Sundry Sunday: Commercial for Atari Mario Bros.

We love weird old game commercials from before (or in this case during) the crash, before games and game ads began skew quite so much towards the stereotypical tastes of teenage males, and before companies like Nintendo became such jealous guardians of their products.

And just look at all the effort that must have gone into this commercial! This isn’t just people sitting in front of a TV raving about a game, these actors are wearing costumes and running from puppet creatures on an actual set! And this may well be the first human actor to ever portray Luigi in front of a camera (he may look like Mario with his color scheme, but his hat says Luigi, and he’s calling Mario for help). It even calls back to the theme song of Car 54 Where Are You. It’s a shame that the game couldn’t possibly have moved enough units to justify this production.

2 thoughts on “Sundry Sunday: Commercial for Atari Mario Bros.”

  1. This Mario Bros. commercial is one of my favorite videogame ads ever made. It seems remarkable that so much was put into it because Atari, Inc. was in its death spiral at this point in history, but Atari had always excelled at marketing.

    I played so much of the Atari 5200 version, hacked to run on Atari 8-bit computers. Those fond memories are 100% why Crabtown, my ACNH island, has a Sidestepper as a mascot. Thinking back, this might be the first “ROM hack” I’d ever played … at least when not counting normal cracks. It’s a good adaptation that skillfully manages the Atari’s relatively meager capabilities.

  2. You have an Animal Crossing New Horizons island? I’m still playing after all this time too, and I’ve never been there! We should do a visit!

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