The splendidly irreverent and tasteless video game system advertising of the 1990s.
Back in the 1990s, someone at Sega – or more accurately, someone at UK distributors Virgin – had the brilliant idea of targeting advertising directly at the readers of the magazine where the ads appeared. In the case of Viz, the wonderfully scatological and grubby British comic, that meant rude, crude and gloriously tasteless ads that focused on double entendre – or more often, very single entendre – and gleeful offensiveness. Back then, context mattered and the readers of Viz were unlikely to take offence – if anything, they might appreciate a company going the extra mile to craft advertising just for them. They were not exactly the height of sophisticated wit, but they fitted in rather well with the Viz style.
Today, with the self-proclaimed advertising censors at the ASA looking for offensiveness at every turn – and with snitches every ready to report anything and everything that upsets them out of some sort of self-righteous power trip – it’s unlikely that such advertising would ever even be considered. Indeed, look online and you’ll find plenty of purse-lipped disapproval at their very existence.
Well, as ever, we say ignore the blue-noses and enjoy these unpretentiously tacky ads in the spirit that they were intended.
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