Pokemon Go's new commercial has a surprisingly big name director - Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. Johnson, an avowed Pokemon Go fan, teamed up with Niantic for a 30-second commercial showcasing Pokemon Go in the lead-up to its next Pokemon Go Fest event. The commercial features players peeling back the real world to discover Pokemon playing and battling, thus mimicking the AR experience players get whenever they open up Pokemon Go.
In a blogpost posted by Pokemon Go earlier today, Johnson explained how the game has kept him engaged during the pandemic. “Pokemon Go has kept me engaged with my friends remotely as I've been practicing physical distancing these past few months,” said Johnson. “As a longtime Pokemon 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.”
Johnson remotely directed the commercial from Los Angeles, while the commercial itself was filmed in New Zealand. Johnson also collaborated with Niantic, Pokemon Company, and agency staff in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, London, and Tokyo, giving the commercial a truly international feel to it.
Pokemon Go Fest is set to take place on July 25th and July 26th. Unlike previous Pokemon Go Fest events, this event is being held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is open to all players. Not only will the event feature over 70 species of Pokemon spawning in the wild and a new Mythical Pokemon event, both Niantic and the Pokemon Company have pledged that all proceeds of the event will go to various non-profit organizations and initiatives to benefit Black and local communities. As of today, over 700,000 tickets have been sold for Pokemon Go Fest. You can buy tickets for the event through the Pokemon Go in-app store now.