by Adam King

Hello there. This month in the vault, I thought I'd do something different. Instead of doing videogame commercials (stay with me), I choose to review two commercials that involve videogames. You're probably thinking, "Huh?" These two commercials aren't from game companies, but they do feature games.

Also for the first time, I actually got the links to where you can see the commercials yourself.

7-Up (featuring Pac-Man)
This commercial is yet another testament to how far Pac-Man fever spread in the early 1980s. This is a commercial for 7-Up that takes place in a Pac-Man arcade machine. Here we see a red Pac-Man chasing ghosts around a green maze. Plus, instead of power pellets, Pac-Man guzzles bottles of 7-Up for an energy boost. Note that this ad is done with a tune that almost sounds like the 80's hit "Bette Davis Eyes."

"Play to win. You never lose when 7-Up is the one you choose.
It's a natural kind of taste. Nothing else comes near.
7-Up cools your thirst. 7-Up, the difference is clear.
Does what only it can do. Nothing else comes near.
It's a clean refreshing taste. 7-Up, the difference is clear.
7-Up cools you. 7-Up suits you. 7-Up, the difference is clear."

What do you get if you cross 7-Up with Pac-Man

"Gee, the maze sure looks different today."

Is someone taking a bubble bath?

"Who needs power pellets. I got 7-Up."

The player is enjoying a bottle with Pacy.

Maybe if everyone drank 7-Up...

It sure is.

Special thanks go to Hans Reutter of Cyberroach for preserving this ad. You can find the commercial at Look in the Atari section.

McDonalds (featuring Atari)
My next commercial comes from the fast food world. In this spot, we dig up an old promotion Atari had with McDonalds. In the early 80s Atari and McDonalds had a contest where someone could win some neato prizes. It was a standard "scratch the card to win" contest where if you uncover the right spots you win. Odd thing is, when the people in the ad scratch the cards, arcade scenes fly out of them. That never happened to me.

Thanks to Curt Vendel at the Atari Historical Society for letting me post the screenshots of the ad. You can find this commercial (as well as many others) at

"Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Star Raiders. The thrills of Atari are all at McDonalds. You can win Atari home video and computer prizes and McDonalds food. Purchase of Chicken McNuggets required to redeem food prizes. Just scratch the card and match two dots without getting zapped. Sometimes you win, sometimes.. (centipede sound). Because every card can be a winner. Taste the thrill of Atari. At McDonalds."

This girl's about to get a different kind of Happy Meal.

This isn't a scratch 'n' sniff card.

"Hey. Flying rocks."

"Dudes, you're getting missile blasts on my shirt."

"Rats. Stupid Centipedes."

Kind of says it all, doesn't it.

I wonder if anyone won anything good from this, other than medium fries. Also I'm pretty sure this is unrelated to the McDonalds game Parker Brothers planned for the 2600. Speaking of which, the mystery of that cart has finally be solve. Pop on over to Atari Age ( for the inside dope.

Time to sign off for this month. If there's a commercial you want to see, let me know and I'll see what I can dig up. Don't forget to taste the thrill of Atari.  He can be reached for comment by clicking here.

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