Remember those amazingly corny commercials SEGA did when they were still making consoles? You know, things like “Genesis does what Nintendon’t?” Well, if you do, then it may shock you to know that they almost never happened at all. In a part of the documentary art book, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works, SEGA of America’s Michael Katz explained how they came about.
“We had to create awareness, to make a noise and grab attention. After all, we had nothing to lose – by then we had a 2% share of the MARKET! But I had to fight with David Rosen and the ad agency and instruct them to do competitive commercials. They were showing me all these storyboards and concepts that had nothing to do with Nintendo. I learned that it was considered inappropriate in Japan to do competitive advertising – to publicly tear down a competitor. But the rule of thumb in consumer marketing is that if you’re number two and less well known, but you have better features, you go after your rival. With this kind of advertising, you need the ammunition.”
— Michael Katz
What do you think about this? Are you grateful for the existence of the silly SEGA ads, or could you have done without them? Let us know in the comments below!