Mr T promotes Atari

Mr T promotes Atari
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Mr T promotes the Atari 800XL home computer in this advertisement from the mid 1980s.

The Atari 800XL was designed to look like a common typewriter and was a follow-up to the hugely successful Atari 2600 video game console. It had an expandable system with two accessible cartridge ports under a front cover. The cartridges could simply be plugged in. It sold fairly well, providing a solid alternative to the Commodore as a capable low-price computer with superior graphics and sound capabilities at the time of its release.

Mr T was a popular actor and television personality known for wearing large amounts of gold jewellery and for the catchphrase, 'I pity the fool'. He was a good choice to promote Atari, not only because of his popularity at the time, but because in many ways he is a cartoonish character that would appeal to teenagers. Not surprisingly perhaps the television show he appeared on, The A Team, has had a number of incarnations as a video game. His aggressive style is also comical, not to be taken seriously, and almost encourages impersonation. A nice touch in the ad is to create an Atari computer image of him. It demonstrates the computer's graphic potential.


Production company:
Entertainment Media