It doesn't get more '90s than this old UK Sega lifeguard training video
Sega's water training will leave you ready for anything.
This is a proper old school gem from the archives and no mistake. You may recall a few weeks ago now that I wrote about Jimmy and Sega's advertising in the UK in general. Well, here's a more extended piece of Sega marketing from that glorious early '90s time period, and it's a doozy. It's a "rookie lifeguard training" video that gets hijacked by Sega's pirate network or whatever to instantly become 1000 times cooler, and it's available to watch on YouTube right here!
This 20-minute video is from 1993, back when the all too-rad Jimmy was kinda phased out of Sega's UK ad drive -- and so, it's hosted instead by "The Barber", or actor Steven O'Donnell who is best known as "Spudgun" from Bottom. It doesn't exactly scrimp on stars either -- this video features the most famous lifeguards on the planet, the cast of Baywatch! Oh, and it also features the Ginger Minger himself, Chris Evans -- the very popular host of shows like The Big Breakfast and Don't Forget Your Toothbrush. A Sega video kicking off with David Hasselhoff is certainly a good sign.
The weird thing about this video, more than anything, is the primary game that the video showcases -- which is is both the obvious choice and also a weird one: It's Ecco the Dolphin. Footage of Ecco appears at various points throughout the vid in order to illustrate the lessons on display that will make you be the best lifeguard around or whatever. Which is...yeah, usually kind of an awkward tonal shift. It's usually quite common for Ecco to be seen as something of an "art" game these days, which comes with all sorts of baggage -- but back in 1993, that was hardly the case at all. Especially not when Ecco was one of the most successful games around, especially here in the UK.
Anyway, there's lots of fun and nostalgia in this vid, and it's certainly worth watching if you're a fan of Ecco! Or Baywatch, or David Hasselhoff, or indeed Chris Evans. The other thing to note about the video is that while it is very rad and so forth, it's actually NOT a piss-take -- the tips here are actually very real, and very helpful if you ever find yourself in trouble in the water. This video was actually distributed to primary schools at the time as part of a Sega-driven campaign for water safety. This explains the relative lack of gaming footage somewhat -- Ecco the Dolphin is the only actual video game on display here. Sadly they never showed this video off in my primary school, but it's still a fun little artefact of Sega's marketing presence over in these shores.