Super Bowl LVI 2022 – Advertising Roundup

Let’s be honest, without Tom Brady, we’re all really just here for the commercials. 😀

It’s one of the biggest days in sports. I’m always fascinated by the brands that advertise during one of the most expensive televised events and the marketer in me enjoys watching for the mix of supporting digital channels (i.e. social media) during the game time.

Some quick audience stats:

  • More than 184 million US adults plan to tune in to the game, per the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. 
  • When asked why they tune in, 21% of consumers said that the commercials are the most important part, according to the NRF. The game is most important to 40% of viewers, and the halftime show comes in at 18%.
  • According to NBC, multiple 30-second commercials were sold for $7 million this year, up from the $5.5 million CBS sold for the same amount of ad time in 2021. NBC noted that rates are up 20% since 2018 and that 40% of the game’s advertisers are new this year.
  • Brands looking to advertise during the game should be mindful of generational differences in viewing, said Margaret Johnson, a partner at GS&P, told the Los Angeles Times. “You’ve got your boomers and Gen X, who are definitely locked in and watching the commercials as they are running live on TV. But then you’ve got millennials and Gen Z viewers, who are a little more distracted. They’re multitasking. They’re on their phones. So you need something for everyone.”

More than 30 advertisers will be making their Super Bowl debut this year.

eMarketer article, “Super Bowl ad spending shows event remains crucial for brands”

“Industries that struggled during the first year of the pandemic are making a big return. Automakers such as General Motors, consumer packaged goods manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, and travel agencies including Kayak have all bought ads for the game” (eMarketer).

IMHO, these were the best Super Bowl ad spots of 2022


I award full creative points to the early ad spot by Coinbase for this gem. Yes, I was one of those people who took out her phone and scanned the QR code, why not? I wanted to see what they had to offer. The landing page was nothing to write home about. I learned later, the technique was so popular that the app itself crashed. That’s probably a good reminder to all product teams load or stress test your app especially when you know it’s going to be accessible to 184M eyeballs and mobile phones at a given time.

Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6 Super Bowl commercial

This one aired during the 3rd quarter of the game and really caught my eye. The creative agencies for Google are top notch. This commercial advertised a feature of the device that is both relevant and relatable to consumers.

Toyota – Keeping Up with “The Joneses”

A fun and memorable way to market an established car brand especially to this type of broad viewing audience.

BMW – electric car

Another known car brand, I loved this commercial too but noticed how it was much more targeted to an older demographic.

Rocket Mortgage & Homes

A tip of the cap to the creative minds behind this commercial, with the housing market on fire this past year due to the Pandemic, I think this ad resonated with a lot of folks out there.

Amazon Alexa – Mind Reader

It always helps to have one or multiple recognizable celebrities in your ad to make viewers more interested in watching. This one was fun because both Colin and Scarlet had recently gotten married and it’s way more interesting to get to see what an overly attentive listening device would be like for these newlyweds.

Doritos & Cheetos – Flaming hot

This has a couple key classics: cute animals, a whimsical situation, it’s set to a memorable piece of music, and features tasty products a lot of people are likely consuming right now!

Lays – Stay Golden

Let’s just keep riding the snack train. Lays dropped a really fun ad for their product using celebrities and a hilarious scenario reminding us to Stay Golden.

Jurassic World Dominion – Theatrical Trailer

I mean, who ISN’T excited to see this (final?) installment of Jurassic World?

Hellmann’s – Food Waste

I thought this one was kind of random but I ended up liking it as it progressed. Again, celebs, especially one’s in the current spotlight are a key ingredient for a highly watchable ad during a time when attention spans are very short.

Budweiser – A Clydesdale’s Journey

Admittedly, I’m a sucker for horses and dogs (especially golden labs and retrievers). I love that Bud kept the theme of their stars having an unspoken connection (it’s also brilliant because the story is very easy to follow especially if you’re at one of those loud Super Bowl parties where you can’t hear the commercials). If you remember, in previous years, their Super Bowl ad spot featured a Clydesdale horse and a puppy. In a way, since they first aired this duo in their campaign of “Best Buds” in 2014, the puppy has grown up. The Budweiser commercials have always been on the heartwarming side and message that came across to me in this particular ad was encouraging and inspiring: we’re all always on a journey and even if/when we’re down, we’re not out of the game. With time, rest and support from those in your corner you will get back up again.

That was fun! Let’s do it again next year!

I Counted 27 Super Bowl Ads Yesterday That Had Celebrities

It’s the day after the biggest advertising day of the year, the Super Bowl. Here are a few advertising stats on the 2019 event:

  • Host network CBS charged a record $5.25 million for a 30-second ad during this year’s game.
  • A total of 54 advertisers shelled out $5.25 million for 30 seconds of screen time during the Super Bowl this year, adding up to 93 ads in total.

Today is largely “national hangover day” since it’s the Monday after the Super Bowl. It’s hard for most of us to remember much of anything about Sunday’s game, especially that brand of cleaning solution whose ad aired in the third quarter.

Alcohol brands and automobiles have arguably the largest budgets when it comes to allocating it towards media buys, creative, production, and paying a celebrity for their time and involvement endorsing said product. But even a great commercial must be something Joe sitting on the couch at home can remember.

The competition for attention is incredibly steep; every advertiser in the program lineup has paid top dollar to put their best foot forward with their 15-30 seconds designed to capture their viewer’s attention.  Traditionally, TV commercials have largely been about brand awareness (as opposed to ROI).  Which is why the Super Bowl is the most advantageous day for well-known brands to continue to solidify the position they occupy in the consumer’s mind.

Are Super Bowl ads worth it?

Everyone has their opinion on which commercials were great and which weren’t.  But I thought instead it would be more interesting to evaluate how many ads enlisted the help of a familiar face in the form of a celebrity.

My hypothesis is that commercials are more memorable when it involves someone you recognize. Therefore, I predict this year, more advertisers will use celebrities.  It begs the question: are Super Bowl Ads worth it?  In my opinion, it’s worth it if the ad causes the audience to remember your brand or it reinforces your existing branding.

I kept track of every commercial break noting the brand name and if any famous people were involved in the commercial as a main actor or cameo. For this experiment, I considered a celebrity to be anyone who was in a TV show, a famous athlete, an actor in a movie, or a musical artist.  I didn’t count any promos for a CBS TV show because it goes without saying, any network would have aired their TV lineup if it had been their turn to host the broadcast on their network. I wanted to get the purest count of paying advertisers during the broadcast who used celebrities.

Let’s see how many ads leveraged the power of a familiar face by incorporating celebrities into their ad. I’ll bet it’s more than you think.

Notes & General disclaimers:

*Please excuse any typos in my spreadsheet below; this was mostly for fun and I was also slightly more concerned about not dropping spinach artichoke dip on my MacBook Pro. 😀

*To clarify: animals can be celebrities too. There were a handful of ads that leveraged well known animals; the GOT dragon in BudLight, the Dalmatian and Clydesdale horses in the Anheuser- Busch commercial, and Mercedes mentioned Lassie.

*Every space denotes when the commercial break started/ended. Brand names that advertised within that quarter are listed in the first column.

*Celeb = 1 means there was one or more celebrities present in the ad. 0 means no celeb was used.

Brand name Q1 Celebrity/ General observations Celeb
Bon viv sparkling water no celeb 0
m n m celeb bud I couldn’t place her quickly enough 1
hulu handmaden tail – celebs 1
bumble ad serina williams – don’t wait to make first move 1
Hyundai car – jason bateman 1
Turkish airlines The Journey – ridley scott film 0
Survivor TV bump 0
OLAY sarah michele gellar- spoof horor movie scene; face unlock 1
Doritoz backstreet /insync 1
weather tech
pet comfort
goldent retreiver dog 0
Pepsi half time show TV bump 0
Marvel captain marvel. Lindsey lohan 1
Bud Light new version of thei rperiod ads. Returning Corn syrup – whole idea is it’s not brewed w/ corn syrup 0
fast and furious producers:   Hobs & Shaw movie trailer – the rock, handsome rob 1
Expensify rap video; need receipts for the is video – guy from parks and rec 1
CBS show: FBI 0
Pepsi Steve Carell , Cardi B , lil john 1
Simpli Safe robots doing our jobs 0
T mobile giant long text message 0
Audi grandpa & son, – choaking on cashew nut. Surprise but not memorable 0
Brand name Q2 Celebrity/ General observations
Bud Light GOT season finalie (HBO) 1
avocados from mexico dog show 0
CBS show bump Worlds Best 0
Pringles 0
Google translate most translated words: hello, thank you, I love you 0
Showtime 0
Mercedes lassi get help; if only everything In life listened to you 1
pro clean deep clean. Waste of money 0
Tmobile she drives me crazy song   w/ taco bell 0
Toyota toni harris female athlete – Rav 4 hybrid 1
Planters peanuts Charlie Sheen, A rod. 1
CBS TV bump 0
mint mobile wireless 0
Norwegean cruse line 0
CBS bump – Star Treck tv spin off on spock 0
CBS twilight zone bump 0
Turbo tax robo child; all CPA’s are live people. You’ll never be emotionally complex for the job 0
Stella Artoi Terry Bradshaw, the Dude, XX Man cameo – ” the dude abides” 1
Sprint Bo Jackson (good for guys but I didn’t know who he was) 1
CBS bump 0
CBS bump bionic arm violinist 0
CBS bump young sheldon 0
CBS bump God friended me 0
Showtime bump 0
Yellowtale wine 0
Xfinity (too safe) the future of awesome 0
Draper University 0 0
(right before half time)
NFL 100 year football fumble off cake, branding play at a dinner party and football is loose 1
Pepsi half time hsow IBM watson drone “love”   “one” 0
Big Boi – outkast ; I love the way you move
Toyota subra it’s back. Sports car 0
ADT home security; home flipping twins / celebs 1
Grammys TV bump – Alisha Keys 0
Toyota college grad 0
CBS sports bump 0
DCU checking 0
Celebrity cruise line 0
(replay) Mass Mutual 0
Comcast Internet 0
DCU who is this?Local ad? 0
(halftime commentary)
Bubly Michael Buble – sparkling water 1
NCIS bumper TV bump 0
Brand name Q3 Celebrity/ General observations
Tmobile free lyft ride 0
Wix karkie ross (redone) 1
Netflix One Planet – animals. looks awesome 0
Michelob beer it’s only worth it if you can enjoy it – robot 0
Verizon it’s our job to make sure they get the call; nfll coach 1
Devour frozen foods 0
Grammys Alisha keys hosts 0
Google “jobs for veterans J225” 0
Colgate 0
CBS bump SWAT 0
Amazon prime original content Hanna 1
Sketchers 0
Bud Light driving home not made w corn syrup 0
CBS bump for their show 0
CBS bump The Neighborhood 0
CBS grammys bump 0
Chevvy a little but country a bit rock and roll 0
Hennesy 0
Dietz Nuts celeb – craig robinson. Funny 1
Brand name Q4 Celebrity/ General observations
Microsoft playing video games. They teased it online prior to superbowl 0
WeatherTech cup phone 0
BudLight not made with corn syrup 0
Verizon first responders; shorter version 0
BurgerKing #eatlikeandy 0
Budwieser dalmation; brewed with wind power 1
CBS big bang theory – last season Thursday 0
amazon forest whitker, harrison ford, great one – 1
Scary stories 0
Michelob beer organic form – hawaii ASMR zoe kravitz 1
Late show promo 0
T mobile texting conversation 0
The Washington Post knowing empowers us 0
The Grammys
Patriots win!
Amazon bit more of the same commercial – what does it mean: not every one makes the cut? 1
Total 27

Observations: half of the Super Bowl ads featured a known person or animal

Out of 54 advertisers, I counted 27 ads that ran during the game that used a celebrity or well-known animal personality. That’s about half. Which means half of the ads on the biggest advertising day of the year leveraged some type of recognizable person with which to associate their brand.

I think this is a growing trend because when it comes to advertising — yes, it’s expensive — which is why brands need to tap into the immediate effects of facial recognition and positive association with people who are funny/ cool/ cute/ and inspirational.

So, are Super Bowl ads effective?

Celebrity endorsements are nothing new. But the prominence of how many advertisers built their creative spots around this tactic so that their ad would have the greatest impact during the time when their audience has the shortest attention span confirms the effectiveness of this strategy.

When it comes to Super Bowl Sunday the audience is always going to be incredibly distracted whether they’re watching at home and using their mobile phone or at a loud bar or house party. Brands have two options to make their game day ads count: make us remember you OR remind us who you are.

The most familiar face in football: Tom Brady. Congrats on your 6th win, Patriots!