I’ve already written about how sports games in general and the gamers who play them are unfairly stigmatized. A point that I didn’t get the chance to make was how much more appealing and entertaining the ads for sports games are. Everything from the music, to the cast, to the general goofiness is more consistent than any other genre. We’ve already covered how some game ads are inappropriate or creepy and while the majority of game ads are better, they are still disappointing when you consider the “real” games they are advertising.
Just watch the above NBA 2K12 trailer for a second and ponder its catchiness. Right off the bat you have the greatest basketball player of all time. Following MJ is the strangest cast of celebrities, athletes, and weirdos. The Portland guy with his curly hair, giant glasses, and double Mutombo fingers have me cracking up every time. The music (“Fast Lane” by Eminem and Royce Da 5’9) is beyond catchy and just sticks in your head. To top it all off, the commercial actually uses in-game footage unlike the majority of other game ads. There will be those who say sports games only change the rosters from year to year, but 2K Sports does a great job making every iteration look better than the last.
Not only that, but NBA 2K12 had more than one ad. While the commercial at the top was the main ad for the campaign, the following commercials are just as good. The above commercial starring Michael Jordan, arguably the most famous athlete of all time, going through his championships is fascinating. Even if you aren’t a sports fan, you have to appreciate the magnitude of his accomplishments. The commercial below stars the immensely funny Brian Wilson. A pitcher for the SF Giants, he was featured in multiple 2K Sports ads, and each one showcased his natural charm and charisma. Plus those short shorts are just whoa…
I especially love how the Celtics fans in the video are the most rabid since that’s exactly what we’re like in real life. That’s not a joke. You WILL get cut if you start an argument with “Tawmmy from Southie” about the C’s. What I found most interesting and relevant to gamers is the deep-rooted and intense loyalty shown in the commercial. Just replace the name of every team with a console or game and the name of every player with the name of a developer or industry heavyweight and the commercial would still work beautifully. This level of fandom is the link between gamers and sports fans. Instead of isolating and ridiculing sports gamers, understand that we are just as passionate about their games as FPS-ers are about their yearly Call Of Duty. Plus our commercials are way better than 99% of yours, so suck it. As a final note, if every game commercial or ad had Brian Wilson in it, the industry would explode from awesomeness… and those shorts… WHOA.