Attention Pokémon fans: Now you have to watch the Super Bowl if you really want to catch ’em all.
That’s because the seemingly unstoppable monster-training franchise – which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year – is making its presence known at this year’s Big Game with an appropriately huge commercial. Sorry, Amy and Seth…seems like your Super Bowl spot just got served.
On Monday, an extended version of the spot premiered on YouTube, and it makes the case that Pokémon truly is our global game. We see trainers around the world honing their skills – speed, quick thinking, etc – before competing in a massive arena, where creatures like Charizard, Magneton and Gyarados do battle while Pikachu watches from the comfort of a couch. If none of that makes any sense, then you’ll definitely be the guy asking, “Wait, Pokémon is still a thing?” on Super Sunday.
According to Ad Age, this is the first-ever Pokémon Super Bowl commercial, and it features plenty of hidden references that only the most tireless of trainers will catch: The lyrics to the Pokémon theme song, for example, appear on the top of a locker room door.
A 30-second version of the ad will air during the third quarter of Super Bowl 50, and is part of a year-long campaign to mark the franchise’s 20th anniversary. According to reports, a 30-second spot during the Big Game might cost advertisers as much as $5 million. Apparently, Ash Ketchum can afford it.
Super Bowl 50 airs February 7 on CBS.