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Genesis Does

From Sega Retro


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Genesis Does was an marketing campaign run by Sega of America (and director of marketing Al Nilsen) in conjunction with its then-advertising agency Bozell between September and December 1990[1].

It stands as the earliest example of a Sega-led "attack ad", in which the campaign specifically called out the supposed inadequacies of the rival 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System when compared to the Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis in this region). Previous campaigns had focused on the Genesis' ability to bring "16-bit" arcade games into the home, however this focus was dropped for what would become at least six years of Sega favourably comparing itself to the competition.

The Genesis Does campaign also coincided with a number of celebrity-endorsed Genesis games for the 1990 holiday season, including Arnold Palmer's Tournament Golf, Tommy Lasorda Baseball, Pat Riley Basketball, James 'Buster' Douglas Knockout Boxing, and most importantly to Sega, Joe Montana Football and Michael Jackson's Moonwalker.

This was not the first campaign to poke fun at a rival video game system - Atari, Mattel and Coleco had attacked each other in the early 1980s, but it was the first in the post-Nintendo age, following the North American video game crash of 1983/1984. Rivals NEC would also take aim at the NES with its TurboGrafx-16 system, while Sega would later concentrate its fire on the Super NES from mid-1991 onwards.

The Genesis Does campaign featured a large amount of Genesis games released for the console in 1989 and 1990 (alongside a few delayed to 1991), and true to the campaign's word, virtually none of these titles were released on a Nintendo console. Two exceptions exist; Altered Beast was brought to the Famicom in Japan and After Burner II was also released for Nintendo's console, with Tengen publishing it for the NES in 1989 (though strictly speaking the NES version refers to itself just as After Burner, even though it is not a port of the prequel).

Promotional material

Print advertisements

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SegaVisions US 01.pdfSegaVisions US 01.pdfSegaVisions US 01.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #1: "June/July 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #13: "August 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[2]
  • GamePro (US) #12: "July 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[3]
  • VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (US) #18: "July 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[4]
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GamePlayers US 0208.pdfGamePlayers US 0208.pdfGamePlayers US 0208.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Game Players (US) Vol. 2 No. 8 "August 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • GamePro (US) #13: "August 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[5]
  • VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (US) #19: "August 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[6]
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EGM US 014.pdfEGM US 014.pdfEGM US 014.pdfEGM US 014.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #14: "September 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • GamePro (US) #14: "September 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[7]
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SegaVisions US 02.pdfSegaVisions US 02.pdfSegaVisions US 02.pdfSegaVisions US 02.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #2: "October/November 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #15: "October 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[8]
  • GamePro (US) #15: "October 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[9]
  • VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (US) #21: "October 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[10]
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EGM US 016.pdfEGM US 016.pdfEGM US 016.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #16: "November 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:
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EGM US 017.pdfEGM US 017.pdfEGM US 017.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #17: "December 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • GamePro (US) #17: "December 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[14]
  • GamePro (US) #20: "March 1991" (1991-xx-xx)[15]
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EGM US 018.pdfEGM US 018.pdfEGM US 018.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #18: "January 1991" (199x-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • GamePro (US) #18: "January 1991" (199x-xx-xx)[16]
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EGM US 019.pdfEGM US 019.pdfEGM US 019.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #19: "February 1991" (1991-xx-xx)

Television advertisements

References