I have no idea what kind of memorable moments the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing will produce. Nor do I know which athletes will bask in the international spotlight and ensure their place in the event’s history. What I do know is that no matter what happens, I will never forget these games because of a ludicrous crossover commercial NBC ran on their first night. It’s an Olympics/Jurassic World: Dominion crossover ad that totally broke my brain.
Every single Olympics debuts new commercials starring athletes competing in those very same games. And whether they’re for something like an apparel, credit card, or insurance company, they’re not especially surprising, let alone confusing. That was not the case with an absurd Jurassic World promo that ran during early qualifying events on NBC’s first night of Olympics programming. The ad features three American Olympians: snowboarder Shaun White, skier Mikaela Shiffrin, and figure skater Nathan Chen. In the commercial, all three train by themselves out alone in nature. It’s a serene and beautiful sight, athletes practicing with nary a soul in sight. (Pretty standard fare, all things considered. My brain was totally fine at this point.)
Then dinosaurs show up. Dinosaurs. Without warning or explanation. (That’s the moment my brain started to crack.)
The prehistoric creatures look on with curiosity at White and Chen. Especially at Chen, who appears to be skating on the frozen lake from Game of Thrones. Only instead of wights chasing him, he’s surrounded by dinosaurs.
(No, really, is that the frozen lake from north of the Wall? I must know!)
At least White and Chen are objects of interest. A chasing velociraptor views poor Mikaela Shiffrin as an object of dinner. And she likely would have met that gruesome fate if not for the arrival of a T.rex…who then chases her down the mountain. (This is when my brain shattered. Possibly forever.)
A few hours later, once I accepted this was a real commercial and not a fever dream, I understood what just happened. Jurassic World: Dominion will feature dinos on the loose out in the real world. This commercial is teasing that terrifying premise. In that sense, this commercial is completely reasonable. However, that DOES NOT EXPLAIN what any of this has to do with the Olympics… Sorry, still not used to my new piecemeal brain. I’ll need some time. I’ll also need dinosaurs to eat at least seven Olympians in Jurassic World: Dominion, so this makes sense in retrospect.