NES commercials from around the world

In the 1980s, videogames weren’t ‘cool.’ They were rad. Totally rad. And the raddest games at the time were on the Nintendo Entertainment System, the console that made so many from our generation gamers for life. The collective memory of playing Super Mario Bros and blowing into cartridges has a worldwide reach that crosses cultures and transcends borders. The proof is in the ads. Check out some of our favorite retro Nintendo commercials from around the world for games you grew up playing.

The most Italian Mario commercial ever

Italy – Making out and Mario

Above: A Nintendo isn’t a toy. It’s a tool to help you score. More rare and kickass ads below

Irresistible jingles and catchy tunes in different languages

It worked in the 1950s and it works today. Playing songs with catchy melodies that sing praises for your product help make sure the viewer doesn’t forget that they want - and need - what you’re selling.

USA – Aretha Franklin brings Christmas home

Above: The Queen of Soul sells Nintendo Entertainment Systems for Target

France – Duck Tales

Above: Who would’ve thought that a game about an old duck with lots of money and a cane would be so popular?

Japan – Don Doko Don

Above: A platformer by Taito where players used a mallet to smash enemies

USA – Dr. Mario – Ching Chang Walla Walla Bing Bang

Japan – Dr. Mario – Swimming Song

Above: The only videogame commercial that featured synchronized swimming

USA – Dr. Mario

France – Super Mario Bros 3

Germany – The Simpson’s: Bart’s Nightmare

USA – The Legend of Zelda Rap

Above: The Zelda rap war begins

Japan – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Super NES)

Above: The Zelda rap war comes to an explosive end




  • gcntino - February 12, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    I know these are just NES games, but if you guys do a SNES commercial page, please put up the U.S. commercial for Super Mario RPG! I can't seem to find it anywhere and I haven't seen it since the commercial originally aired when the game came out in the 90's!!:( I just loved that old man in it, lol.
  • Tomsta666 - February 11, 2010 11:17 a.m.

  • OsoMocoso - February 11, 2010 3:37 a.m.

    "Sweet graphics! I'd love to get my hands on that game!" Gets me every time. Sounds like the kind of things you should say while reading a porno magazine. Feel free to change "graphics" and "game" to your word of choice.
  • Cyberninja - February 11, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    the japan ice hockey one is the strangest and the german donkey kong is for gameboy without any metion of nes and at xboxrulez 360 is a piece of crap enjoy your RRoD
  • pikachu2000 - February 10, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    Too bad we don't see this kind of stuff in commericals today. Companies have gotten lazy and sorry these days.
  • Duckmaster - February 10, 2010 6:48 a.m.

    That second Zelda rap is the absolute best. I wonder why they stopped making dances for game commercials. lol
  • Styrophoamicus - February 10, 2010 6:01 a.m.

    Haha I totally remember the Gameboy Witch Doctor commercial. That bit with mario dancing in the fire was just a bit freaky
  • spyguy10 - February 10, 2010 5:44 a.m.

  • lovinmyps3 - February 10, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    80s commercials are weird.
  • RebornKusabi - February 10, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    I seriously love the ****ing hell out of that Japanese "Link to the Past" commercial- it's so absurd, goofy and positively dripping with 90's funk that I can't get enough of it lol
  • nik41507 - February 10, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    Why did the words in all the Japanese ads sound like Patapon?
  • rav3 - February 10, 2010 12:44 a.m.

    Im pretty sure the Kirby ad is not from Spain but Mexico, the guy speaking lacks the spanish accent
  • IAmIke - February 10, 2010 12:36 a.m.

    If you hate Nintendo, don't read Nintendo articles. Simple as that.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - February 10, 2010 12:31 a.m.

    Fuck Nintendo with an aids dick
  • IAmIke - February 10, 2010 12:26 a.m.

    Um, what are you talking about? And who are you talking TO?
  • IAmIke - February 9, 2010 11:30 p.m. Here's the original Fire Emblem one. I found it quite hilarious.

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

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