During the course of WandaVision, we traveled throughout the history of television. Starting with the pleasant, wholesome sitcoms of the 1950s and arriving at modern-day mockumentary comedies, WandaVision has emulated each era of TV with painstaking detail. That same specificity trickles into the show’s commercials that accompany each broadcast of Wanda Maximoff’s suburban fantasies.
At first, the advertisements present themselves as harmless diversions filled with Easter eggs and Marvel references. But as the series progresses, it becomes clear that each commercial is laden with hidden meaning. Episode 8 revealed that Wanda created Westview from a deep pit of loneliness inside her, and the advertisements are projections of her past trauma and present coping mechanisms.
Here is a detailed explanation of the secret message behind every commercial in WandaVision.
Episode 1: “Filmed Before A Live Studio Audience”
In the very first episode, we’re treated to a ‘50s-style advertisement for the “ToastMate 2000,” the “go-to for clever housewives.” As the sharply-dressed salesman delivers his tidy pitch, we notice the appliance is made by Stark Industries. And as we know from 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda and Pietro’s parents were killed by a bomb forged by the same company. The two youngsters huddled beneath the rubble in front of an unexploded shell that huddled nearby, beeping menacingly. It’s no coincidence that the ToastMate 2000 makes the same ominous beeping noise.
The toaster represents the terrifying event from her childhood, but this time, it’s being presented in a shiny package. The commercial’s tagline says it all: “Forget the past, this is your future.” Westview is Wanda’s future, a place where she can embrace the role of housewife alongside the husband of her dreams. In this world, anything can happen. A simple toaster can defy logic and toast both pie and meatloaf. It’s too good to be true.
Episode 2: “Don’t Touch That Dial”
WandaVison’s next foray into Wanda’s past takes place in the form of a 1960s commercial for the Strücker wristwatch. An elegant couple gazes into a full-length mirror as a smooth voice narrates, “They say a man is never fully dressed without two important accessories — his special lady and his Strucker.” As they walk away, we get a close-up look at the watch, which reveals a HYDRA logo on its face. MCU fans know that Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was the dangerous HYDRA operative who performed experiments on Wanda and her brother. As revealed in Episode 8, it was those same experiments that cemented Wanda’s superpowers.
The foreboding slogan, “Strucker — he’ll make time for you,” is accompanied by the sound of increasingly rapid ticking. Similar to the toaster noise in Episode 1, the watch is signaling that Wanda’s time in Westview is limited. As much as she tries to escape her past, it will manage to catch up with her.
Episode 3: “Now In Color”
Continuing with the theme of HYDRA, this ’70s-themed commercial is for a luxurious bath powder known as “Hydra Soak.” The product is aimed at flustered moms who “need a break” and wish to let their “problems float away.” Escapism is a huge WandaVision theme — it’s at the very core of Westview itself. Hydra Soak offers the chance to “escape to a world all your own.” As Wanda takes on the exhausting task of motherhood in a fabricated reality, she’s longing for a break. In the commercial, the woman is seen taking a blissful bath using Hydra Soak. This allows the woman to “find the goddess within,” something Wanda is doing as she pushes the boundaries of her powers.
In “Now In Color”, we get a new element to analyze in the episode’s commercial — color. The ocean blue square of Hydra Soak looks a whole lot like the Tesseract, which holds the Space Stone. In the MCU, HYDRA had the Tesseract in its control during World War II.
Episode 5: “On A Very Special Episode”
Episode 5 of WandaVision brings us to the 1980s, where we get an advertisement for Lagos paper towels. Two kids sit at a kitchen table, while their mom stands at the sink behind them. One of the kids knocks over a glass of bright red fruit punch, but her mom’s paper towels can’t seem to soak it all up. That’s when the mom is introduced to Lagos paper towels, the “most absorbent paper towel available.” The name of the brand is a blatant reference to an event in Captain America: Civil War, which takes place in Lagos, Nigeria. In an attempt to save Captain America, Wanda diverted an explosion that ended up accidentally killing several humanitarian workers.
The fruit punch represents the large amount of blood that was spilled during the incident in Lagos. The tragedy has rooted itself in Wanda’s subconscious, manifesting in the form of a paper towel commercial. She feels guilty for what she has done, and wishes for a solution that will soak up her grief. The product’s catchphrase, “Lagos: For when you make a mess you didn’t mean to!”, is Wanda’s way of glossing over the painful event.
Episode 6: “All New Halloween Spooktacular!”
If you turned on the television in the late 1990s, you had a good chance of seeing some claymation in the form of a California Raisins commercial. For WandaVision’s late ‘90s/early 2000s episode, we got a taste of this animation style in a commercial for “Yo-Magic” (a riff on the popular portable snack Go-Gurt). In it, a radical shark with a purple surfboard offers a famished boy strawberry-flavored Yo-Magic. As we learned in Episode 7, Agatha Harkness’ powers are purple. This hints that the shark represents Agatha, or even the source of her power. We’ve seen Agatha drain other witches of their magic, who’s to say that’s not what she’s doing here? “Hungry? I remember hungry,” the shark grins. “I used to be like that all the time.” He also uses the words “little dude,” which is a phrase we’ve heard from Pietro before. Remember, Pietro is Agatha’s creation.
As the boy struggles to open the yogurt, he wastes away to a skeleton and perishes. This is the first time a WandaVision commercial ends on a dark, disturbing note. It’s a reflection of Wanda’s current situation, rather than a past memory. The Yo-Magic represents her own magic, which she is desperately using to stay in her fantasy world. The ad’s tagline is “Yo-Magic! The snack for survivors.” Wanda herself is a lone survivor of trauma who’s looking for a source of emotional nourishment. But as we see at the end of the commercial, it won’t be enough to save her.
Episode 7: “Breaking the Fourth Wall”
WandaVision reaches the 2010s in “Breaking the Fourth Wall,” and the episode’s ad resembles one we’d see on TV today. The product being sold is Nexus, an antidepressant that “works to anchor you back to your reality or the reality of your choice." A depressed woman sits in a park with a sullen look on her face. The camera cuts to her lying in bed, then magically walking straight out of it. She goes to a drug store, where she receives a prescription for Nexus. The little red capsule puts a pep in her step, allowing her to enjoy life again. In this case, the reality of Wanda’s choice is Westview. The pill’s color also correlates with the red hues of Wanda’s powers. Wanda is using her magic as a way to stave off her bad feelings, even though the side-effects include “feeling your feelings, confronting your truth, seizing your destiny, and possibly more depression.” The commercial ends with the line, “Nexus: because the world doesn’t revolve around you. Or does it?" In the realm of Westview, the world certainly revolves around Wanda. But there’s consequences to such control.
Nexus is a Marvel reference to the Nexus of All Realities, an intersecting portal of every universe in existence. In the comics, Wanda Maximoff is revealed to be a Nexus Being, a multiversal anchor who remains consistent in each reality. Nexus Beings can alter the fundamental probabilities of the universe and essentially rewrite reality. This commercial strongly suggests that Wanda is somehow connected to the MCU’s expansion of the multiverse, which will be explored in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
An Even Deeper Dive Into Every WandaVision Commercial: