Remembering the Recreation Boy Advance SP’s edgy advertising

Remembering the Recreation Boy Advance SP’s edgy advertising

The Recreation Boy Advance SP was forward-thinking in a whole lot of methods. It featured a frontlit (later modified to be backlit) display screen that has since develop into commonplace, and a extremely transportable clamshell design that paved the way in which for Nintendo DS. However its advertising right here within the UK now appears greater than a bit extra dated.

Initially launched in Japan 20 years in the past at this time, after which right here in Europe on twenty eighth March, there is no doubting the SP was a sleekly-designed piece of package. The unique Recreation Boy Advance was compact sufficient, however might additionally by no means escape trying like a toy – one thing a child would possibly attempt to conjure a Digimon out of in a very energetic play session.

The SP, alternatively, was supposed to seem a extra grown-up gadget and was subsequently marketed as such. Its colors had been extra muted – its all-silver choice made its hinged design appear to be a small laptop computer. Its angular form was extra business-like (and its dinky shoulder buttons fairly much less ergonomic to carry down). However all of this made sense – proper? Nintendo already had a profitable Recreation Boy Advance for the youthful market. This one was for a special and extra narrowly-targeted demographic – one thing its promoting additionally mirrored.

The Recreation Boy Advance SP – “For Males”.

Like some form of aftershave, Nintendo marketed the SP right here in Europe as a tool “for males”, with an promoting marketing campaign that featured broadly throughout the varied UK lads mags of the time. The hand-held’s most memorable advert featured the boast that taking part in the GBA SP was “the second neatest thing to do at midnight”, highlighting the gadget’s backlit display screen – but additionally that not even Nintendo thought taking part in Mario was nearly as good as intercourse.

The advert included a moody monochrome photograph of a model-like couple posing topless beneath silken sheets. The person is proven holding the SP and taking part in no matter is on its backlit display screen, whereas the lady lays subsequent to him. I nonetheless cannot inform if she was purported to be watching the sport as nicely, or had merely fallen asleep.

Game Boy Advance SP

The Recreation Boy Advance SP’s “Tribal” version.

Nintendo ditched its “for males” branding for the notorious Recreation Boy Advance SP “Tribal” variant, a design which appeared pitched as a clumsy midway home between the SP’s unique promoting – aimed toward sexy younger workplace employees who had Recreation Boys as kids – and a youthful teen demographic who listened to Fall Out Boy. This advert featured one other topless mannequin – albeit in a much less suggestive pose – and highlighted video games similar to F-Zero, Max Payne and Splinter Cell, fairly than Mario or Zelda: Minish Cap.

All of this is not to say the SP was the one time Nintendo was sexy on foremost. The arrival of Nintendo DS and its touch-based display screen gave the corporate a seemingly irrestible oppurtunity to take issues up a notch. Right here within the UK, Nintendo promoting sponsored Channel 4 comedy exhibits with quick adverts that made it appear to be a person was about to get a handjob. The slogan “Contact It” was used right here, a extra grownup model of the “Touching is nice” phrase seen in different promoting. It’s really, really cringeworthy now.

Nintendo UK’s “Contact It” advert.

This advert a minimum of options the lady in a extra lively position and ostensibly taking part in a recreation – what appears to be Metroid Prime: Hunters – albeit from the wrong way up and whereas carrying a latex glove. Whereas designed to be considered after the 9pm watershed, it appears unlikely Nintendo would run an identical advert marketing campaign at this time.

Anyway, completely happy twentieth birthday Recreation Boy Advance SP. You are now lastly out of your teenage years – and never a minute too quickly.