Commercials in GTA III
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The myriad commercials are written by Dan Houser and Lazlow (the latter of whom also produced them). They are fairly convincing as real adverts as they adhere to many typical marketing clichés and tricks. Several adverts mention telephone numbers and official websites. Rockstar actually created these websites, and although many links eventually lead back to the Rockstar site, some are more detailed. The Petsovernight.com website, for example, displays pictures of animals and promises "If it's got a central nervous system, we've got it ready to go in a box to your house", tying in with the humor of the commercials. Some examples of commercials within the game are:
- Dormatron - An invention that burns calories while sleeping — by moving the limbs strapped to the device while the owner sleeps. Exactly how the subject is strapped in is never explained but is implied as a form of bondage in Liberty City Stories. Parodies 'miracle' weight-loss products that are either ineffective or repackaged versions of proven methods.
- Equanox - (not to be confused with 'Equinox') Alertness pills from Zaibatsu Pharmaceuticals, with a long and concerning list of side-effects. Parodying No-Doz, as well as dangerous pharmaceuticals. The name appears to be a portmanteau of Equus (Horse) and Nox (Sleep), which suggests that the drug is a horse tranquilizer. Zaibatsu, meaning "conglomerate", is a commonly used word in the GTA series as well as a faction on Grand Theft Auto 2, Zaibatsu is advertised as a pharmaceutical company, not to be mistaken with Maibatsu, a fictional car manufacturer parodying Japanese manufacturers in reality.
- Eris Running Shoes - Parodies the controversy over Nike's controversial outsourcing and labor practices (Eris, like Nike, is a Greek goddess). This sneaker company employs children ("It's fun! We get to play with knives!", "Yesterday, I made a dollar!" "My friend Joey sewed his hands together!"). Eris' slogan is "Eris Running shoes, always running...from something". Eris appears in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as one of the clothing brands, and are promoting their "Rampage" line.
- Fernando's New Beginnings - "A revolutionary new way to save your marriage", explained further during Fernando's stint on Chatterbox FM.
- Liberty City Survivor - A Battle Royale-esque reality show with "20 recently paroled guys...equipped with grenade launchers and flamethrowers". They have to hunt each other down until only one man is left standing. Parodying reality television, especially the very early 2000s trend towards more degrading formulas such as Fear Factor. Liberty City Survivor is also a reference to a promised-but-cancelled multiplayer mode in GTAIII. However, "Liberty City Survivor" would come to frutition as the multiplayer mode in Liberty City Stories. The voiceover is from Jeff Berlin.
- Maibatsu Monstrosity - A sports utility vehicle by a Japanese brand (possibly a parody of the Toyota Land Cruiser or Mitsubishi Montero) notable for its size ("It's so big; we lost little Joey in the back and couldn't find him for an hour") and low gas mileage ("So what if it only does three miles to the gallon, I'm a mom, not a conservationist"). The Liberty Tree says in its newspaper that there were problems with the prototype in the 1990s with a few injured persons. Parodies the elephantine sports utility vehicles that were commonplace on American roads in the 2000s, there is also an advertisement in the GTA 3 handbook for the Maibatsu Monstrosity showing a larger Landstalker.
- Petsovernight.com - A dot-com company that ships its customers live animals (including exotics), anywhere in the country. A parody of some of the decidedly ridiculous dot-com enterprises at the time of the game's release. "Delivering little bundles of love.. in a box.. directly to your door."
- Pogo the Monkey - A platform action game where players play as a monkey with a banana cannon who attacks scientists and steals gems. Pogo's final mission is to take over the White House and become president of the United States. The radio adverts make particular parody of the merchandising blitz surrounding popular platforming games that featured anthropomorphic protagonists such as Crash Bandicoot and Sonic the Hedgehog. A fake arcade version of Pogo the Monkey can be found in several places in Vice City.
- Rakin & Ponzer - Mocking compensation culture, this law firm commercial urges listeners to sue anyone for anything. The first of a recurring ad theme encouraging insurance fraud.
- The House of Tomorrow - A specialist electronics retailer promoting high-tech items such as 3D virtual reality helmets of questionable usefulness as vital in the digital era, a parody of such real life retailers as The Sharper Image.
- The Medieval Millennium Fair - A Renaissance fair that takes place every weekend at Liberty City Park, and sells spells, potions and other medieval artifacts.