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Nintendo's "vilest advertising obscenity"

Vladimir Cole
In And Now a Few Words From Me (2003), respected media and advertising critic and pundit Bob Garfield rips Nintendo a new one for committing "the vilest advertising obscenity" he's "ever encountered." The advertisement in question was a Nintendo commercial from 1994. We haven't seen the ad, so we'll just have to quote Garfield on this:
"Opening with a too-smiley, too-coiffed Mom expressing her dream to have a doctor in the family, the ad announced its intentions with a close-up of her teenager's response: a loud, close-up belch. Then, to the dulcet croonings and empathetic sentiments of, naturally, the Butthole Surfers ('We wanna be free. We wanna do what we wanna do. We wanna have a good time, and that's exactly what we're gonna do.'), came the suggestion to crank up Mortal Kombat, or whatever, to full volume, because it freaks out grown-ups. 'Be heard,' went the slogan. 'Play it loud.' .... At one point in the spot, the kid snarfles up a wad of phlegm and spits it at the audience, with the accompanying instruction to 'Hock a loogie at life.'"

Garfield goes on to ask, "What greater service can an advertiser perform, against the backdrop of teen suicide, for example, than to trumpet the meaninglessness of human existence?" There's a lot more to his criticism, so we encourage you to "search inside this book" over at Amazon for the keyword "loogie" to view the entire criticism in context. (The book's really good, so you may even wanna buy it if you'd like to become savvier about advertising.)

It's notable that Nintendo advertising nowadays is much more about the enhancement that gaming brings to life and much less about the use of gaming as lever for the rebellious adolescent. The company's ads have certainly grown up with gaming.

Anybody got a copy of this advert? We've searched, the Internets, and between our sofa cushions but no luck.

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