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Commercials in GTA Vice City

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All the radio stations in GTA Vice City feature publicity breaks. Some advertised products are related to the game, while others link to segments in the radio shows or are just parodies of products of the time period.

The publicities that match elements of the game are:

  • The Love Fist Tour. Tommy becomes involved with assisting and protecting the hair band.
  • Ammu-Nation. The chain of gun retailers in all the modern GTA games.
  • BJ Smith's Used Autos. The business is one of the many that can be purchased by Tommy, and is originally called Sunshine Autos.
  • The Maibatsu Thunder sports car (Ed McMann & Shelley Miller) - Its ingame equivalent is considered to be the Blista Compact. In GTA III the Maibatsu company has another car, this time an SUV called the Maibatsu Monstrosity, roughly the equivalent of the Landstalker. Liberty City Stories also contains a vehicle called Maibatsu Womb. In GTA Vice City Stories there's a campaign fighting for buying American goods instead of foreign ones (a Maibatsu worker is also included in the VCS commercial), laughing at American Motors employees. This commercial is a parody of 1980s Pontiac ads.

The publicities mentioned on the radio stations are:

  • Jeremy Robard's "Think Your Way To Success" program (Peter Silvestro, Doris Harrison, Adam Davidson), which he shamelessly plugs during his interview on VCPR (1-866-434-SELF). In VCS he advertises his import/export (drug business) on the radio via commercials.
  • The Degenatron (Chris Ferrante, Laura Paterson, Ron Reeve, James Ferrante & Mike Ferrante) - A parody of early home video game consoles. During her appearance on Pressing Issues, Jan Brown blames her kids' problems on Degenatron, calling it "Degeneratron". The console is also mentioned on VCPR as a sponsor of an upcoming celebration of Proust's influence on Vice City. Degenatron.com ( Rockstar Games website with emulator)
  • BJ Smith's "Fit for Football" Program - Mentioned during his interview on KCHAT.
  • The "Pastor Richards Salvation Statue" (Two commercials) - A parody of numerous religious donation commercials and shows. Mentioned by Pastor Richards during his interview on VCPR. (1-866-9-SAVEME)
  • "Knife after Dark"' (Chris Ferrante, Gerald Cosgrove & Jeff Berlin) - A send-up of the early 80's style slasher film. On Pressing Issues, Jan Brown mentions that she won't let her kids watch the movie. Vice City Stories has a movie very similar to this one, Twilight Knife. It could also of been a parody of The Shining; Well, hello there Danny (Danny was a main character in the horror movie The Shining), and a parody of Friday the 13th, I didn't know it was hockey season' (Jason the killer in the Friday the 13th franchise wears a hockey mask). The film is possibly also a reference to the movie Child’s Play, where the killer doll called Chucky holds a knife: ‘Hey, can I borrow a knife?’.
  • D'Leo and Thurax - A high priced and less-than-moral law firm (1-866-9SHADEE). The firm funds the show "Legal Review", one of the unheard shows on VCPR.
  • Rusty Brown's Ring Donuts - Sexually suggestive donut retailer. Toni on Flash FM dedicates a song to them.
  • Giggle Cream - Referencing whipped cream spray canisters, which contain nitrous oxide (laughing gas) as a propellant. A lethal dessert that killed 23 people, and the topic of one of the questions asked to Alex Shrub, the congressman who allowed the sale of it. Shrub responded that most of the victims probably deserved to die anyway (VCPR).
  • "Just the Five of Us" (Kevin Straley, John Mauceri, Josh Clark, Jene Hillgreen, Shelley Miller) - A parody of such 80's miss-matched family sitcoms like Diff'rent Strokes. Classically trained actor Claude Maginot is slumming as the father of the family, and is one of the guests on K-CHAT, host Amy Sheckenhausen a fan of the series. Jimmy, the child-star of the show who claims to be 42, is a strong reference to the star of Diff'rent Strokes, Gary Coleman, who remained child-like due to a side effect of his congenital autoimmune kidney disease treatnment. Coleman's catchphrase "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" is also parodied with Jimmy's catchphrase "But I'm forty-two!" A drunken Jimmy is interviewed by WCTR in GTA San Andreas, the show "My Five Uncles" having replacing "Just the Five of Us". The show airs Friday Nights on VBS.
  • "In the Future, There Will be Robots" - An interpretive dance performance at the Vice City Art Center featuring two men dancing for a robot's love, futuristic lasers and a dehydrating manatee. It is produced by and stars Claude Maginot, who unsuccessfully tries to direct his interview towards instead of TV work.
  • Thor's self-help tapes (Frank Fava, Ben Krech & Kate Dukish) - A series of self-help tapes promoting Norse wisdom as the answer. Thor is interviewed on K-CHAT (1-866-PILLAGE).
  • Sissy Spritz (Brian Thomas) - A hair-care product, is mentioned by the hosts of V-Rock, Flash FM and KCHAT."May cause dry mouth, dilated pupils, paranoia, heart palpitations and nose bleeds, plus your hair will be great!"
  • Musty Pines - A retirement home where old people enjoy themselves until their death. Toni relates that someone rang Flash FM confusing it for Musty Pines.
  • "Yuppie and the Alien" (Pete Gustin, Randy Hole, Richard Kruger, Lazlow) - A police drama on VBC. A parody poking fun at both 80's police drama series Miami Vice and friendly alien comedy series ALF. The show is possibly also a reference to the movie and/or series Alien Nation, although it is probably also an allusion to the fantastical "do-gooder" shows of the eighties in general (e.g.: Automan, Manimal, Knight Rider, The Powers of Matthew Star, et al). Mr. Magic mentions this show on Wildstyle. Its predecessor is Angel and the Knight aired in 1984 (probably cancelled after protests because of incidents involving helicopters of whom people thought they can dive underwater how it was shown on the show)

The stand-alone publicities include:

  • The Domestobot - A domestic aid robot designed to help people around the house. The Domestobot plays further roles in the proceeding GTA games.
  • Exploder: Evacuator Part II - A high-action film in the vein of Rambo starring Jack Howitzer. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories has the predecessor of E:EP II: It's called simply Exploder, featuring also Jack Howitzer.
  • Exploder Survival Knife - A large survival knife such as type used in Rambo, released as part of the merchandising campaign for the Exploder movie series.
  • Shady Acres - A high-class complex for rich and divorced men to live up in style. Shady Acres is another of the pieces of real estate owned by Avery Carrington who also voices the commercial.
  • Farewell Ranch (two commercials) - A cowboy ranch where old people work hard from dawn to dusk. Possibly Located outside Vice City.
  • Complete the Look (Greg Schweizer & Shelley Miller; seven commercials) - A trendy clothing store, each station has a different version of the commercial, targeting an 80's fashion style/stereotype best linked to the genre of the station. In 1984 you can purchase a V-Rock bumper sticker at Complete the Look stores.
  • Synth and Son (Alex Anthony) - An electronic keyboard/synthesizer store. Parodies the aggressive, somewhat overboard use of the instruments in the 80's. In 1984 you can purchase a V-Rock bumper sticker at Synth & Son stores. Also mentioned by that time by Wave 103 DJ Adam First ("...certainly my favourite place to buy electronic instruments")
  • Salivex (Shelley Miller, Amy Salzman, Kate Dukish, Lance Williams & Gerald Cosgrove) - A saliva replenishment product.
  • Petstuffers (Alice Saltzman & Gerald Cosgrove) - A taxidermy store.
  • Learn Redneck - A language tape series teaching Southern USA English/redneck dialect.
  • Blox (Chris Difate & Lazlow) - A household disinfectant, cans of which can be found in stores in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, such as FIDL.
  • Patriotism - A commercial promoting American products over foreign imports, aimed primarily at Maibatsu. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories features its own version aimed even more directly towards cars.
  • Pit Balm - An antiperspirant whose performance is compared to military weapons such as Napalm and Agent Orange.
  • Is your child a Red? - Public service announcement prompting to parents to watch for the warning signs of Communism such as a desire to share and interest in recycling.
  • Fernando's Medallion Man (two commercials) - Emotion 98.3 host Fernando Martinez voices two commercials for large medallions suitable for the stereotypical Latin lover.

Some of the above mentioned items would reappear in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:

  • The Degenatron is mentioned by a conspiracy theorist on WCTR.
  • The host of K-DST remembers Love Fist.
  • Pedestrians discuss Rusty Brown's Ring Donuts.
  • WCTR interviews Jimmy, the former child-star of Just the Five of Us.
  • DJ Adam First calls in to Area 53 in WCTR saying that, while hang-gliding, he saw a man at a trailer compound in the desert performing strange rituals with a Domestobot, the man is revealed to be the very host of the show.
  • A Domestobot allegedly programmed for evil, 632369439, calls into Area 53 on WCTR saying "We know what you are doing to my Domestobot brothers and sisters" before being cut off by the host.
  • Jack Howitzer is interviewed on WCTR, only to shoot the host with a gun he thought wasn't even loaded. He is later convicted of murder according to WCTR news.

The Domestobot and Musty Pines (presenter of "Breathing World") also make brief cameos on Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. Finally, the player will actually get to control a Domestobot during a mission in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, making it the first product advertised on radio - not counting stores - to be used during a gameplay mission.

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