A Blast From the Past: 10 Classic Atari Commercials

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Seeing old Nintendo or Genesis commercials always creates a sense of nostalgia, mostly because most of us are young enough to remember when they actually aired.  What I don’t remember, though, are old Atari commercials.  It’s funny to think that at one point, the Atari and its games were considered a luxury and the height of home video game entertainment.  I still remember playing Atari as a real young kid – the joysticks were impossible to really move – but the advertisements are something that I just can’t recall.

Fortunately, there’s YouTube, and I managed to find some classic commercials for the Atari system and games.  Most of them are pretty ridiculous, and a couple even feature some pretty well-known celebrities.  Take a look at 10 of the best after the jump.

Pac-Man

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juH2qHYX9aI

Without a doubt, Pac-Man had to be Atari’s big money maker.

Everything Atari

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_XrIx2eUGc

Just how there are tons of games and accessories for modern consoles, Atari was smart enough to pump out a variety of products and turn a profit.

Pong

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X53eJ8AWQ9Y

In what seems to be a trend, you’ll notice that Atari commercials don’t really show much gameplay.  This was a smart decision.

She is relentless

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuFO6vE5uX4

Cute kid, and this commercial could easily apply to a console today.

Mario Bros.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSte8m4Da6A

Wow.  It’s almost bizarre enough to pass for a Japanese commercial.

Pole Position

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om84Zc4-KcQ

Another one that could have made it onto the Japanese airways.

Pete Rose and Don Knotts make the pitch

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePPJaC0h1RQ

Pete Rose doesn’t do many commercials anymore for obvious reasons.  And it’s not because he’s retired.

E.T., possibly the worst game ever made

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfyDk5iXwi4

Have you ever played E.T.?  It’s not a video game.  I don’t know what it is.  But smart decision again by Atari for showing minimal gameplay.

Phil Hartman wants to play Ice Hockey

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lROb1vWNiig

It’s a Phil Hartman sighting!  I love how he starts screaming toward the end.

Alan Alda calls out typewriters

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkoNKrBHWOo

Suck on it, typewriters.