Pepsiman: Great Advergame, or Greatest Advergame?
I expressed some disbelief at the classification of “advergames” about a month ago, but truth be told, it was more about how ridiculous I think the word sounds than any horror at the notion of games created specifically for marketing purposes. After all, I can understand the perverse desire to play a game starring the creepy Burger King mascot, just to see how surreal the whole experience would be. (I’ll never understand why someone thought a game based on the Domino’s Noid would work, though…)
However, it wasn’t until I was coming up with a list of Let’s Plays done in video format for a blog post that I recalled that I had already witnessed the height of all advergames. Pepsiman.
Now, I know you probably have several questions. Who is Pepsiman? Why on Earth was there a video game made about him? And, most importantly, why have I not played this already?
Well, to answer the first question, Pepsiman was Pepsi’s mascot in Japan during the mid-90s. His distinguishing characteristics were that he ran a lot, wore a ridiculous suit, and could shoot Pepsi at people through his mouth. Oh, and whenever he showed up somewhere, he was accompanied by some people screeching “PEPSIMAAAAAAN” from somewhere off screen.
Yes, I too feel the bitter sting at being deprived of this marketing genius. But, no worries! Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Youtube community in archiving all media in existence, we can enjoy the magic of Pepsiman together.
Of course, a character that spends most of his time running and getting injured actually lends himself quite well to starring in a video game. Therefore, I suppose it’s not too surprising that Pepsiman was released for PlayStation in Japan.
It has everything I could ever have hoped for in a game starring the mascot for a can of soda. Overweight Westerners. Screen transitions made up of fizzy Pepsi. The Pepsiman theme song played relentlessly for the entirety of the game. More screeching.
It is the exact style of game that requires a video LP made of it. There’s no way mere screenshots could do this thing justice. Thankfully, Maxwell Adams and his crew from the Something Awful forums have us covered.
And if you’re not drinking a Pepsi while watching, you’re doing it wrong.