Super Bowl 2020 commercial for Dashlane drops you in terrifying password hell

Forgetting your password really can feel like being stuck in Dante's Inferno.

Leslie Katz
Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
Credentials Third place film critic, 2021 LA Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards

To cross the river into paradise, you're going to need to remember your password. 

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

It's an all-too-familiar hell. You forget your password, can't match the answers to your security questions, exceed all your allocated attempts and experience a despair so deep you consider trading in your digital life for Post-its.  

Password manager Dashlane captures the exasperating password loop in an amusing new Super Bowl ad that literally calls up images of hell. 

In the minute-long spot, called "Password Paradise," a hooded mythological creature ferries a guy in a boat through swampy waters reminiscent of the River Styx in Dante's Inferno. Ahead, there's a bright, welcoming light and the sound of angelic voices. But to enter this paradise, the guy will need his password -- which he's naturally forgotten. 

The Charon-like creature prompts him to answer his security questions. No, it has be to the name of his first pet. You wanted to be a dolphin trainer when you grew up? Sorry, wrong answer dude! 

"Don't get locked out of Password Paradise," reads the tagline for the ad. "Get Dashlane, and say goodbye to password pain forever." 

Sunday's big game is, of course, as much of a showcase for creative big-budget commercials as it is for football. See lots more of the ads released so far here

Watch this: The latest TV tech comes to Super Bowl 2020 (The Daily Charge, 1/28/2020)

Originally published Jan. 29.