Throughout the 90s, SEGA were the kings of video game slogans. “Welcome to the Next Level”, “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t”, “A little bit too real”, “It’s Thinking”. These are slogans us fans still use proudly to this day. Unfortunately for the 32X, “Just stick it in your Genesis!” did more harm than good. Today’s ad features the return of our edgy friend from SEGA’s SEGA CD commercial in which he famously interrupted a teenager watching television to aggressively ask him why he didn’t own a SEGA CD. The SEGA CD ad was loud, in your face, and incredibly memorable for all the right reasons. The 32X follow-up? Not so much.
Highlighting the “arcade system” aspect? Awesome! Still just sticking it in? Not cool.
Like before, the angry voice of SEGA takes over the television, this time directly addressing the viewer with six words: “Just stick it in your Genesis.” What follows is sexy footage of a 32X being inserted into a SEGA Genesis atop silk sheets. Any SEGA fan should know that this was blatant false advertising. While “Just stick it in your Genesis.” applies to SEGA’s Power Base Converter, the 32X needed additional connecting cables and it’s own power source. I’ll admit, I’m not one to give the 32X grief for the additional hookups, as the process is not as difficult as some Angry Video Game Nerds would have you believe with several easy walkthroughs existing online and the 32X’s own manual detailing how to hook up the add-on. But thanks to this commercial, it’s hard to defend the add-on’s setup process when SEGA themselves made it appear far easier than it was.
Between the fake television programs and the angry dude yelling, there is gameplay footage, however the games on display aren’t the system’s best. Highlighted are the abysmal Slam City (which required the SEGA CD), the so-so Quarterback Club (already released on the Genesis), the awesome Mortal Kombat II (available on several platforms), Doom (good game, marred by a smaller screen and music that didn’t take advantage of the hardware), and Metal Head (the first exclusive showcased, and developed by SEGA). Of those five titles, only one was an exclusive and only a few showed the power of the add-on.
While I don’t know the exact date that this commercial aired, using the release dates of the featured games as clues, it is likely the spot aired in late 1994 or early 1995. Perhaps better games like Virtua Fighter, After Burner, Space Harrier, Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000, Chaotix, Tempo, and Kolibri were not released at this point? But games like Virtua Racing and Star Wars Arcade were definitely released and deserved to be showcased. In the end, the “Just stick it in your Genesis!” commercial and campaign did more harm than good. A better route would have been showcasing the music, additional colors, graphics, and arcade-perfect ports, because the ease of connectivity is the last thing that should be highlighted when it comes to the 32X.
More (much more positive) SEGA 32X content is to come as 32X week continues!Ad: