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Advertising / It's Thinking

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The inner workings of a Dreamcast - a giant brain and loads and loads of characters.

After the marketing failure of the Sega Saturn in America, Sega decided that they should go with a different approach to advertising. It's Thinking is an American ad campaign animated by Pacific Data Images for the Sega Dreamcast which focused around video game characters and their lives inside of the console. They included events such as Sonic being a DJ, football players hanging out at a Mexican restaurant, B.D. Joe being scolded by Selene Strike for his reckless driving, and more. The ad campaign ran from 1999 to 2000.

This ad campaign provides examples of the following:

  • Art Shift: As the models are lifted straight from the original games, they all have different styles and more noticeably, vary in terms of poly count, making some characters look blockier than others.
    • This also occurs in the NFL 2K commercial, with Jim McMahon's comments about the old days shown with footage of Genesis football games.
  • Continuity Nod: Some of the later ads, including the SegaNet launch ad, brought back the "SEGA!" scream from the Genesis/Saturn days.
  • Eye Scream: In the launch ad (the one with "Steve from Hackensack"), Sonic runs by and jumps on a House of the Dead zombie, causing its eye to fall out.
  • Fingerless Hands: Sonic has mitten hands just like in Sonic Adventure.
    Gary Payton: Man, stay off the lightspeed!
    Sonic: My bad. [holds up his hands, he has no fingers except for thumbs]
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Quite a few, such as Beat holding a microphone in the SegaNet commercial, Eggman at one of the tables in the NFL 2K commercial, a certain number appearing on the DMV in the Crazy Taxi commercial, etc.
  • Ghost in the Machine: Ads depicted the Dreamcast as being full of the characters from its' games, populating thousands of different "levels", with a brain with wires coming out of it floating over the bottom of the interior.
  • Massively Multiplayer Crossover: The ads depict the various first/second-party characters and some third-party characters interacting with each other inside a Dreamcast.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: B.D. Joe at the end of the Crazy Taxi ad.
    B.D. Joe: I made some serious game that day!
    [Everyone grabs him and starts attacking him as the camera quickly zooms out]
  • Number of the Beast: The DMV in the Crazy Taxi ad has this on it.
  • Pun: In the Space Channel 5 ad, Ulala zaps an alien who gets on stage. She then remarks, "Bad dancing. It's a killer!"
  • Running Gag: In The Thief, a football player starts flirting with Sarah from Virtua Fighter instead of catching Sonic. In the launch ad, Afro Thunder tries hitting on Sarah.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: In the NBA 2K ad, after the "Game and system sold separately" text, it also reads, "and they don't learn from each other, hello."
  • The Voiceless: Rayman in the NFL 2K commercial. Justified since he can only speak gibberish in the Dreamcast version of Rayman 2: The Great Escape.
  • Your Mom: In the NHL 2K commercial, one of the Red Wings tells the player, "Your mommy is so ugly that when she was born, the doctor slapped her mommy!" in a post-match brag call.