News Article

Video Game Commercials That Celebrities May Want to Forget

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Before they were famous, of course

Many of you probably know the drill with 'before they were famous' shows, where long-lost advertisements or TV appearances featuring well-known stars are put on display for our amusement. Video game historian Patrick Scott Patterson has compiled a collection of video game commercials featuring some celebrities in their younger days, though some are far more famous than others.

There are some Atari gems thrown in for those of us old enough to remember, while Nintendo features with an atrocious cereal advert and a rather epic Super NES production. Check out the video below.

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User Comments (42)



ajcismo said:

I remember every one of those commercials.
They weren't included in the video, but Phil Hartman's Atari ads before his career took off are my favorite.



thedanman64 said:

Anyone remember the Super Mario All-Stars advert that had Rik Mayall in it? (I think it was only shown in the UK)



Kevin said:

They had Donkey Kong and Pac-Man cereals back in the day? Shakes head No comment.



edhe said:

Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl) before he was famous.

And for @thedanman64:


Although to be honest, Rik Mayall has been famous since the 80s.



edhe said:

Also, during that Mario Cereal commercial, I noticed Mario said "Let's-a go!" like Mario does in Mario 64.



JJtheTexan said:

Seriously, how awesome would it be to play F-Zero (or any other game for that matter) on a drive-in movie theater screen?



WingedSnagret said:

Dude! I'd buy Donkey Kong crunch cereal! But seriously, out of all of those, the last one was the least bad. At least they tried to sound epic on that one. And they used words of truth as well, "No one else creates these kinds of experiences, because no one else creates these kinds of games." Couldn't have said it better myself.



Lalivero said:

This also makes me remember back to some of the more...recent commercials too. Anyone remember that Pokemon Red and Blue commercial with Drake Bell?



MeloMan said:

I knew there was a Mario/Zelda cereal, but I had no idea about a Donkey Kong one. Um... can someone tell me why Mario's voice in the commercial sounds suspiciously close to Charles Martinet's Mario? That Mario even said "Here we go!" almost to the T how Charles would've. I guess what I'm getting at is I wonder if Charles remembered that commercial as inspiration for when he auditioned for Mario's voice? Very strange...

Other than that, I vaguely in the depths of my brain remember the Pac Man cereal commercial, and I DEFINITELY remember the Super Nintendo commercial. Nintendo's advertised back then with bite thanks to their console war with SEGA. And honestly, I loved that slogan of "Now you're playing with power... Super Power!" though when it was first used with the NES it was more fresh



Kirk said:

Nintendo should re-hire some of those characters and do modern takes on these old adverts for their new Wii U console and it's games.

That would be so retro cool.



DarkEdi said:

I remember in Mexico they launched a cereal in SNES era. It has stickers from DKCountry.



robohobo93 said:

Though I grew up playing the SNES, I don't think I had ever seen any commercials for its games until YouTube came around. The earliest game commercials I remember were for the N64 and the PS1.



arrmixer said:

wow definitely brings a smile to my face I actually remember all those commercials.. except for the game made by CBS. I used to play atari's pitfall at my cousin's house one of my very first gaming experiences... awesome!!



Adam said:

I remember the Paul Rudd one and one or two others. That Pac-Man commercial was pretty great.



ThreadShadow said:

I like seeing old classic artwork for Mario. I like his official artwork, but seeing the different styles by different artists of old is fun. Seems like anything was possible back then. Nintendo should take those old styles and create new 2D platformers, and single screen style Mario games with them. There's even some current artists takes on Mario that would lead to fun.

And the SNES Drive-In ad was and is epic. Good times!!!



aaronsullivan said:

It's pretty cool how kids crunching on cereal louder makes Mario jump higher. Who knew? Maybe a new oral controller is coming!

These are fun and I remember Donkey Kong cereal and Pacman cereal but the commercials are pretty foggy... though I'm pretty sure I remember seeing that Pitfall commercial and the fact that the first kid is Jack Black is great.

I'm ready for some reinterpretation of the art styles surrounding Mario myself. The current design is getting stale from overuse. Zelda gets a significantly shifted approach every time, is Nintendo brave enough to do that to Mario? Paper Mario is the most radical, right?



RR529 said:

@Robohobo93, same here. I grew up with SNES and Genesis, but the first commercials I remember were from the N64/PS1 era (Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Smash Bros are what really stand out to me).



ThreadShadow said:

I think that since Mario's look got locked in (artwork and games) Nintendo has been afraid to tamper with it, because they see Mario as their Mickey Mouse, and tampering with Mickey Mouse is a no-no, apparently.
Recently seeing new artwork and this vintage Mario artwork is great and just opens up the imagination for what type of 2D games he could feature in.

Here is one from a new artist. Just one example of a different style.

Yes, Paper Mario seems to be as far as Nintendo themselves are willing to go.



XCWarrior said:

That was pretty hilarous. I swear every person about the age of 13 was on drugs during the 80s.... OK not much different than today.



Henmii said:

Whoah, Jack Black was young back then! And did I see the father from the American Pie movies?!



BulbasaurusRex said:

I wonder if the people who made that Solar Fox commercial would've thought back then that video games would eventually reach the point of that animated 3D representation.



Pj1 said:

I Loved the Super Mario All Stars Rik Mayall adverts! they were quite good, also he doubled up as Nigel Mansell! when they used to advertise for that!



LztheQuack said:

OMG! Tony Jay was the announcer for the SNES commercial!!

And he was still cool



R-L-A-George said:

Good grief, Pac-man and Donkey Kong were the Yu-Gi-OH and Pokemon of that era. They had cereals! O_O

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