I’ll be honest, E3 kind of blind-sided me this year. A combination of real-life things keeping me busy and my general attitude for the trade show being significantly lowered over the years keeps me from getting excited about it anymore. I know I described it in my very first C-Blog as “like Christmas, your birthday, a trip to the candy store, and Jack Thompson’s disbarment all wrapped up in one glorious week of advertisements”, but that was a long time ago.
That was before Nintendo famously denied Nintendo of Europe from putting Xenoblade and The Last Story on the E3 show floor, and thus creating the most well-known and successful fan-run localization campaign in history. That was before publishers ramped up the lying machines in recent years, with stuff like Watch Dogs, and especially Aliens: Colonial Marines. There’ve always been publishers telling porkies with some games, but I feel like that’s just gone overboard this year. And then, of course, there’s the cringe-inducing stage presentations that’re always painful to sit through. Fact is, E3 just doesn’t excite me anymore.
E3 is also very difficult to write a COMMERCIALISM about. Sure, there are plenty of commercials for it on channels that cover the event, but there aren’t many that’re the kind of out-there, insane madness that I like to cover on this segment. It also doesn’t help that just putting in E3 and commercial will more than likely result in you finding game trailers and announcements instead of proper commercials.
I really was kind of stuck with this topic. I was about ready to throw in the towel and just write about Jam Sessions or something else on my topic list. But then, I found something from our old friends at G4 circa 2005. They made a commercial for their live E3 coverage, but they didn’t stop at a commercial. Ooooh, no. They made an entire 3-minute music video covering the theme song for The Greatest American Hero! That should give me more than enough to talk about this week. Thus, I present to you, the best E3 television commercial I’ve seen to date.
We open on three friends surfing the airwaves. They stop on G4 as the channel promotes live E3 coverage. This causes Not Jack Black to break out into song, expressing disbelief that a channel is actually showing video coverage of E3 and absolute joy that he can watch it. He eventually grabs a controller and pretends it’s a mic, with one of his friends draping a blanket on him as he gets on his knees. The next verse is very similar to the previous one, just with Not Jack Black’s friends getting more involved as pretend band mates, complete with tennis racket guitars.
Then, the three of them run into a closet underneath some stairs to do a parody shot of Queen’s Bohemian Rapsody. “It’s too good to be true”, they sing. It’s an increasingly apt description of the things one sees at E3. Then, after 10 seconds of waving glowsticks around in complete darkness, they emerge from underneath the stairs and open the front door to reveal three attractive young women on their front door. No E3 commercial in the mid-2000s would be complete with fantasizing over attractive women fawning over male gamers during E3.
After a key change, they all go back into the living room and partake in a choreographed dance sequence to the chorus with wind blowing through their hair and Not Jack Black taking off his jacket so he can properly get his groove on. Finally, as the chorus ends, Not Jack Black’s friends all crowd around him as he stands tall in the center, covered by the air dates for the coverage.
So, there you have it. Arguably the best E3 commercial that I could find. I know it’s a bit stupid, but I still enjoy the hell out of it. And considering that we just had one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history as I’m writing this, I could use a little levity right now. I can only hope you guys enjoyed watching it too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to find a blood drive and make an appointment…