The Sunday Drive with the Giant Hand
I was watching some Atari commercials just to see if there’s any that are good enough to be reviewed on this blog. There were plenty to choose from off of youtube, though the only one that made me laugh the most was this commercial which advertises the game “Pole Position”. Naming this article was difficult, I was going to title it “Family and the Giant Hand” or “Family and the Formula Race Cars”. So I settled with “Sunday Drive with the Giant Hand” as the final title. After finalising my decision on the title, I’ll now talk about the commercial.
The commercial opens with a compact car driving by when all of a sudden we hear a loud “HEEEYYY!” coming out of nowhere. We then see the inside of the car with the side window lower down to see that it’s occupants is a family of four with the dad driving the car. He answers the unseen narrator causualy by saying “Yes?” but doesn’t seem surprised or startled to hear an obnoxious voice out of no where. I guess it’s normal for him to hear loud outbursts from unseen narrators everyday. So after he acknowledges the narrator’s presence, the narrator replies “You look like a real jerk!” Which the dad says in a response “Well I am a corporate executive!” and his wife says “He stops exciting things from happening”. Probably the most unlikely exchange of words. If I was the driver I’d tell the announcer “Yeah, well who’s the one going around mocking random drivers just for the way they look?” A much more likely response than hearing what his occupation is, or does he get that a lot while working at the office? Hinting how his wife mentions he stops exciting things from happening. So the narrator asks the corporate executive what he’s doing. The executive, who for some reason isn’t annoyed by the voice says this in response: “Well Muffy, Puffy, Biff Jr., & I are going for a Sunday Drive”. Remember back when gas wasn’t expensive and people could drive just for the fun of it rather than just for errands. Also do you notice how the kids are dressed like the mom and dad? I know this is for mockery use for the fact that this is a stereotype average family, but it’s a stereotype that seems worn out in todays standards. I guess the executive’s name is Biff if his son is Biff Jr., but why is the mom and daughter named Muffy & Puffy? I had to re watch this commercial just to be sure. So after the rude spokes person heard what Biff’s plans are he immediately tells him “Oh no you aint!”, “You’re gonna play POLE POSITION!” We finally see a reaction from Biff as being called a jerk is fine with him, but not cool if he’s threaten to play an Atari 5200 game. So Biff and his family hear a noise from behind them which they discover is a speeding formula powered race car which drives right past them. The racer is probably like “Eat my dust you executive jerk!” as he passes by the family car. They see the racer come by and gone before they even realize what the heck just happen. Only to see a hand coming down, which the family looks up and we all of a sudden see that the hand belongs to a giant! It grabs the car high into the air. It shakes the vehicle around and forces the family to fall right out from heaven knows how high up they are. The giant hand then drops the car which explodes once it hits the asfault.
You know that’s really hilarious there, imagine just minding your own business in your car with your family and all of a sudden you get yelled at by a loud voice and then see a giant hand grab your vehicle. Was it the hand of a giant? Collosol Man? that rude narrator who was also a giant, or God? Which ever case, it’s still random and funny at the same time. So at first it appears the family is about to do some cement diving, but thankfully we won’t be needing the ambulance today to pick up their body parts cause all four of them fell right into their own formula race car, some good accuracy from that hand there. Anyways the family finds themselves in a race track and since they are in moving vehicles they have no choice but to drive around the course. I’m guessing the formula cars are remote control cause how can the car be driving without a driver? It’s a question I won’t go into, so you figure that one out for yourself. So we see the family racing while we also see clips of the game itself. Along with footage of formula cars exploding and piercing a hole through a billboard. All the type of stuff that you love to see in a race. The unseen narrator appears to be watching it from some where cause we hear him as a peanut gallery for the rest of the commercial. I bet he’s having more fun than they are cause he’s not driving a formula car like the family is. So towards the end the whole family got their cars wrecked along with a close up of the game and the Atari 5200 system with the narrator saying the following “Pole Position from Atari, it’ll bust your craft, and leave skin marks on your soul”. We then see what became of the family, as they are all beaten up and mangled with car parts frantic and look like each of them will collapse at any moment. Looks like a year’s worth of visit to Dr. Marvin Morone’s Family Psychitract’s.
Pole Position was originally released as an arcade back in 1982 by Namco. It was re-released for the Atari system sometime after that along with a sequel that was for the Atari 7800. Pole Pole Position was the most successful arcade racing game of the 80’s. Predating the successor racing series such as Cruise ‘n USA & RUSH. Pole Position did so well that is spawn off a cartoon series under the same name. At first I didn’t know if I ever seen it before but after seeing the main characters cars having a talking A.I. I immediately remember it. Funny I remember the bit about the cars having A.I.’s yet I didn’t remember it being a video game adaptation cartoon. To think it predates todays car models which do have computer chip technology. How amazing something that’s consider science fiction is now a reality. Anyways I think that’s all there is to say about this commercial. It was funny and I would love to talk about the infamous atari 5200 commercials. But if I want to do those, I’ll need to do the Atari 2600 commercials first. Anyways enjoy the commercial below.
Posted on August 16, 2012, in Advertise of the Week and tagged 1980s, atari 5200, car, corprate executive, family, formula race car, giant hand, pole position, race. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.