The 5 Most Cringe-Worthy Video Game Commercials

#2. Nintendo's Cringe-Worthy "Play It Loud" Campaign


In the early '90s, you couldn't flip a pog without seeing a sassy Sega ad about how Nintendon't or Nintencan't. Eventually, as Super Nintendo sales began to suffer in the face of the edgier competition, the House of Mario decided to retaliate. Since they couldn't think of any clever puns about Sega's consoles ("Genesisshit" was rejected), they did the next best thing: starting a campaign called "Play It Loud" that was specifically designed to make Nintendo look cooler. Let us summarize it in one GIF:

And that's why you don't eat sprites.

Yes, the result can only be described as the marketing equivalent of your grandpa trying to break-dance at your birthday party and throwing out his back.

In addition to the "Play It Loud" slogan not making much sense (apparently the marketers didn't realize an SNES was a game console, not a music player), the commercials themselves used slang phrases that have never been uttered before or since. Whatever marketing robot they programmed to fart out such phrases as "hock a loogie at life," "give the world a wedgie," and "fight earwax" from a keyword bank should have been decommissioned.

Go ahead and give Mars a purple nurple while you're at it.

Each of the commercials featured music from an indie band like the Butthole Surfers over a montage of schizophrenic jump edits of various cool stuff like skateboards, Beavis and Butthead, tattoos, sunglasses, and the aforementioned puking. But, because this was still Nintendo, of course they had to bleep out the word "hell" in the B-Hole Surfers song. We're not even kidding. Why use that song at all if you're just going to make yourself look tragically unhip by censoring the least offensive swear other than "damn"? What the bleep were they thinking?

Perhaps the most baffling part of the ads, though, are all the examples of Nintendo-themed street graffiti that could never and should never exist.

Also, why would Mario have an "M" logo on the back of his hat? This is infuriating.

Nintendo even used this campaign as a backdrop for individual games, which is how you end up with a print ad for Super Mario World 2 that describes Yoshi as "a cold-blooded baby sitter who spits fire and launches eggs out his butt" and this mug shot of Kirby after he got caught jacking it in a porno theater:

Jacking what exactly, we're not sure.

#1. The Legend of Zelda: The Japanese Rap Musical


Dear Cracked reader, we owe you an apology. We don't understand how this website has managed to exist for so long without having told you about the insane The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past ad where everyone dances to Japanese rap music. This is our attempt to rectify that enormous mistake.

While we hate to rely on stereotypes, it's hard to deny that when it comes to gaming, Japan out-crazies all of us. And as you can see in the clip above, that includes their game commercials. The ad starts innocently enough. We get a logo with a cool sword ...

Plus enough star filter to shoot a Lil Jon video.

... but that's as far as the sanity lasts, because a second later, the goddamn synchronized dance number starts.

What the hell do they put in those potions?

In one of Japan's greatest gifts to mankind, we're treated to a "Thriller" dance complete with Link (played by a 16-year-old girl), Zelda, and some enemies grooving out all their problems. If you thought it was only peaceful ass-shaking, you haven't seen West Side Story. There's even cute little battles.

Aw, he killed them all.

The best part happens at the end, when a giant Gannon comes out to murder people and everybody just keeps fucking dancing. It's like they're all under the spell of C&C Music Factory and can't be bothered to notice a gargantuan pig monster.

That, or DJ Gannon really knows how to get the party started.

But surely something got lost in translation here. We're positive that if we knew what the lyrics say, this would make a lot more sense. In fact, let's look up a translation:

It's dangerous! It came out!
Go! Link!
Unwitting sword fighting action
Zelda shall reach its climax tonight as well-

OK, uh, let's just stop there.

For more funniness, check out, and follow Chris on Twitter.

Related: Of course, video game commercials have always been pretty terrible -- ranging from frightening to confusing to simply dumb. Of course none of this seems surprising when you see the early ideas for your favorite video games.

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