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Thread: Marketing the Genesis: Sega's Advertising 1989-1996

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Default Marketing the Genesis: Sega's Advertising 1989-1996

    Though no one knew it at the time, the key to Sega's success in the mid '90s was its stellar marketing. As the first company to directly challenge Nintendo, the upstart company launched a massive advertising blitz that almost brought the giant to its knees, eventually snatching away its hardware dominance. Interestingly enough, all of it was very close to never happening at all, and the results obtained were far beyond even Sega's own ambitious expectations. Read the full history of the Genesis' promotional history in our latest feature Marketing the Genesis: Sega's Advertising 1989-1996.
    Last edited by Melf; 09-14-2011 at 10:38 PM.

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    This feature made me happy. There are no ads that I remember more from my childhood than the Sega Scream ads. While I think Saturn would have done better if they would have kept them, I think that if they would have brought them back right when Dreamcast came out that would have been even better, as nostalgia would have been evoked in all of us who remembered the Genesis days.

    Oh well, Ke sara sara I guess.

    Thanks for a great feature!

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    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    Good article, but, I have a bit of a qualm with such high praise of the Sega Scream. Yes, it was a good ad, and it was popular, but it didn't help their sales that much. IIRC, Sega's market share was highest in like 1992, when it was around 65%.


    You just can't handle my jawusumness responces.

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    Terrolist Wildside Expert Nazza's Avatar
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    I liked this article, since I'm an Australian who got into the Mega Drive in '95 and missed out on most of the advertising. Also the titlebar says "adversting" :S



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    Loves Lori Bazzil! Raging in the Streets 108 Stars's Avatar
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    That was an interesting article. In Germany we never saw any of those commercials, instead we had catchphrases like "Where´s my Sega?", "They must be insane" or "Mega CD is the key to Sega TV". Noone ever explained what Sega TV was, so there was quite some confusion.
    In Europe the Mega CD did not sell good at all, maybe this would have been different with a descent advertising campain (ahem, and one or two good games...)
    Do you know any place to download these old Sega-commercials? I´d love to see them!

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor
    Yes, it was a good ad, and it was popular, but it didn't help their sales that much. IIRC, Sega's market share was highest in like 1992, when it was around 65%.
    It's one thing to get market share, but keeping it is something else entirely. The scream helped Sega maintain its momentum. 1992 was the year that Sonic really took off, but it was the scream that brought it all together. That's why Sega kept increasing its marketing budget from 1992-1994. I doubt Sonic would have become as big as he did without the advertising.

    The impact the Sega Scream had was huge, and it went on to become more than just another ad campaign. It became part of the popular culture.

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    lost dwitefry's Avatar
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    These big informative features are very good, they're one of the reasons I bookmarked Sega-16 in the first place (I'm only new to these forums, not to the site by the way).

    There was an advertising campaign in Britain in the late seventies for an independent record label called Stiff Records that had an advertising slogan 'If it aint' Stiff it ain't worth a f*ck' I have always considered this the pinnacle of advertising slogans, with only one competitor 'Genesis does what what Nintendon't', though I live in England whree I'm pretty sure it was never used, I know of it from imported magazines and if i'm not mistaken, comic books, it's a class slogan and worthy of a feature on any site, just because it's so ballsy.

    I've never had the pleasure of witnesses a Sega Scream, but I fondly remember Pirate STC, and this is my one complaint about the article, is that it took a very America-centric view and didn't really go global, I'd have liked to have known how Pirate STC and other marketing campaigns effected things for Sega away from the US of A, but other than that the feature was very good, very informative, I like learning things about my obsessions.

    MeX

    *edit note* ha, shouldn't type on message boards while holding an MSN conversation or three, I meant imported magazines, not important (though they weren't unimportant of course)
    Last edited by dwitefry; 08-01-2006 at 05:59 PM.

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Reading this thread, I'm convinced that a second article would be worth doing, on the marketing strategies used in Europe. Hardly anything has been written on the Genesis' life there, and I'd like to change that.

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    Road Rasher XMARLTONX's Avatar
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    Great article! =) I loved how in depth it was, lotsa research, well written, and just a pleasure overall.
    Sega CDX
    Currently Reviewing: Editing/Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
    On Deck: Night Trap
    Next Purchase: Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?

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    Reporting for Duty Death Adder's minion radjago's Avatar
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    Is that chart in the background on the front page link the actual sales chart for the Genesis? Do you have a clean copy of that?

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Haha, nah. I made that for the article.

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    A Sega nutbar. Wildside Expert MegaDrive20XX's Avatar
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    when I first read "A Shot in the Dark" only one thing came to mind...

    Out on the street I'm stalking the night!
    I can hear my heavy breathing!
    Paid for the kill but it doesn't seem right...
    Something there I can't believe in...

    Voices are calling from inside my head!
    I can hear them! I can hear them!
    Vanishing memories of things that were said
    They can't try to hurt me nowwwwwwwwwwww

    BUT A SHOT IN THE DARK!! 1 step away from you!
    Just a shot in the daaaark.... always creeping up on youuuu....ALL RIGHT!

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Other then that, this was very impressive


    You better believe it, buster!

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    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melf
    It's one thing to get market share, but keeping it is something else entirely. The scream helped Sega maintain its momentum. 1992 was the year that Sonic really took off, but it was the scream that brought it all together. That's why Sega kept increasing its marketing budget from 1992-1994. I doubt Sonic would have become as big as he did without the advertising.

    The impact the Sega Scream had was huge, and it went on to become more than just another ad campaign. It became part of the popular culture.
    Point taken.


    You just can't handle my jawusumness responces.

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    Nameless One dougfunnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melf
    Thanks!

    Reading this thread, I'm convinced that a second article would be worth doing, on the marketing strategies used in Europe. Hardly anything has been written on the Genesis' life there, and I'd like to change that.

    I liked the way the article was researched and presented. I never really knew some of those ad campaigns such as Nintendon't. If you could get together something on how it was done in Europe that would be great.
    I had a MD all through high school and have a very vague memory about the Sega Channel being trialed in some selected area here in 1994.
    I could be wrong though!

    It became a bit hard to keep up with the 32x, Saturn (was this 95, 96?) and that, along with the lack of games locally, was influential in basically everyone I knew losing interest in Sega and going for the Playstation or N64.

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    Loves Lori Bazzil! Raging in the Streets 108 Stars's Avatar
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    I had a MD all through high school and have a very vague memory about the Sega Channel being trialed in some selected area here in 1994.
    The Sega Channel was tested in Europe, but it never really started. That´s one of the reason for people being confused about the Sega TV-campain, which had absolutely nothing to do with the Sega Channel at all.

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