The Top 5: Atari Commercials

The Atari 2600 defined a generation of gamers. With its sleek 8-bit graphics, sound effects, and probably the largest library of games available to any one system at this time, it was no wonder it was such a success. Over the last year, I have taken time to research the success of the Atari 2600. I’ve dredged through books, I’ve scoured the internet, and I’ve talked to early adopters of the system. It wasn’t the library of games. It wasn’t the graphics, and it certainly wasn’t the price. The key to the Atari 2600’s success can now only be seen on YouTube and other video sites. I’m talking about, COMMERCIALS!

That’s right, advertisements, 30 second T.V. spots, plain old commercials, paved the way for Atari’s great success.  A combination of amusing live-action displays and the incredible musical talents of washed up composers and rock bands resulted in some of the greatest T.V. commercials I have ever seen, and I watch a lot of T.V.

Through my rigorous research, I have complied a list of the five best, and I mean best, Atari commercials.

5.  Super Breakout

This commercial wrote the book on cheesy advertisement. That being said, it’s a brilliant commercial for a number of reasons. First, the commercial  attempts to sell Super Breakout, to fans of the original Atari Breakout. How do they do this, you might ask? Simple, through song! With a catchy song, Atari challenges us to play Breakout with a BIG WALL, an Extra Ball, and other fun mutations of the classic Breakout formula. On top of that, the video shows a whole family playing and enjoying Super Breakout on the Atari as if it is the best thing they have ever done! It’s one part family, one part Atari, and two parts cheesy song! You can’t help but be a smash hit with that formula!

Also,  “Have you played Atari today!” will be stuck in your head… I don’t know why…

4. Mario Bros.

The Mario Bros, Nintendo’s flagship franchise, the most iconic character in the world, Mario (that’s right, even Mickey Mouse doesn’t hold a candle to this guy), used to be on… Atari? Yeah, for those of you who don’t know, Mario got his career started as Jump-Man in Donkey Kong, the arcade classic. Jump-Man continued his rise through a number of Donkey Kong spin offs but was also granted his own game: Mario Bros. Anyone remember that mini game at th start of each world in Super Mario Bros. 3? Well that is this game! In this game, we are also introduced to Luigi for the first time! I love this game, I used to spend hours playing through the mini game in SMB3.

In this commercial we are treated to a live action sudo-Mario, running around trying to avoid being attacked by crabs and turtles… Man NYC flushes some weird stuff down their toilets. All the while, a catchy song plays in the background… What better way to entice children than through catchy song? If I had my way, this commercial would have been a little different. In what way?

Two words:

Bob Hoskins

Look at him, the perfect live action mario!

Look at him, so beautiful, so... MARIO!

3.Dig Dug

To be honest, I don’t know what to say about this commercial… It has everything… catchy music, it’s funny, I… I just don’t have anything to say… It leaves me speechless. If you have any comments on the Dig-Dug commercials, please post them in the comments section below.


2: Centipede

This commercial gives me the hebe-jebes! I hate bugs, especially centipedes! I mean, come on, they get rid of that totally awesome, rad looking dude right at the start. Sucked into the world of Centipede with only the power of his radical hair, glasses, and jacket to protect him! Then, we learn that he too fell victim the Centipede way and became one of them! GROSS!

This commercial is fantastic though, despite my fear of bugs. The ominous music and the choral chant of CENTIPEDE ties it together nicely with the crappy stock footage they used int he commercial… That gives me an idea, Hollywood should make a Centipede based movie! I mean how difficult could it be! They’ve made Blood Rayne, Hitman, World Of Warcarft is being worked on! Centipede is next in line a guarantee it! I even found the best director for it… UWE BOLL!

He even has the Atari logo on his shirt!

No… No… Scratch that last part, Uwe Boll should never be allowed near another movie.

1:Pole Position

Oh man, Pole Position! F-1 racing at it’s finest! Pole Position is a great game, although no comparison to the game “Indy 500” for Dos, but for an Atari game, it’s AWESOME! On top of that, it has an amazing commercial, metal music, special effects, and a disembodied voice that I can only describe as God.

Now, I personally didn’t appreciate the corporate executive crack that “God” makes at the beginning, but that family certainly looked like Jerks. For Pete’s sake, they are named “Muffy, Buffy, and Biff!” Where are they headed?  The Enchantment Under the Sea Dance!? Come on Atari, it’s not the 1950’s. That being said, the misfortune this family meets is awesome to watch!

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, the Top 5 Atari Commercials, I hope you enjoyed them… I know I did… It’s been over a year, but boy has it been a busy year. I’m glad to be back and I can’t wait to write some more awesome articles for you!



2 Responses to The Top 5: Atari Commercials

  1. bigmanmac14 says:


  2. J M says:

    this post made skid marks on my soul 😛

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