Advertising's Super Bops of Super Bowl LVI
Standouts in a year of mostly “safe” creative: our Super Bowl LVI commercial roundup

Overall, 2022 wasn’t the most memorable year for Super Bowl ads. It doesn’t seem to be simply a COVID logistics effect—because there were plenty of commercials shot IRL with high profile talent aplenty—but a case of the creative concepts being a bit lackluster.

Amidst a two-year pandemic and a doom-and-gloom news cycle, the ads this year leaned into lighthearted fun and humor over emotional depth. While humor always plays a role in Super Bowl spots, it probably also showed that writers felt that the audience was emotionally drained (while brand managers clearly want to avoid their Pepsi/Kendall Jenner moment).

A program for Millennials! They’ll love it!

This year was one where the Super Bowl Halftime Program and commercials were clearly targeted at Millennials (just don’t tell Gen X). The (rude) awakening here is that, in the year 2022, Millennials are not the new emerging “cool generation", but rather one that conveniently sits at the sweet spot of advertising targets—an age and life stage that accounts for the greatest consumer spending relative to the overall population.


Looking Forward and Looking Back 

Ads this year were a blend of looking ahead to the future (cryptocurrency, ultra-fast internet service, online gambling platforms) and a nod to familiarity (featuring familiar roles / storylines) from high profile celebs.

Here’s our rundown of who stood out last night.



What was great:

  • Ultra-simple creative. (Low budget—max that ROI!)
  • Oddly relevant. Given the pandemic-induced comeback of the QR code, the bouncing box was reminiscent of the DVD screensaver that captivated the millennial generation
  • Created intrigue of WHO is running this ad?
  • Created immediacy: scanning the QR code to figure out who was behind it created an immediate CTA for the audience, with people scrambling off the couch, knocking over snacks to get in front of the TV
  • Designed to drive immediate action / user acquisition: On top of the super bowl spot, $15 in BTC is money well spent to acquire new users

What wasn’t great:

  • No POV: The shock value was there, but likely will fade away as it won’t be a fan favorite for long…meaning this spot has a short shelf life
  • Devil in the details: The ad was so effective it broke the site. At face value, it’s not the worst outcome, but this is certainly more troubling coming from a company trying to get you to invest with them.
  • Didn’t do anything to make them relevant or differentiated beyond the Super Bowl


What was great:

  • Creative format to create the beat / song using characters
  • Super cute storyline with adorable animals
  • Clear connection to the product benefits of joyful craveability
  • Awesome CGI blending real people and animation made it “fantasy-like” and believable
  • Two SKUs, One Spot: featuring both Doritos and Cheetos maxed Frito Lay's return on investment



What was great:

  • Overall concept direction featuring Larry David in a role that was perfect for him—a well-known cynic who’s resistant to change
  • One of the more creative spots with several characters and storylines—more memorable and effective than Matt Damon’s



What was great:

  • Played into the long-standing relationship between Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart perfectly
  • Subtle nods to cannabis and Snoop’s love for it felt timely, especially with him performing in the halftime show
  • Highlighted product benefits perfectly for two very distinctive audiences
  • Presented a lesson in how to be relevant to multiple audiences with the same product


What was great:

  • Hilarious spoof on a beer commercial with kids “breaking the law” with water (set to a Judas Priest song, no less)

What was not great:

  • It’s still pretty unclear what this brand is really about or why it is called Liquid Death…details?


What was great: 

  • Highlighting “Real Tone”—a product feature correcting for known racial bias in technology
  • Commissioning Lizzo to feature a brand new song in the commercial, tying into the cultural awareness for people of color to feel truly seen 

So there you have it, our hot takes on Super Bowl LVI! What was your favorite? What did we miss?