How many dads whisper words of inspiration to their kids about video games? It almost doesn't matter, because the preceding scenes of children testing themselves are enough to make this Pokemon commercial unexpectedly heartwarming. Its grandeur and production values feel more like something you'd see from a big sports brand like Nike or Adidas than a kids' game. It's also filled with hidden Pokemon references, with the lyrics to the Pokemon theme song, for example, appearing on the top of a locker room door.
The Pokemon Company International bought the ad, the first Super Bowl spot for Pokemon, to promote the Pokemon games' 20th anniversary. (Yes, there were 20 years of Pokemon before Pokemon Go became a craze.) It went up against only one other video game in Super Bowl 50, one of a much newer vintage, the app game "Mobile Strike" from Machine Zone ("Fight").
Pokemon released the 60-second version of "Train On" that you see here on Jan. 25, making it the first Super Bowl 50 advertiser to release its commercial, albeit in extended form. The actual Super Bowl spot was 30 seconds long.
"Train On" was created by Omelet.
Director: Paul Geusebroek. Production company: Iconoclast. Director of photography: Menno Mans. Executive producer: Charles-Marie Anthonioz. Producer: Charlotte Woodhead.
Executive creative director: Shannon McGlothin. Creative directors: Clemente Bornacelli, Josh Smutko. Chief production officer: Dan Ruth. Agency producer: Forrest Holt.
Post production: Digital Domain. Music company: Comma. Editorial: Work Post. Editor: Rich Orrick.
QUARTER AIRED: Q3