Sunday 23 September 2007

Pirate TV: Best Sega Europe Ad-campaign ever.

A La Kat Food? Ecco Washing Powder? The Cyber Razor Cut? What the bloody hell am I talking about?

(Click for a news snippet out of...where else? Sonic the Comic. Issue 2, to be precise.)

More after the jump..

While Sega in America decided to go with the "Let's take the piss out of Nintendo and harp on about American Football simulators", in 1993 Sega Europe gave us 'Pirate TV', an ape-shit mad ad campaign starring Steve O'Donnell, AKA Spudgun from Bottom. It's slogan was far better than the yanks "Welcome to the next level", and you will have already seen it on the back of that SuperSonic record I posted yesterday...

(Bad Ass.)

The first ad for the Mega Drive is the one I remember most, mainly because I had it on a promotion video that was given away with a magazine of some sort. All you need to know is that according to this ad, the only way you could keep up with the POWER and the KICK ARSERY of the Mega Drive was to go and have an operation called "the Cyber Razor Cut (tm)", which appears to be something that involves becoming half human, half terminator. Here, I'll just let you watch it (Thanks to some Youtuber named prestolovesvarla for saving me having to hunt this down again!)

Sadly, what can't be found on the net anywhere from my hunting, is the short fake ad's they started slipping into ad breaks to confuse the feck out of you, like Ecco Washing Powder. Think that sound stupid? You haven't seen anything yet. Someone else by the name of FatAgnes has just brought back a flood of nostalgia (both good and bad) with this recording of the Mega CD ad they did. The commercial crams as much as it possibly can into one minute. Sewer Shark? Check.Night Trap? Check. Road Avenger? Check. Sonic CD? Erm...

And here's some stuff I don't remember so well: the mega CD came bundled with seven games? I presume they mean all those games on that Sega Classics collection everyone had for it. Also: HOLY SHIT, it cost £269.99? On it's own, without the Mega Drive? No wonder it bloody flopped. Still, I think this was the first time we saw that brilliant CGI skull head mascot, although I could be wrong.

In, while I'm writing this article I keep finding more and more of these commercials, which I haven't seen since they aired. RabidracoonUK has this one for Golden Axe, which see's the return of the Cyber Razor Cut guy and his ninja kid sidekick? Yeah, I have no idea, but at least this one doesn't give me a head ache. You can also see how much a Mega Drive and a Master System II cost at the time: £130 and £60. Wow, that makes the Mega CD look like even more of a rip off considering how many good games were made for it, which I could probably count on one hand.

Now here's a commercial from the Pirate TV line for the Game Gear, in a completely different setting from the rest. The RRP for the bulky lump of plastic love that lasted ten minutes if you were lucky was £99.

Embarrassed and ashamed enough? Tough, there's one more video left, and it only gets worse from here. Somehow this whole Pirate TV thing managed to sneak it's way into a music video to the extremely camp pop duo 'Right Said Fred'. You might of seem them recently in an ad for Daz that is so bad I never want to see it again, but will another 700 times because the TV hates me. Anyway, the video seems to be a plug for Sonic 3, judging how clips of it pop up here and there, with O'Donnell and that skull head making cameos, and they're all running around the Hydrocity zone, apparently. Still, it's worth it just to hear that blond tart squawk "
He's just a flippin' 'edgehog, Okaaaaay?". Ok, maybe not. I'd actually be inclined to say that even SuperSonic below isn't as bad as this song!

Thought it was over? NO! This Pirate TV thing even extended to Sonic the Comic, where they did a seven part story that, to be honest, is ruddy psycho. Written and illustrated by Stephen Bliss, It stars the skull head and the now christened Fezhead, who suck a bunch of lazy sods into their TV and make throw them into video game spoof like Street Fighter and er...that's all I can remember right now, but it did have fluffy animals that transformed into bubble bath containers, and Poodle Noodle! I want me some Poodle Noodle, with it's essence of haddock. Actually, no, but who wouldn't want snot in a can with a SEGA logo on it? I'm sold. Maybe I'll scan the whole thing in at some point.

After all this? Sega commercials died up and the one's that were left were boring. I remember seeing one or two Saturn ones, and the odd crappy Dreamcast ad that didn't show a second of game footage, but otherwise that's about as far as Sega on the TV went from there on in the UK, so as sad as it may be to admit but Pirate TV was the best British ad campaign Sega Europe ever did, and was actually pretty successful. Plus, they're still better than the egotistical American ads. I mean, why rename the Mega Drive the "Genesis" anyway? Twats.


Anonymous said...

Keep it up.

Smindas said...

I was entirely unaware this campaign even existed. It's genius, albeit incredibly cheesy.

fatherkrishna said...

LOL! Excellent!

Anonymous said...

wow! Thanks for the nostalgia :)
Please please please scan in the rest of Pirate STC, I used to love that comic strip. For years afterwards I thought it was ok to drink bubble bath...

Anonymous said...

Pirate STC was my absolute favourite non-Sonic strip in Sonic the Comic, followed by Decap Attack and Mutant League Football. That big image you scanned in there is going to be my wallpaper, somehow.