That Is So Absolutely Rose Street!
January 11, 2011
Sega made plenty of strange decisions during the 1990s, and of course it's hard to forget the 32X when thinking about those decisions, but something that is often shuffled away into the dustbin of history is one of the ways that Sega chose to advertise the ill-fated mushroom of a peripheral. Print ads and traditional television commercials were not enough to push the 32X vision. No, to really entice consumers into picking up a 32X and saving Christmas (for Sega), the company decided to produce a thirty-minute infomercial and buy time on MTV, Comedy Central, and other demographically-friendly cable channels. This was no ordinary infomercial, however. It had a plot! In fact, it masqueraded as an episode of a Wayne's World-type show radically titled Absolutely Rose Street about a pair of teens who hosted their own video game show (and who, coincidentally enough, promoted Sega products like there was no tomorrow). Billboard covered the infomercial in its October 29, 1994 issue. Here's a piece of the article:
The name of the show is Absolutely Rose Street and it follows the ups and downs of a pair of teenagers who produce a video game review show for cabled called Game Beat. An evil TV producer tries to cancel the show so his girlfriend can have the time slot. The games featured on the show, of course, are Sega's, which will also use the half-hour to promote the company's new Genesis 32X hardware upgrade.
The show will run during time slots usually reserved for Tony Little or Susan Powter infomercials in 20 markets during November and December. But, to denote the difference between this plug and an infomercial, there will be no 800 number to call to place an order. Sega project manager Peter Loeb describes the campaign as "context advertising", or an attempt to "show how Sega product fits into the context or people's lives" with an expanded story line and characters.
Sega plans to produce only one episode of Absolutely Rose Street which will repeat more than 50 times during each one-week ad flight. If the response warrants, future episodes of [the infomercial] could blossom.
I think we can safely assume that there were no additional episodes of Absolutely Rose Street. My, how the times have changed since the heyday of Max and Christina's Game Beat. Now when a video game hardware developer wants to get their product on television, they just buy out (or synergize) a chunk of primetime. Anyway, how far down the memory hole has this Sega production fallen? Far enough that there doesn't seem to be a trace of a video clip of it online. The best that I could dig up is this musical track associted with the program from Sega's 1995 soundtrack sampler. Burning up the charts, here's "Change of Plans":