Among all the Super Bowl commercials you saw during the Bucs victory over the Chiefs on Sunday, there was one late in the second half you may have missed, featuring Samuel L. Jackson standing atop a pillar holding a “sparkle stick” in a realistic but cartoonish animation similar to Fortnite. Jackson uses the commercial to speak about the virtues of using Verizon 5G to not have a laggy network and also not blaming losses on your lag like a scrub, but the one who steals the show is Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
In the commercial, Jackson makes a comment towards Smith-Schuster that offends him enough to “bring my fish around.” Before Jackson can finish his speech to the crowd, Smith-Schuster rides in on a giant shark and eats Jackson. The commercial cuts away with Jackson threatening to turn some fish in the stomach of the shark into sashimi.
The commercial is funny and creative, but it’s hard to not enjoy the art style. Is it exactly like Fortnite? No, but the inspiration feels like that’s what it’s supposed to be. Especially with the small fish at the end which looks very similar to the fish you can eat in-game. Of course, even with the Fortnite inspired art, there are plenty of references to video game lore as a whole. You can see an orc from Warcraft standing behind Smith-Schuster for example.
Traditionally when companies try to make video game references in their commercials they fall flat because the people involved don’t play video games, but this one was well done.