September 19, 2008

Standoff: XBox 360 advert

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I’m fascinated by this advert for the XBox 360:-

It was never aired, and it’s easy to see why (though it’s had a phenomenal afterlife on Youtube, with millions of views). It’s odd to watch, because it’s at once funny and clever, yet slightly disturbing. Was there ever a time when it could have been shown on TV? Perhaps in the early eighties, when the fashion for violent cop shows on TV was at its height?

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  1. Mathew Mannion

    I remember seeing this the first time around when it was banned (though I may be right in thinking it was aired a few times on TV or in the cinema?), but I wonder if this was really any different in terms of glamourising violence from the PS3 advert? At the end of the day, they’re just recreating a game we all played as kids.

    19 Sep 2008, 10:13

  2. Leighton Joskey

    I think my favourite part must be the gratuitous use of a motor bike wheelie.


    19 Sep 2008, 11:11

  3. John Dale

    Peter Moore says :-

    I showed it one morning to the head of corporate marketing at Microsoft and she said, ‘over my dead body will you ever run this spot on TV’. I went ballistic – it’s cops and robbers, it’s cowboys and Indians, it’s what we did as kids! But we never ran it…

    19 Sep 2008, 11:16

  4. John Dale

    I also wonder whether it would have made a difference if they’d started the jaunty music earlier in the ad, or even had it running all the way through from the start.

    19 Sep 2008, 12:03

  5. Mike Willis

    The shoot people with finger guns thing was shown on TV, either shortly before or after the year 2000, as part of the show Spaced. It was used several times in one episode, including:
    (Video linked because I can’t figure out how to embed it in a comment.)
    But I guess there are different rules about what can be shown in a TV show and what can be shown in an advert aired in a break during a TV show.

    21 Sep 2008, 17:56

  6. milo

    Great video, it’s a shame that some of the most challenging and off wall adverts never make it to the mainstream audience. I think you should be able to show any commercial after the 9pm watershed.

    30 Sep 2008, 19:51

  7. I’m pretty sure I saw it in the cinema because I’ve seen it before and I don’t recall seeing it on youtube :S.

    03 Oct 2008, 21:08

  8. Paul

    You say the 80’s. Cop shows especially UK ones like the Sweeney were more violent in the 70’s than anything aired at prime time in the 80’s. I remember the first series of Minder (1979) an offshoot of the Sweeney. The following series had to be toned down because it was thought to be too violent for the Nancy 80’s. So I think adverts like the Xbox one had more of a chance before the 80’s.

    24 Oct 2008, 15:54

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