Crispy Gamer

Blur Commercial: Hilarity & Hypocrisy

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So, Blur has been released, and if you have turned on your T.V. at all this past week, you might have noticed Blur’s new commercial.

Before I even begin to talk about the message, I have some plot issues with the commercial itself.  We are treated first to the kart racing world, featuring bright colors, cutesy critters, and puny race cars.  The countdown starts, and the gun goes off!  The race begins! Yay!

Except for Toa- I mean Broccoli Toad.  Despondent, he looks off to the right and is immediately captivated by a darkened city featuring fast action and faster cars, speeding across the streets using an array of explosive power-ups to gain pole position. What the *&#$ are these two locations doing right next to each other?  How does the vegetation of the kart world survive?  I mean, surely the exhaust and rain runoff from Blur city will kill all the happy smiling trees, at least make them lose their leaves as if they were chemo patients.

But forget about that.  Let’s just accept that Blur city is right next to Kart land and all that separates them is a wire fence. Doesn’t mean that seeing the cars there is commonplace for Kart land? So what the (&^* is Broccoli Toad surprised to see them?

Whatever, commercials don’t make sense anyway. BUT, and this is a big but, Blur is kind of being hypocritical here.  The commercial ends with the tagline “Race like a big boy.

How is playing Blur racing like a big boy?  You drive around in actual cars, yes, but to what end?  Blur features a multitude of power-ups that are basically carbon copies of those found in Mario Kart.  And that’s not the first time Blur stole something.

If anything Blur is calling its own gameplay childish.

While game companies have often resorted to attacking others (what “nintendon’t” for example) I am never fond of that type of advertising.  I don’t want to be convinced to not play something else, I want to be convinced to play your game.  Get me excited damn it!

Comments

I think it all hinges on the execution...which is what I'm gathering you meant by "playing with fire". I think if done poorly, mocking the competition can come off as petty and desperate. If, on the other hand, the mocking is done skillfully and cleverly, it can really serve put things into perspective. Does the Blur ad succeed? It does with me, but it's entirely subjective.

The main goal of the ad was to say "Doesn't Mario Kart look like only preteens would play it? Why are you still playing that kiddie stuff when you could be playing an adult game?" That message either connects (as it did for me...though they were probably preaching to the choir) or it falls flat because you either reject the premise ("Mario Kart IS an adult game!") or you are insulted that the mocking even took place ("Hey I like Mario Kart! Screw you Blur!") It's a calculated risk, to be sure.

Ah well, can't please them all.  Don't get me wrong, I thought the commercial was hilarious, but I consider mocking the competition to be playing with fire.

Commercials like this often turn me off to the product it advertises. If they need to attack to competition to be successful, what does that say about the game itself?  How come the merits of the product aren't strong enough to shine on their own?

Personally, I love it when an ad has the balls to out another product for whatever reason. And I actually really dug this ad.

I don't think it was hypocritical in the slightest because it wasn't saying anything about the gameplay. It was talking about the tone. And tonally, Mario Kart is Fisher Price. That's not to say that Blur is better or worse. But it's certainly trying to be more adult. It also does a great job of showing you exactly what to expect. It says "Take the gameplay of Mario Kart and make it "cooler" because you are racing realistic looking cars in a city". The juxtaposition (and subsequent Mario Kart bashing) also effectively cuckolds the Nintendo product in very few lines.

I think I like this ad for all the reasons you don't like it. :)

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