Irish rock band U2 trolled Americans with a Super Bowl commercial that featured spherical UFO’s floating in the sky.
U2’s marketing team stirred up controversy in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, with a 15 second ad spot that showed a spherical UFO hovering over two major cities, while groups of people stared up at it in wonder.
“An unidentified object has been spotted over the skies,” a narrator said.
Eventually Bono and his band mates the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr., appear on screen and gesture for the crowd to follow them into a storm.
A baby’s head superimposed onto the sphere cryptically remarks “Achtung,” before revealing that U2 will be live in concert at Las Vegas’ newly constructed MSG Sphere.
They apparently will be dedicating the shows to their seventh album, 1991’s “Achtung Baby.”
Though Super Bowl commercial spots are typically purchased and filmed months in advance before the championship game, U2’s contribution seemed conspicuously timed to coincide with the Chinese spy balloon crisis.
“Whatever that U2 ad was about, they were either working as close to deadline as a political cartoonist or just incredibly lucky,” someone tweeted.
“Also did U2 seriously do a commercial with balloons and aliens? What do they know and when did they know it??” Joked Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw.
“I’m impressed U2 was able to make a joke about the Chinese balloon so fast,” another added.
“Guessing the U2 super bowl ad wasn’t vetted before WW3 was started by balloons,” a keyboard commentator remarked.
“Let the U2 conspiracy begin. Creating a Super Bowl commercial with unidentified floating UFO spheres the week during the American UFO balloon madness can’t just be a coincidence!” A social media profit wrote.
The conspiracy theories have already gone viral, stoked by the recent uptick in unidentified objects that have been shot down by the government this week.
In addition to the original Chinese spy balloon that was taken out by an F-22 on Feb. 4, NORAD fired missiles at additional unidentified objects Alaska, Canada, and over Lake Huron.
The latest, which occurred on Sunday night, “likely” traveled through Montana, Wisconsin, and Michigan, before being shot down by and F-15 jet just 15 nautical miles over the second largest Great Lake.
“I don’t know if U2’s silver sphere flying around was the most appropriately timed commercial considering we are currently shooting that shit out of the sky,” someone commented.
U.S. North Command’s Gen. Glen VanHerck said the country was on “heightened alert” due to the frequency and unidentifiable nature of the UFO’s.
“We’re calling them objects for a reason. Certainly, the event off the South Carolina coast for the Chinese spy balloon, that was clearly a balloon,” he said at a Sunday night press conference.
“These are objects. I am not able to categorize how they stay aloft. It could be a gaseous type of balloon inside a structure, or it could be some type of a propulsion system. But clearly they’re able to stay aloft.”
Internet conspiracy theorists have been questioning if the objects are a publicity stunt by the band.
“Were all the UFOs just setting up a U2 Super Bowl ad?” NFL podcaster Steve Palazzolo posited.
“And here I was worried about aliens & Chinese spy balloons!!!! It was just U2 the whole time,” someone joked.
“I swear to God, if the balloons were just a viral marketing stunt for U2,” another added.
“The US government has been shooting down ads for a U2 concert,” somebody said.
The fact that the objects downed over Alaska and Canada were described as “much smaller” than the original Chinese spy balloon didn’t help dissuade social media conspiracists.
To add fuel to the fire, a government official told Fox News both “objects” were “small metallic balloon[s] with a tethered payload,” similar to the floating metallic spheres featured in the Super Bowl spot.
“What if all the spherical objects entering US and Canadian airspace are just U2 promos? The band IS named after a spy plane after all,” someone cited.
“So now we know that the balloons are huge marketing campaign for U2!” Wrote actor Matthew Marsden.
“Crisis averted folks turns out it was just U2 doing promo for a concert,” an individual cracked.
“Really surprised the government didn’t shoot this down,” a Twitter user shot back.
Not everyone found the jokes to be funny. “You’re laughing, Irish rock band U2 is terrorizing us with a giant sphere and you’re laughing,” a Vulture editor wrote.
Other eagle-eyed social media users were shocked to see footage of what appeared to be the original Chinese spy balloon spliced into the U2’s commercial.
“This is a screenshot at around 5 seconds of the U2 SuperBowl ad,” someone shared.
“That is the “Chinese Spy Balloon” from last week. Either U2’s marketing team has poor, yet viral taste. Or U2 cost the US Gov a lot of people.”
For the purpose of comparison, above is the remarkably similar image of the spy balloon that conservative actor Rob Schneider posted on Feb. 3.
Either way, plenty of people were reminded of the time the band teamed up with Apple to automatically add an album nobody asked for to their devices for an entire month in 2014.
“So the UFOs were just a U2 ad?” A Twitter user asked. “This is a bigger scandal than when we all got their album for free on our macs.”
“Oh sure like U2 would do an elaborate marketing stunt that would make everyone mad,” a blue check jested.
“I’m old enough to remember when U2 put an album I didn’t want on my phone. If they’re behind this UFO stuff so help me god,” one person fumed.
“First U2 put their music on all our phones without permission and now they’re launching spy balloons over the United States,” remarked sports writer Pete Blackburn. “Bono is a terrorist.”
“If U2 can plant an album in everyone’s phones, it’s plausible they can loop the US Department of Defense in on a Super Bowl ad campaign,” a Twitter conspiracist wrote.
“It was all a U2 album drop. All of the UFOs. We should have seen it coming,” another sighed.