Nintendo Ad Campaigns Retrospective

SNES Era

Now You’re Playing With Power. Super Power!

A continuation of the NES campaign, “Now You’re Playing With Power. Super Power!” wanted to make clear that you were playing something more powerful than the NES. The general tone of these commercials remained as over the top as the NES campaign. But this also related to the sort of existential awkwardness of pop culture during the early 90s. Looking at how these were produced, it wanted to make clear that it was the 90s, but what do you do when all you know is the 80s? Many ads, shows, and music had this weird identity crisis, with elements of the previous decade being retained.

With the campaigns themselves, the commercials were either zany or serious. The console commercial up there played up the serious tone. Maybe this was an attempt to make the console appeal to an older audience, a demographic that SEGA was going for with their Genesis. One thing to make note of here is that SEGA and its consoles are not mentioned by name yet, something SEGA’s already been doing to Nintendo with their own campaign, “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t.”

This was still a Nintendo-only affair as only Nintendo games affixed themselves to the Super Power ads. Even the games montage only showed Nintendo made games. The third parties still made their own campaigns, like Squaresoft’s “Makers Of The World’s Greatest Videogames.” Eventually for Nintendo, it was time to get serious. The Genesis had a huge market share, and this campaign wasn’t cutting it for them anymore. Like an angry teen, Nintendo “grew up” and started to rebel, and told others to essentially “Fuck Everything” and “Play It Loud.”

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