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37 Comments

Latest From the Nightmare Factory: Lips Edition

Seriously, how hard is it to market video games without thoroughly creeping everyone out in the process?

With its barrage of inscrutable This is Living vignettes and thumb-penis imagery, Sony Europe has been the undisputed cham-peen of unsettling and obfuscatory video-game advertisement for the past few years, but it looks like we may have a new contender. Microsoft has really been bringing it this holiday season, starting off with those (presumably) unintentionally disturbing ads featuring what appears to be the result of putting a shotgun in your mouth while playing Xbox games. If you don't know what I'm talking about, and you've already given up on that whole feeling-alive-inside thing, here's one of the commercials in question.



Brr! When it turns from her blankly pleasant expression to reveal her hollowed-out head full of tiny video-game people, I can't help but think there's a subtext here about being lobotomized by your Xbox. Keeping up the pace, there's a new ad for Microsoft's upcoming karaoke game Lips that makes you wonder what left-field ad agency pitch Microsoft might not green-light.

  


It's a memorable spot, so I guess it's effective, though only if Microsoft's desire was to instill a deep irrational fear of ambulatory mouths, tiny finger-feet, A-Ha, parties, and ever going to sleep again.
37 Comments
Posted by Ryan

With its barrage of inscrutable This is Living vignettes and thumb-penis imagery, Sony Europe has been the undisputed cham-peen of unsettling and obfuscatory video-game advertisement for the past few years, but it looks like we may have a new contender. Microsoft has really been bringing it this holiday season, starting off with those (presumably) unintentionally disturbing ads featuring what appears to be the result of putting a shotgun in your mouth while playing Xbox games. If you don't know what I'm talking about, and you've already given up on that whole feeling-alive-inside thing, here's one of the commercials in question.



Brr! When it turns from her blankly pleasant expression to reveal her hollowed-out head full of tiny video-game people, I can't help but think there's a subtext here about being lobotomized by your Xbox. Keeping up the pace, there's a new ad for Microsoft's upcoming karaoke game Lips that makes you wonder what left-field ad agency pitch Microsoft might not green-light.

  


It's a memorable spot, so I guess it's effective, though only if Microsoft's desire was to instill a deep irrational fear of ambulatory mouths, tiny finger-feet, A-Ha, parties, and ever going to sleep again.
Staff
Posted by mrsmiley

Don't watch this if you have a deep-rooted fear of Stephen Tyler. O_o

Posted by Andre

The new ads do kinda suck, but I must say the PS3 ads are *much* worse. These at least, yanno, promote something.

Posted by thomasvdh

Love the lips ad. Weird, but really, really effective.

Posted by Milkman

Heh, I kinda like this Lips one. I don't think they could have chose a better song to promote the game with.

Posted by yellownumber5

AARGGGHHH.... did you have to post the thumb penis.  hmmm do you think the disembodied mouth is a thumb-sucker?  AARRRRRGGGHHH... ugly dirty thoughts.... why.... why did you post this!?!?!

Posted by Destroyeron

I am most definitely more stupid than I was 5 minutes ago.

Edited by Synister_Gamer

The Rock Band 2 one is just bad, but the Lips one is so awesome that I might just have to buy the game.

Posted by jangofett88

Microsoft should have put out that ad with everybody doing handgun motions. Last year's PS3 ad with the Saliva song was probably the coolest console ad so far this generation.

Posted by Synister_Gamer

^^^
That was an awesome ad :D

Posted by AttackedCamo

I actually liked the 2nd ad...Now that ad has me humming "Take On Me".

Posted by Gamblor

I thought both were brilliant. I always get lobotomized by good games and it would be really cool to have a little lip-dude walking around on my shoulder singing me songs.

Posted by marbig

HEY! That mouth has feet!

Posted by CoursinLarry

I don't know.  I think the Lips ad is pretty great.  It's not as creepy as people claim it is.  (I guess it's funnier to call it creepy than to compliment it.) 

I don't see it as any creepier than, say, the Pillsbury Dough-Boy or the Hamburger Helper hand thing. 

In fact, I find that little mouth guy positively adorable.

Posted by Manatassi

HeHe I thought the little lips guy was cute in a kermit the frog kinda sense. 

Edited by Death_Burnout

Yeah those xbox ad's on tv kinda piss me off, no real reason, they just do!

And man, do you know where i can get a A-Ha singing mouth? that would be awesome.

Man that reminds me of the time where You and Homer sang Take On Me on your former gig. man that was comedy. In Fact, whenever that song is played i automatically replace the real tuning with yours!

Edited by ahoodedfigure

Don't make the lips angry...  just pretend you're OK with it when its cold, soft feet pad their way up your arm.  No sudden movements.  If it's singing a song, go along with it.  Just tell yourself: the song will end, the song will end.

Whatever you do, no sudden movements.  No harsh words, no loudness unless the song calls for it.

If you startle it, your only hope is to run.  If you're forced to run do NOT look back, just keep moving until you can vault over something that will take a while for it to negotiate.  Keep moving, and maybe, eventually, it will just start singing again and forget about you.

If it bites you...   If it bites you...  We all have to perform according to our personal philosophies.  I am not saying that ending your life is required, but please, if you choose to live through the hours of agony that follow, when the bumps begin to rise on your face and abdomen that you will put yourself in a place where the lips that burst from your writhing body will not be able to climb with their cold, soft feet.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Those ads are scary. very scary. Keep the CG lips with feet away!

Edited by Nintendude

Damn, I was so waiting to see the mouth thingy getting crushed by something. Not a bad ad despite the anticlimatic ending, heh.

Posted by ElectricHaggis

I thought the moth was going to be run over.  That was a surprisingly awesome advert.

Posted by SubTact

The Rock Band 2 ad definitely has an air of creepiness about it.  The Lips ad not so much, but that may be due to the fact that the dominating thought in my head is "It's not as bad as the Lips' print ad campaign".  I've only seen the ad in November's issue of EGM, but I'm assuming the same ad was used in a gang of other non-gaming publications, and it's brutal.

Still, I think the PS3 launch TV ads hold onto the crown for creepy video game advertisement.  The Rock Band 2 one is really weird and no doubt there's probably 100s of more effective ways to market it, but at least there's some sort of context in the commercial connecting it to games, the PS3 commercials are just abstract with the branding tact on.

But in general, I am of the opinion that the advertisement industry douche bags who are constantly patting each other on the back and crying out "Genius!" for the ideas that turn into dumb commercials like these.  For every great and entertaining commercial, there are many more that only the ad agency and marketing people can love.

Posted by PJ

That was no way near as bad as that freak ass baby PS3 ad. The Lips ad was kinda awesome though the RB2 ad was freaky aswell

Posted by drik

Can`t get that take on me crap out of my head now... DAMN IT.

Posted by Quadrifoglio

That Lips ad is pretty funny.

Posted by JediAutobot

The feeling I got from the Lips commercial was like it was some kind of movie, the lips stalking someone, coming ever and ever closer, not stopping in it's hunt, but steadily getting closer.  Brrr, scary.

Posted by Raydanger

Actually, the lips were pretty cool. Would be pretty cool to have a lips dude to hang out with, harmonize with, and feed him Cheetos! Or human fingers!

Posted by Keeng

Yeah I dunno where you got scary from. That's a pretty sweet commercial. If I was crazy enough I would totally buy a 360 and that game.

Posted by darkjester74

The Rock Band ad was awful.  That lady's expression, more than the hollow noggin, creeped me out.  Also, did the actual product name show up anywhere or did I just miss it?  What kind of product ad DOESNT display the products name?!?!?

The Lips one was actually pretty funny.  Reminded me of those Twizzlers commercials.

Posted by Scooper

The reason the woman's expression looks wierd is because it's computer generated.

Posted by DrRandle

Great now I'm going to have A-Ha stuck in my head all day. Allow me to add to it, here's the literal version of the song brought to you by College Humor: http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1832838

Posted by addictedtopinescent

The Lips ad is awesome, it's great and actually makes me wanna play Lips, and that mouth dude is great (probably be drawing it on my school material all the time for the next month.) 

Posted by HTTenrai

Hey, at least the ad doesn't have the line "Are you ready to really blow?" I cite:

Uh, poor choice of words on many, many levels...?
Posted by spilledmilkfactory

that lips ad is effing creepy. i kinda like the rock band commercial though.

Edited by MrKlorox

That commercial for LIPS was a thousand times less creepy than that ugly tone-deaf  Duffy chick playing the game at the press conference.

And those Xbox commercials only annoy me when they're playing a regular controller game. When you're playing a game like that, you don't imagine yourself as a dude holding a controller... unlike the instrument games.

Posted by idiotic_genius1

That was fucking retarded!

Posted by TwoOneFive

lips is so lame, try to be all clever and unique, almost as bad as ZUNE lol

o well it should be a hit. i have fun at my sisters parties she always pulls out singstar on ps3 and we record stuff its fun
Posted by Link

If a pair of lips was walking up to my face the first thing I would do would be to faint.