A few days ago, I ripped a commercial for the console versions of Diablo 3. It's too bad that commercial wasn't released today because it looks like a goddamn masterpiece compared to the new advertisement for the Android gaming console Ouya.
The animated ad begins with a pants-less gamer in a darkened room. He's just finished Medal of Duty XII and he's depressed. He spent $60 on the game and it's exactly the same as all the other games in the series.
This is a gross generalization about console games that doesn't really hold water. I could listen plenty of console titles from last year alone that broke the mold and/or cost a lot less than $60. Still, the accusation that console games are all the same and cost too much money seems like a reasonable lie for a Ouya commercial. It's the selling point for their console: loads of interesting games from indie developers that are either free-to-play or have free trials.
At this point in the advertisement, you would expect the gamer's beautiful girlfriend to come home with a Ouya. The home would then be filled with sunshine and happy colors and chirping birds as the two experience Android gaming nirvana. This is not what happens, though.
Instead, the gamer projectile vomits until he's ankle-deep in his own upchuck. Then he pulls out his tongue along with his teeth and his spine. No, don't stop watching - there's more. Our hero then grips his spine like a club and bashes himself in the head. The force of his blows shatter his skull, exposing his brain. It also squeezes his body like an accordion, forcing his fibulas to tear through the skin of his legs. Buy a Ouya!
"Stop wasting cash on crappy games," reads the title card that pops up. Or what? I'm going to kill myself with my spine? Worse yet, you're going to make me watch that torture porn commercial again?
I don't really care that it's gory. Years of gaming have all but numbed me to virtual viscera. I'm just appalled that anyone thought this commercial would persuade me. Don't you remember the old expression, "You can catch more flies with honey than with cartoon projectile vomit?"
Hours after this ad was posted on the official Ouya YouTube account, someone at the company realized it was terrible and pulled it down. I'm surprised it took that long for them to correct course, though. From the inception of the ad to its production, no one said, "Hey guys, maybe spine self-flagellation isn't going to win anyone over"?
Much love to Wario64 for grabbing the ad and mirroring it on YouTube after Ouya pulled it down. This video deserves to be shared. It's the best example of how not to promote your scrappy new product.