Breakdown of This Year’s Super Bowl Ads

Breakdown of This Year's Super Bowl Ads

Written by: Stephanie Bariatti, SMB Media Marketing Consultant 


            For some (like us advertising nerds), the Super Bowl is all about the commercials.  With a little more than a week until the Big Game, we break down some of the most anticipated spots and what to expect from the brands that are in.


            Before we dive into individual brands, let’s talk about just how much it cost to buy airtime during this year’s broadcast.  While NBC — the Super Bowl's broadcaster this year — does not report the price of every ad, in Septmeber, Dan Lovinger, executive vice president of advertising sales for NBC Sports Group, said sales were going at a "record pace" and recent 30-second spots at the time had sold for $6.5 million.  In 2021, CBS sold Super Bowl ads for an average of $5.6 million, Bloomberg reported last year.  Lovinger said the number of ads aired during the game would likely be between 80 and 90, similar to previous years.


            The 2022 Super Bowl will be filled with commercials from automakers like General Motors and Kia, Taco Bell, Sam’s Club, cryptocurrency makers including and FTX, and veterans like Kellogg’s Pringles and Avocados from Mexico.  Dan Lovinger also indicated studios were making a return to the ad roster after stepping back last year, while sports-betting and streaming companies were flocking to the event. 


            But some old standbys like Mars Wrigley (M&M’s, Skittles, Snickers) will sit out of the Super Bowl for the first time in 12 years.  Also out are Tide, Kraft Heinz and Jaguar


            And now, this is not an exhaustive list, but here are some highlights from some of the biggest advertisers…



            Pepsi Frito-Lay definitely has a lot of skin in this game.  First off, Pepsi brings us the highly anticipates Halftime Show, this year featuring Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.  Over the past weeks, Pepsi spent a lot of time running ads and promotions for the glitzy spectacle, including a three minute cinematic-style trailer that you can check out here.  But, just as it did last year, Pepsi won’t run any Super Bowl ads for its namesake product, though other parts of parent PepsiCo, like Frito-Lay snacks, will appear during the event. 

  • Frito-Lay's first-ever Flamin' Hot Super Bowl campaign released a series of mysterious teaser trailers for their ad featuring Megan Thee Stallion and Charlie Puth.  Now, having released their full ad, it showcases Megan voicing an animated songbird and Puth voicing a beat boxing fox.



  • PepsiCo. has also previewed a spot featuring Peyton and Eli Manning, Jerome Bettis, Terry Bradshaw and Victor Cruz snacking and sipping their way to the Big Game. 


Michelob Ultra

            Peyton Manning shows up yet again in this campaign for Michelob Ultra, this time pairing up with Steve Buscemi.  The beer brand has released three teasers that show the action taking place at a bowling alley.




            Clydesdale fans rejoice!  After sitting out last year, the iconic horses are back.  Although they initially released only a 10-second teaser, Budweiser has now released their full one-minute inspirational ad. 




            The telecom giant has two star-studded spots on the lineup this year.  One involves an awkward high school reunion moment between Demi Moore and Mila Kunis.  The other has Zac Efron starring as both himself and a fisherman.



A few more honorable mentions include:


-Bic Lighters with Snoop Dog and Martha Stewart


-Busch Beer with Kenny G


-Sam’s Club with Kevin Hart


-Bud Light with Guy Fieri


            So, there you have it.  Super Bowl LVI will be full of many star-studded, mostly humorous ads.  Many brands are eager to set an upbeat tone this year, keeping their spots light, funny and optimistic.  Though there certainly were comical ads last year, many brands opted for a more somber tone since we were coming off of a heated political season and we were still in the midst of the pandemic.  Viewership of the Super Bowl was also down last year, so advertisers may be hoping to pull in more viewers with their humor.   


            As always, happy watching.  You can catch Super Bowl LVI on NBC, Telemundo and Peacock on Sunday, February 13.    


Stephanie Bariatti works as a Consultant and Project Manager for SMB Media Consulting.  She has had extensive experience with many facets of advertising and media, having worked for and with creative agencies, production companies and research departments.  She lives in New York with her wonderful husband, three lovable little boys and a snuggly Golden Retriever.



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