One of the most eye-catching ads released ahead of Super Bowl LII features Doritos, Mountain Dew, Peter Dinklage, Morgan Freeman, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot.
Somehow, advertisers have shoved all of this into 60 seconds total. The video leans on the backdrop of Busta Rhymes’ and Missy Elliott's music, while subtly invoking the fire-and-ice theme of duality at the center of Game of Thrones. They do all this to introduce the unlikely pairing of Doritos Blaze and Mountain Dew Ice.
The effect is a good commercial — there’s no denying it. Dinklage lip syncs Busta Rhymes’ rap while Freeman mouths Elliott’s song, both of them looking like karaoke experts.
The Game of Thrones aspect is there just enough for fans to notice, while probably leaving HBO’s legal team no room to sue. Still, fans of the show know exactly what the snack company is trying to call to mind, and they’re all for it.
“Tyrion is a Targaryen confirmed,” commented one user after seeing Dinklage breathe fire. “Morgan Freeman as the Night King?”
No one is more excited about the video’s viral success than Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott, however. The two have used the momentum to launch a collaboration on a song called “Get It,” released on Thursday. The ad has drawn traffic to their page which they hope will help them sell the new single that much harder.
The two have also been openly reveling in the increased notoriety around the commercial, posting videos with Doritos and Mountain Dew filters on Twitter.
The ad seems to have hit the sweet spot for audiences in terms of self-awareness and self-parody. There are few complaints circulating widely about cheapening the musicians’ work in any way, or the actors feigning passion for snacks they likely can’t enjoy on their diets. It’s a remarkable re-branding effort for Doritos and Mountain Dew, both of which — especially in combination — have become a sort of shorthand meme for a poor diet and a reclusive life.
The ad will premiere officially during Super Bowl LII on Sunday night on CBS.