Tokyo 2020's Olympics pitch: Mario, Pac-Man and co.

A two-minute teaser during Rio's Olympic closing ceremony sets the stage for Tokyo.


In case you didn't notice, the Olympics is wrapping up in Rio, and sports fans now have an endure a whole three years and 11 months until the next one, which happens to be in Tokyo. Japan's Olympic committee decided to highlight that fact by transforming the country's Prime Minister into Mario (naturally), showcasing its distinctive skyline (swoon!), showing some of its athletes you've probably never heard of (sorry!) and a bunch video game and anime characters. It's all backed by a punchy jazz soundtrack, and is likely to give you goosebumps, although I wonder why the creative team wasn't able to book Pikachu in time.

The teaser looks to focus on its cultural contributions -- and that's cleverly meant recruiting from its video-game heritage and manga history. (By the way, Doraemon is the blue robot cat thing -- he's big in Asia.) Hopefully, Tokyo 2020 will have the technological chops to bring half these characters to life for its own opening ceremony. Augmented reality might work by then, who knows.