Luigi & the Sewer Critters
I’ve previously said I’d do an article on an advertisement that advertises a video game and no product placement at all. So I decided to do one that advertises the Atari version of Mario Bros., not “Super” Mario Bros. but the predeccor that was made two years before the more popular one. Similar to how some people get Metal Gear & Metal Gear Solid mixed up. Only difference is Metal Gear orignal was for the MSX and uses 8-bit graphics. While Metal Gear Solid was for PS1 and uses polygonic graphics and voice acting. Mario Bros. isn’t that bad of a game to play it’s just it’s been less parodied in multimedia compared to the parodies Super Mario Bros. receive. Despite how Super Mario Bros. has the elements that were borrowed from Mario Bros., except in this game there’s fewer types of enemies and you’re in a sewer compared to multiple locations and dozens of enemies. Anyways despite some claims Mario Bros. was the actual first appearance of Luigi not Super Mario Bros. Also the first game to feature Mario as a plumber and not a carpenter as depicted in Donkey Kong.
Now on with the commercial, we start with a catching melody played throughout the whole commercial. Luigi is seen doing some plumbing in a sewer by first opening up a hatch to find out what caused the clog up in the pipe. Only to discover it was a giant turtle causing the clog up, and if that’s not enough Luigi encounters giant crabs that are bigger than the biggest crab in the world and giant fireflies. Luigi is spooked by the sight of these creatures which all of them try to attack but keep fleeing from his ultimate doom. When all of the creatures gang up on him he shouts out “MAAWEEO WHERE AAARE YOU!?!”. We then see footage of the game itself with the announcer telling the viewers about the game and stating that the game is more fun if you have a friend along as the second player. Which then shows Luigi still having trouble escaping the wrath of the creatures with no Mario in sight. The commercial ends with a pair of giant crab claws holding two different art boxes of the game. We last see Luigi holding up a white flag in hope it’ll work, assuming it did as he notices the creatures cease their attack so he goes back to his plumbing.
My comments on this commercial, it was highly entertaining and represent just a fraction of how video game commercials had gimmicks like these back in the 80s. One thing i should point out is that this was made back when advertisement film crews aren’t given any blueprints on how the characters of the game should look like. This is a common thing to notice back then as there are other video game commercials that have characters that look nothing like they do in the game(which I’ll do more articles on those later on). Note how Luigi in this commercial looks nothing like he does in the video games. Course just look at the artwork yourself and notice how Luigi wears green overalls/hat and a red shirt rather than blue overalls and green shirt/hat like today. To me he looks like Captain Lou Albano as Mario, but also looks like someone who doesn’t know who Luigi is, but decided to look like an Italian New Yorker Plumber for the commercial. Not to mention the sewer set used in this commercial looks similar to the Mario Bros. apartment basement office/home in the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. As in the live action segments that shows Danny Wells as Luigi & Lou Albano(may he rest in peace) as Mario having misadventures at their home in Brooklyn where their basement office is the only location in these segments and the cheap special effects are interesting mixed with a new celebrity in almost every episode. The puppet critters in this commercial do resemble the ones from the game, i give them credit for that as they’re the only enemies you’ll find in the game. The puppets are similar to the Ratagator who sometimes appears on the Super Show series along with other unusual mutants or monsters like Edison who works out the electricity for the Mario Bros. or is sometimes playing chess with Luigi.
Never the less, this is a true gem for its time, and advertises one of the last Mario related games that started off as an arcade game then released as a cartridge game. Years later the idea of this game would be used for “Mario Clash” released for the short-lived Virtual Boy system. While the atmosphere of the game would re-surface in “Super Smash Bros. Brawl”. In closing, I like to present to you the very commercial itself for all of you to witness for yourselves. If you remember seeing this on TV as a kid, then prepare to revisit memory lane.
Posted on February 1, 2012, in Advertise of the Week and tagged 1980s, captain lou albano, crabs, mario bros., plumber, sewer, super mario bros., super mario bros. super show, turtles, video game. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.