pokemon go commercial

When you think of Pokémon, the first filmmaker that comes to mind likely won’t be Rian Johnson. But the Knives Out director has more in common with the cute anime critters than you might expect. Johnson is apparently a mega-fan of the Japanese video game franchise that spawned a wildly popular anime and several other media franchises. And because Johnson is such a big fan, he directed a Pokémon Go commercial on the down-low, ahead of the upcoming Pokémon Go Fest in the annual event that takes the video game worldwide (virtually). Watch Johnson’s adorable Pokémon Go commercial below.

Pokemon Go Commercial

Johnson is sheathing his knives to gently handle the fluffy, playful creatures of Pokémon, the wildly popular franchise that spawned from the Nintendo video game in the ’90s. One of the most recent video game installments of PokémonPokémon Go brings the franchise to the outdoors, as players can catch them all in a mobile video game that interacts with the real-world environment. It’s a concept that blew up up when Pokémon Go debuted on smartphones in 2016, but has fallen a little out of favor in the current pandemic era. But that won’t stop Niantic from holding its annual Pokémon Go Fest, which it is advertising with the help of none other than Johnson, who directed the adorable new commercial for the annual event which will be held entirely online this year.

In the short 30-second commercial, Pokémon Go players literally peel away pieces of the real world around them to unveil hidden Pokémon, which all greet them with their signature cute exclamations. The commercial itself was actually produced remotely, with the production team in New Zealand, and Johnson directing from Los Angeles. Johnson said in a statement:

Pokémon Go has kept me engaged with my friends remotely as I’ve been practicing physical distancing these past few months. As a longtime Pokémon trainer, it was a real pleasure working with Niantic on this spot. It was a new experience for me to direct a production remotely, and I enjoyed the highly collaborative process and think we put together a fun and upbeat commercial that fans will enjoy.”

This year, Pokémon Go Fest, which brings together players across the world in a special two-day experience that offers new special tasks and challenges, will be held virtually, with proceeds from ticket sales will be going toward Black Lives Matter-related causes. The virtual festival starts on July 25, 2020.

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