super bowl lvi

What Is This Super Bowl Halftime-Show Trailer?

Dadadadada, it’s … what is this, exactly? Pepsi released a trailer for the upcoming Super Bowl LVI halftime show, featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar. Let’s just say it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before — because well, to start, we’ve never seen a nearly four-minute Super Bowl halftime-show trailer before! The visual, titled “The Call” and directed by Straight Outta Compton’s F. Gary Gray, is less high-concept and more multi-concept. Let’s try to take you through it.

Things open with a massive chess game taking place along a cityscape (no, this won’t make sense later) before we move to see Eminem and Slim Shady throwing “Rap God” lyrics at each other, until he gets the titular call from Dre. Then it’s onto Snoop, rocking in his classic car and doing a U-turn so tight it gets a tiny “do not attempt” warning onscreen. Miss Mary J. Blige gets her call during a flashy photo shoot, the most normal part of the whole video (except for the end, when we’re supposed to believe a woman that rich and glamorous really drives herself). Kendrick’s clip finds him struggling to write lyrics in an empty room, possibly explaining why that new album has taken so, so (so) long. Lastly, we see the man bringing everyone together, Dr. Dre, walking along the beach alone — oh, aside from the massive piano in the water next to him. It’s both an impressive amount of divorced-man energy and completely nonsensical, a balance that honestly deserves a bit of praise. There’s more city-chess, some sparks, and more cars before the quintet finally meets up and we realize that while everyone else took fancy cars and private planes, Kendrick rode his bike. By the end of it all, you’re left wondering:

1. What?

2. Why?

And 3. How much of this budget was supposed to go toward Nicole Young’s spousal support?

“It was critical that we tell this story in an authentic way,” said Pepsi’s vice-president of marketing, Todd Kaplan, in a statement. Uh, that really only raises more questions about the trailer we just saw. Tune into Super Bowl LVI on February 13 to see how many CGI chess pieces, fancy cars, and giant pianos make it into the show.

What Is This Super Bowl Halftime-Show Trailer?