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Promotional Consideration: Party Like a Rock Star

Eric Caoili

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

This marks the third time we've featured Ubisoft's Jam Sessions in our Promotional Consideration column, but these latest ads for the New Zealand market are the best ones yet. We're not going to ruin their illicit content for you before you've had a chance to watch these not-safe-for-work commercials yourselves, so hurry past the break and see what all the kids are nattering about at recess.

"Say thanks to Auntie"
Birthday dinner. Exchanged gifts. Groping your aunt.

While the nephew's forceful kiss is predictable, even if the commercial were to end there, that light bit of incest is enough to upset conservative parents. But advertising firm Colenso BBDO pushes it even further with the next cut, a close-up shot of young Jacob rounding first base and sliding to second, hands-first.

Jacob's mother eventually pulls him away from her shapely sister, but the damage is done. She sends the birthday boy to his room without a bite of cake, and, shortly afterwards, apologizes embarrassingly as everyone puts on their coats and thank her for the nice dinner before departing. Ten minutes later, alone in the kitchen, washing the dishes, she thinks to herself, "At least none of the neighbors saw that. Thank goodness the curtains were closed!"

"F****in' sponge cake?!"
Whoa whoa whoa.

With the "Say thanks to Auntie" piece, there's at least a slight chance that the thirty-second spot could run on US airwaves. But this commercial? With this language? Fuhgeddaboudit! We had no idea New Zealand's commercial breaks were such lawless kingdoms, overrun with indecorous advertisements and unbridled directors. Before you go around bad-mouthing New Zealanders, though, please remember that Kiwis are people too:

It's worth remarking that in both ads, the depicted families lack a father figure. Perhaps a firm hand would've taught some sense into these disrespectful, guitar-sim-playing hellions? We have distinct memories of our own dad making use of his belt whenever we tested the boundaries of our vernacular.

On the topic of parents, what responsible adult would buy Jam Sessions for a kid this Christmas after seeing these ads? We imagine that showing children cursing up a storm and feeling up their aunts isn't the best way to sell a game. Take note that not a single screenshot is shown in either spots. The focus is entirely on the rock star image.

Still, these commercials are a lot more interesting than the tame one North America received. Despite having much worse packaging art with its version of Jam Sessions, New Zealand definitely got the better deal when it came to advertisements.

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