9:48am PT by Katherine Schaffstall
Stephen Colbert Shares Fake Emotionally Manipulative Super Bowl Ad
On Wednesday's episode of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert presented the "world premiere of one ad that is going all-in on emotional manipulation" in light of the Super Bowl.
Before the premiere of the fake ad, the host explained that he loves the commercials featured during the event.
"The Super Bowl commercials are not afraid to pull on the nation's heartstrings to move products — like the ones where soldiers come home to their families or a baby born without legs goes on to become a gold medalist," said Colbert.
"How can anyone forget the actual Super Bowl ad, the Super Bowl of sad Super Bowl ads, the one where the kid was actually dead the whole time," he said of the 2015 Nationwide ad, where a little boy lists all the milestones he won't be able to experience because he died in a car accident.
The show's fake ad opened with an American flag blowing in the wind. Shots of people waving mini flags and embracing loved ones followed.
"America. It's the place we call home. Where we live our lives and we're all on the same team," began a voiceover in the commercial.
The ad then showed a soldier reuniting with his young children. "Get this, the soldier is a dog," said the narrator before the camera panned to show the children hugging a dog.
The narrator explained that the dog's best friend is a wheelchair-bound penguin "who's watching that scene from Toy Story 3 where they're about the die."
"Are you crying yet? Well, strap in," said the narrator before he introduced a woman who has put one bean in a jar every day since her husband died in the war. As the camera zoomed out, it was revealed that she was surrounded by many jars.
"And it looks like something's wrong with her baby granddaughter," he said as a crying baby appeared onscreen. "But don't worry. She grows up to be the first solo astronaut on Mars, where she plants one of grandma's beans in her poop."
The ad took another dramatic turn when the now grown-up granddaughter made a vital mistake. "That little girl went on to teach the whole world the dangers of texting while driving a Mars rover," he said before the car exploded.
"Because all it takes to do the impossible is to believe," the narrator continued.
The characters in the commercial later broke the fourth wall to address the viewers. They stated that they believed, even though they all eventually died.
"At the end of the day, the fabric that binds us is napkins," the narrator concluded. "Didn't know this commercial was for napkins? Well, it was."
The ad ended as the soldier turned dog and his family threw napkins into the air. "Weep, you bastards," the narrator said.
Watch the full fake ad below.