Celebrity endorsements are an easy way to build hype for a product or brand while giving famous names a quick way to make an extra buck. So where’s the harm? In many cases, there is none. But when a scripted advertisement is produced to look like a real competitive event, it starts to feel a little icky.
Today, we’re checking out the MaxiVision Video Power Challenge, a high-energy and completely fake video game competition that aired in 1992. Three teams play for the top score in games found on the MaxiVision 30-in-1 cartridge, an unlicensed game collection for the NES that also doubled as the grand prize. Their hope was obviously that kids would see the on-screen hype and beg their parents to order one for themselves. The program made well sure to inform viewers that the cartridge could also be purchased (except that it couldn’t, more on that below) for three payments of $49.95 plus shipping – over $150!
This half hour of absurdity is even more comedic knowing that the game was never actually made available. That’s right, MaxiVision went all out what must have been a very expensive advertisement, which did indeed air on TV stations, only to pull the game before its release. This is perhaps due to Nintendo’s no nonsense policy when it comes to unlicensed games, but either way, we get to enjoy the show.