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Do me a favour... Plug me into a Sega

From Sega Retro

Virgin Mastertronic began a new advertising campaign in the autumn of 1989[1], using "bored" televisions which desired to be hooked up to Sega Master Systems ("do me a favour, plug me into a Sega"). For much of Western Europe, this was the first time a joined up Sega marketing campaign could be seen across television and print advertising.

On TV, the concept was simple - when a Master System advertisement showed up, it would first appear as if the channel had dropped back to a test card (which were still in widespread use at the time), before the realisation kicked in that it was a Master System being advertised. Curiously the design was based on a (cropped) version of the SMPTE colour bars which are more synonymous with the NTSC TV standard, rather than the PAL and SECAM sets used across Europe (the UK, for example, was more accustomed to Test Card F (BBC1, BBC2) or ETP-1 (Channel 4 (and ITV before all of its regions became a 24-hour channels in 1988))).

On the 15th of October, 1990, Virgin Mastertronic launched five new 20-second advertisements in the UK, France (in France commercials began to be aired on TF1, A2, France 3, France 5, and M6 television channels on wednesdays 3, 10, and 17 October 1990, with thirteen commercial spots, scheduled to be transmitted in each of the aforementioned days. A telephone number featured in the end of each commercial would provide viewers which called that number first, a chance to instantly win one of five hundred Master System consoles, offered as prize with a free game included, just having to provide their personal details in order to win such prize)[2], Germany and Spain, featuring a "more mature" computer generated talking television[1] referred internally (among other names) as "Sega Man" and "Colour Bar Face"[3]. The advertisements were created by London-based advertising agency Still Price Lintas, TV production company Altered Image and animation company Rushes[3].

Rushes used the Canadian animation package, Alias II (priced at roughly £40,000[1]) running on £25,000 Silicon Graphics workstations[1]. The animations were then put through a real time video editing "Harry" system developed by Quantel, with an estimated running cost of £500 per hour[1]. The voiceover was "treated electronically" by putting it through a Synclavier[3].

A promotional single in the UK, performed by competition winners "MC Mick and Steve" was distributed as Do Me a Favour... Master Mix '90.

The campaign was dropped in 1991 when Virgin Mastertronic appointed WCRS as its advertising agency, being replaced with the "To be this good takes Sega" campaignMore...[4].

Translations

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (UK) Do me a favour... Plug me into a Sega Do me a favour... Plug me into a Sega
Spanish Hazme un favor, conéctame a un Sega Do me a favor, connect me to a Sega

Magazine articles

Main article: Do me a favour... Plug me into a Sega/Magazine articles.

Television advertisements

Print advertisements

StheSegaMagazine UK 01.pdf

PDF
Print advert in S: The Sega Magazine (UK) #1: "October 1989" (1989-xx-xx)

CVG UK 096.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #96: "November 1989" (1989-10-16)
also published in:
  • ACE (UK) #26: "November 1989" (1989-xx-xx)[5]

StheSegaMagazine UK 03.pdf

PDF
Print advert in S: The Sega Magazine (UK) #3: "February 1990" (19xx-xx-xx)

CVG UK 100.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #100: "March 1990" (1990-02-16)

CVG UK 101.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #101: "April 1990" (1990-03-16)
also published in:
  • ACE (UK) #32: "May 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[6]

StheSegaMagazine UK 06.pdf

PDF
Print advert in S: The Sega Magazine (UK) #6: "May 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:

SegaPower UK 13.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Sega Power (UK) #13: "December 1990" (1990-xx-xx)

CVG UK 111.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #111: "February 1991" (1991-01-16)

CVG UK 113.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #113: "April 1991" (1991-03-16)
also published in:
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #114: "May 1991" (1991-04-14)[9]

Photo gallery

References