Wake up and check out this crazy SEGA commercial from 1988, advertising After Burner for the SEGA Master System. As most video game ads from the era tend to do, a young boy is transported from his living room to being behind the controls of an F-14 Tomcat. After flashing a thumbs up to the camera, the boy blasts off into the pixelated blue skies, taking on enemy fighters. However instead of looking outside the windows, he is playing After Burner inside the fighter jet (cue the “yo dawg i heard you like” meme). The announcer excitedly tells players that they can execute battle rolls, nose dives, supersonic speed (5 years before Sonic the Hedgehog!), and radar lock-on. The boy then, in his best impression of an action star delivering a death blow quip, says “your turn to burn!”. The ad ends with a tagline rarely reapeated nowadays, but it sure is fantastic: “SEGA: The Challenge Will Always Be There.” – emphasis on “Aaalways”, thanks to the narrator.
Overall, this is amazing ad! Fun effects work, lots of gameplay footage and music despite the real world setting of the boy in the fighter jet, and that ending tagline is just so damn strong. I think “The Challenge Will Always Be There.” deserves a comeback, don’t you?
After the break, see how SEGA of Japan advertised After Burner for the SEGA Mark III!