’s only three of them.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – ‘Infomercial’
Parodying the infomercials that were popular then, the commercial for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 said the game is able to clean stains, cover bald spots, and chop and dice vegetables. Of course, it can’t, though the sheer outrageousness of the claims is good for a laugh.
The Last of Us – Could You Be the Last of Us?
A mysterious, cryptic narration over an actor’s gradual transformation into Joel, the game’s protagonist. The background and surroundings also decay over the course of the commercial. Then, as the narrator asks one last question, the game’s title is revealed. More than that, the commercial captures the game’s tone and atmosphere. What’s not to like about this commercial?
WoW – “What’s Your Game?” Series of Commercials
These commercials featured popular celebrities such as Ozzy Osbourne, Chuck Norris, and Mr. T. They are reimagined as World of Warcraft characters and at the end, they all ask, “What’s your game?”. It becomes memorable because could you imagine Chuck Norris (or the other celebrities) grinding WoW gold or playing in general otherwise?
And those are the video game commercials you’ll never forget. Enjoy gaming!
Daisy is an SEO | Outreach Content Marketing Specialist, from the Philippines who’s been playing video games since 2006. When I am not working at Playerauctions, I love to read, getting out(hiking, backpacking, and camping)…but unfortunately, I love to spend too much time behind a computer than spending time with friends.