This history of video game advertisements proves that video games are hard to advertise

Video game commercials are a strange, squirming beast. Where ads for TV shows and films are dependent on conveying the general story and selling the star power of its cast, video games have a harder sell. Games are about selling the world and flaunting its gameplay, but even that’s not enough. Game commercials have…

Young Lando, ubiquitous dinos, and the winners and losers of the Super Bowl LII commercials

There’s no real surprise to Super Bowl advertising anymore. The biggest, most star-studded commercials debut online days before Super Bowl Sunday, the result of an accelerated hype machine and the declining fortunes of broadcast TV. By kickoff last night, you could already stream Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman’s …

A brief history of Nintendo’s weird-ass commercials

Most big companies are so scared of their shareholders that their commercials tread a few comfortable lines, whether it’s having annoying people singing bad versions of popular songs or doing some variation of whatever the hell Geico’s been doing for the last gazillion years. The stakes were lower in the ’80s and…

Enjoy this video of just the weirdest possible shit related to Star Wars

With the franchise’s 40th anniversary right around the corner, fans around the world are gearing up to once again relive the magic of Star Wars, each in their individually nerdy way. Some will likely be sitting down to binge the original trilogy. A brave few will add the maligned prequels and generally enjoyed sequel…

In the ’90s, Sega won over the U.K. with its ambitious, bizarre commercials

The great console wars of the early ’90s were fought on TV. Nintendo hyped its Super NES with promises of playing with “super power” and cameos from a nascent Paul Rudd, while Sega filled the airwaves with the kind of kinetic snark that was so ubiquitous during the decade. (Its advertisements etched the combative…

In honor of Henry Rollins’ Calvin Klein ad, a look back at punks in commercials

Henry Rollins was recently named one of the faces of Calvin Klein’s fall 2016 global ad campaign, alongside artists like Kate Moss (obviously), Colombian soccer star James Rodriguez, Margot Robbie, Frank Ocean, and Young Thug. Now, that Frank Ocean thing could potentially be seen as annoying, because come on, Frank,…

YouTube cats be shoppin’ in this European supermarket ad

In this age of digital commerce, in which page-views equal revenue, it’s rather easy with a few quick calculations to realize that cat videos are one of the most potent combustible agents in the modern advertising machine. So, it’s not too hard to see why some clever advertising agency decided to go straight to the…

Former Grantland scribe casts hilarious aspersions at State Farm’s Hoopers commercials

When Grantland folded last year, tons of great writers were left in the lurch. Some wrote books, but others, like Shea Serrano, started email newsletters as outlets for their sports and pop-culture-related witticisms. And deliver Serrano does in the latest edition of Basketball (And Other Things), in which he goes…

A never-ending review of a commercial for Olive Garden’s never-ending pasta

Olive Garden has often said that “When you’re here, you’re family,” but GardenCast is a YouTube series that dissects every other line, action, and strand of never-ending pasta in their ads. In episode four, which dropped last August, the show’s three hosts watch a 15-second commercial that loops 120 times and features…

The ’80s were brought to you by a whole bunch of questionable sponsors

The ’80s were a time of high fashion, synthetic pop beats, and the transcendence of the consumer culture. The fashions may have faded (or not, depending on what particular retro kitsch is back this week), but that need for consumption has stayed with the world ever since. What better way to remember a decade than…

Witness the terrifying ascension of Geico advertising with this supercut

“Why does Geico have three different spokespeople? They have the cavemen, the lizard, and then the stack of money with the eyeballs!” “And the fake Rod Serling guy!” So observed Matt Damon and Tina Fey way back in 2010 in an episode of 30 Rock which now, if anything, seems too tolerant and insufficiently outraged. The…

Give in to the inevitable and watch a Lego mashup of this year’s Super Bowl commercials

You know it to be true: We all, every one of us, are now little more than a massive horde of locusts, descending on each new morsel of pop culture and gorging on it until it’s completely picked clean. “Play different audio over that trailer!” the hive mind commands. “Slow that song down 500 percent until it becomes a…