Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Decathlon", 1983,

Now, for a change of pace, we return to an ad for an old video game.

PURE ADRENALINE.

A PLACE YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU'D BE. TEN LINES YOU'RE ACHING TO CROSS, FIRST.

WE'LL OPEN DOORS FOR YOU.

ACTIVISION SOFTWARE IS AVAILABLE FOR MAJOR HOME COMPUTER AND GAME SYSTEMS.

As you'll see, this ad also follows a kind of template employed by Activision in its early days. It's minimalist, especially in its text (practically Imagist like a breath's-length poem by Ezra Pound!), but grabs the viewer's attention with an action photograph capturing the feel the game hopes to evoke.

An interesting slogan from Activision -- an interesting concern that's still chugging along after all these years, after a weird hiccup with the Mediagenic deal. In its infancy, as demonstrated here, it featured plenty of games interpreting real life sports... not a huge market segment today.

The early '80s were such a diverse but mercurial petri dish of consumer electronics that this strategy of proclaiming your game "available for major home computer and game systems" was probably a good way to go -- not committing to any given platform in case the bottom fell out of it next week, not appearing to strategically overlook any rising star, and proclaiming a kinship to the major players of the industry.