Black Panther Buckles Up for Lexus in Super Bowl Ad
Los Angeles, California – Lexus released a 60-second extended digital version of their forthcoming Super Bowl LII commercial, which featuring Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman.
A 30-second version of the ad is set to air during the third quarter of the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 4. The commercial was created in partnership with Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated Black Panther movie, which opens in U.S. theaters Feb. 16. The spot, “Long Live the King,” pairs the flagship luxury performance sedan 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport with the Black Panther (Boseman).
The story revolves around the character of T’Challa in his role as Black Panther recovering stolen vibranium, the mythical ore found only in the Black Panther’s home of Wakanda, and his nearly simultaneous need to represent his country as king at a world leadership conference. The country’s elite bodyguards, the Dora Milaje, also appear. R&B/Hip-Hop chart-topper Run the Jewels, whose song “Legend Has It” made a huge impact in the film’s first trailer, returns for “Long Live the King.”
“The stars aligned for this Super Bowl spot, with Lexus launching our flagship sedan and audiences primed for Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated release ‘Black Panther,'” Lexus vice president of marketing Cooper Ericksen said. “Uniting LS with Black Panther on advertising’s biggest stage was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”
“Long Live the King,” directed by Samuel Bayer, incorporates actual footage from the film—notably, of Letitia Wright as T’Challa’s sister, Shuri—and features many of the film’s actors, including the Dora Milaje team of Wakandan special forces: Janeshia Adams-Ginyard, Marija Abney and Zola Williams.
The ad was shot using only original costumes and gear from the film, including the Black Panther/King T’Challa outfits, Dora Milaje battle suits and vibranium canisters. Even the film’s fight choreographer, Jonathan (JoJo) Eusebio, was engaged to stage the spot’s fight scene.
It features VFX work by Luma, the studio who created Black Panther’s suit FX for the film. The ad was shot in downtown L.A. at night using a custom lighting unit.
The Super Bowl spot is part of a robust collaboration between Lexus and Marvel Studios, which is being executed by Lexus’ multicultural agency, Walton Isaacson, and includes the exclusive Black Panther-themed event at Comic-Con International: San Diego after-hours last July, and an original graphic novel created with Marvel Custom Solutions titled “Black Panther: Soul of a Machine” introduced at Comic-Con. The entire graphic novel is available to read now online.
In October, ahead of SEMA, Lexus unveiled a 2018 limited-edition LC Inspiration Series production car available for purchase in Spring 2018, and a custom concept coupe dubbed the Black Panther Inspired LC. A co-branded Marvel Studios’ Black Panther Lexus TV spot debuted Jan. 22.
This marks the fourth time Lexus has appeared in the Super Bowl.