We've been brainwashed!
Marketers are a crafty bunch. No matter the product, it's their job to make you want it, need it, feel like you'd give anything to have it. And for proof of how effective marketing can be, look no further than the gaming industry. For decades, we've been subjected to hundreds of catchphrases, jingles, and slogans designed specifically to make us buy games and the consoles that play them.
It's worse--more insidious--than those ridiculous, made-up marketing terms that are actually pertinent to gameplay. These are slogans designed with a sole purpose: plant the seed of brand loyalty in our brains, by popping up again and again on TV until we've unknowingly committed them to memory. And even if we like the product in question, it's disturbing how closely these marketing slogans have stuck with us after so many years. See if these unforgettable phrases don't immediately call back memories of advertising...
EA Sports: It's in the game
Given how sassy the last bit is, I wouldn't be surprised if this unforgettable sound bite was snipped down from "It's in the game, you stupid idiot." Andrew Anthony, the voice actor who delivered EA's most timeless slogan, actually made a genuinely funny tutorial about how to properly cite EA Sports (which, for some strange reason, gets oddly racist halfway through).
EA Games: Challenge everything
Having a child whisper the second half of this mostly meaningless slogan was a stroke of genius on EA's part. It's like some clandestine secret is being shared with us, even though "Challenge everything" sounds like a philosophy major's dissertation and not EA's current or former stance on designing games.
Gotta catch 'em all!
Nowhere in the original Pokemon games does anyone actually exclaim "Gotta catch 'em all!" Nope--this is just a marketing catchphrase engineered to stick in your mind and fuel your quest for pocket monsters (and the endless wave of merchandise they inspire). With this one line slapped underneath the title on the box art of the original Game Boy games, along with the anime theme song that chanted it in its chorus, Nintendo birthed a catchphrase that we'll probably still remember on our deathbeds.
Wii would like to play
Besides showcasing Nintendo's oh-so-clever wordplay on the word "we," this phrase also has the power to instantly trigger the sound of an upbeat drums-and-koto rhythm playing in my mind. The commercials featuring this slogan also indicate that if two Japanese businessmen show up to your door with a briefcase containing a video game console, you are required by law to let them in, play their games, and enjoy yourself immensely.
Now you're playing with power.
This slogan from an NES ad is legitimately more memorable than the existence of R.O.B. the robot. It also inspired two less memorable slogans: "Now you're playing with power; SUPER POWER!" for the SNES and "Now you're playing with power; PORTABLE POWER!" for the Game Boy. Neither slogan comes close to topping the snappiness of the original.
Power to the players
Or, more accurately, "Exploiting players to make insane profits off the ever-dwindling second-hand market." Funnily enough, this same slogan was recently co-opted by the popular free-to-play MMO Runescape, of all things.
The way it's meant to be played (NVIDIA)
Even if you have no idea that you've read this sentence hundreds of times, one look at the above logo should jog your memory. Also, the same loud whispering that worked for EA Games does wonders for Nvidia, easily making up for the fact that the meat of this slogan is never spoken aloud (in ads or daily life).
One of Sony's many taglines for promoting the PlayStation 3 was also what David Cage begged people to do when he released his latest movie-game. ZING!
Genesis does what NintenDON'T.
Sick burn, Sega. Like smear campaigns between politicians, '90s console advertisers seemed obsessed with one-upping each other with snippy remarks aimed at undermining their rivals. Nevermind the fact that this is grammatically erroneous; the correct phrasing should be "Nintendoesn't."
Not the sing-song one that intros so many Genesis/Mega Drive games; this is the inflection reserved strictly for TV commercials. Also known as the "Sega scream," the less-than-a-second-long outcry was the perfect capper for Sega Genesis commercials.
Play it loud
This slogan and the commercial it appeared in were totally IN YOUR FACE. Just look at how those stereotypically rebellious '90s cool kids are enjoying Nintendo products to the extreme! This also marked the only time Nintendo would ever consider putting Mario with a gold chain and earring, an Andrew W.K. doppelganger, and Butthole Surfers' "Who Was in My Room Last Night?" (complete with a bleeped "hell") all in the same television commercial. Oh, and telling people to "Give the world a wedgie," whatever that means.
You are the controller.
Am I, Microsoft? Because half the time it feels like the Kinect doesn't know what I'm doing, or if I'm there at all.
Better with Kinect
Again, this seems like something that no one outside of a PR or marketing firm has ever said aloud and actually meant.
Get N or get out
Nintendo 64: the sole determining factor of whether or not you'll be ostracized by society!
Live in your world. Play in ours.
Of all the slogans to come out of gaming, this one might be the most cleverly subtle. It's a simple invitation to enjoy the escapism games offer, nothing more. Oh, and the use of the DualShock face buttons as letters is a great touch.
Touching is good.
Here's another instance of Nintendo getting uncharacteristically saucy with its slogan, this time choosing to focus on sexual innuendo rather than '90s teenage angst. To really drive the erotic interpretation of this slogan home, the initial teaser ad even features a sultry female voice coaxing you into making physical contact with the screen. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to take a cold shower.
PSP. Hells yeah.
This makes me think "The water's just fine!" and not "I should go buy an Xbox 360."
WELCO METOT HENEX TLEVEL
If you ask me, it's a miracle that anyone could actually decipher what this meant. Especially when viewed for a split-second of screentime in its original form:
They got us good
Do you vividly recall hearing all of these marketing slogans? Or did some of them catch you completely by surprise? Tell us all about it in the comments below! And while you're at it, maybe you can predict what the next timeless slogan might be.
And if you're looking for more, check out The 100 worst games of all time and 13 random minor characters that deserve an explanation.