Sure, I grew up on games, but SEGA didn't rule here in Norway, and I never saw a commercial for either them or Nintendo here. My memory is kinda fuzzy from when I was young, but I didn't really hear much from SEGA overall. I thought all things vidjagamy was Nintendo. Mind you, I was a tad young then. But after seeing some commercials from that golden era on Youtube, I was amazed. There's one thing that's always consistent in these commercials: trashing the other company (and not making sense).
Take the oh-so-famous Blast Processing commercial for example. Super Nintendo vs. SEGA Genesis
Apart from not understanding the use of a F1 vehicle in this context, it's pretty logical. The SEGA console does something, which the Nintendo console does not. In this case, blast processing. Whatever that is. One thing that is weird is the mentioning of the other console.
The guy clearly mentioned Nintendo not having Blast Processing. Not just that, they also clearly depicted a Nintendo console in the commercial. This is something we do not see these days. Mainly because it's not allowed.
Here's another commercial, this time it's Nintendo's Gameboy vs SEGA's Gamegear.
Right. First off, a fat kid. And he's got a plaster on his thumb to boot (Maybe there's a hidden meaning here?). He's playing a Gameboy, and sighs to show he's bored. Picks up a squirrel on a stick (WHAT THE FUCK) and hits his head. Suddenly he gets high. The message? When you hit your head with a squirrel on a stick, you see colours! To the squirrels, my fellow colour-blind brothers!
Well, no. As interesting and weird as that sounds, it's just that SEGA's Gamegear has a colour screen. While the Gameboy does not. Yet another commercial depicting something SEGA has, that Nintendo does not. You see a young, hip, up and coming, strapping fine lad playing the Gamegear. You don't want to be the fat kid with the drugs (squirrels), do you?
Hey, at least Nintendo didn't do this, right?
Very amusing video. Long story short, the Nintendo guy gets captured by the evil SEGA and Sony. SEGA and Sony proceed to ask the Nintendo guy questions, and he answers. By answering the questions he also sells StarFox 64 to the people viewing the commercial. Hell, he almost sold me the game, did you say barrel-rolls? Fuck yeah!
I could pile up the videos, and I should. They're funny as hell, but I have to get to the point.
SEGA trash-talked, and they did that a lot. Yet, they lost the console war. Why?
Trash-talking in commercials do have a problem. For example; When Nintendo/SEGA/ only advertises their consoles, without mentioning the other one, the public only hears one company's name. Within that commercials context, the rival might as well not exist. And in a monopoly, there is no other.
But in these trash-talking commercials, you hear both SEGA and Nintendo. Now those parents who generally don't have a clue about consoles (We've all had them) could go on and hear Nintendo and SEGA in the commercial, but when they're going to buy the console for their little one, forget which one was the better.
Only a theory, but it could work out like this for many.
What would happen if the consoles and handhelds and their respective companies started up with commercials like this again? Shit, it's not so simple these days: the PS3 boasts the Cell broadband engine, Nintendo's got the Wii and it's waggle, and Xbox 360 has... lots of great games (Sorry, my mind went blank there). Fanboys would eat that shit up and take it up the ass without lube. I seriously wouldn't mind seeing these commercials come back, as I said, they're funny, even though they don't make much sense. Laughter sells, almost as much as sex.