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Super Bowl Ads – The Highlights of the Year 2022

By incivus

After weeks and weeks of hype, build-up, and unforgettable halftime shows, every Super Bowl event leaves a lasting impression on the minds of the viewers and a lasting impact on the advertising world. For example, this year, Coinbase’s bouncing, color-changing QR-code ad literally broke the internet and crashed their app for a few minutes as new users rushed to claim their free bitcoin as was promised in the ad.

But that was not the only highlight of this year’s big game commercials – a lot more happened and changed the course of advertising for the years to come. Before we dive deeper into what the future holds for Super Bowl advertising, let us take a quick look at what happened on the eve of 13th February 2022.

An Overview of 2022 Super Bowl Ads

  • Total ads: 68 ads were shown during the Super Bowl event.
  • Unique advertisers: Out of 68 ads, 56 were unique advertisers.
  • Total airtime: In total, Super Bowl ads got 44 minutes of national ad airtime.
  • Average cost: On an average, brands spent $6.5M per 30-second slot.
  • Total ad spent: In total, the in-game ad spend was $545M.
  • Total viewership: Super Bowl 2022 event garnered 117 million in viewership which is 12% up from last year. 

Did you know that out of 54 advertisers 40% of them were the first timers? 

Every year USA Ad Meter (by USA Today) launches a live survey that asks viewers to rate the ads aired during Super Bowl event and based on the data collected, USA Today ranks the top and the bottom ads. So, following are the top 2 and the bottom 2 ads of Super Bowl 2022 with our analysis of the reasons for their respective ranks.

Top 2 Super Bowl Ads and Why They Worked

1. Dream House with Anna Kendrick and Barbie, Rocket Mortgage & Rocket Homes

After looking at 100s of ideas, Casey Hubris, Rocket’s Chief Marketing Officer, decided that the ad starring the ’Pitch Perfect’ star Anna Kendrick where she helps Barbie win the bidding war for her dreamhouse was THE Super Bowl-worthy and campaign-able idea of Rocket Mortgage and its sister company, Rocket Homes. 

Apart from the great storyline, Rocket Mortgage’s ad gained the edge over the others as they manage to secure a complete commitment from Anna Kendrick and Mattel. Anna with her 7 million followers and Mattel with their 500,000 followers were active in teasing their audience just before the game day. 

Incivus Insight: Rocket Mortgage highlighted their product for 10% of the 60-sec ad and they were able to gain attention to their product for 100% of the product presence. The key remains in seamlessly integrating the product in the storyline. 

2. Mind Reader, Amazon

Amazon’s Super Bowl ad was titled ‘Mind Reader’ where the story revolved around the possibility of Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, having the capability to read people’s minds. The brand took a celebrity-driven approach to promote their virtual assistant Alexa and Echo, their smart speaker. 

Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost, the celebrity couple starring in the ad, were so impressed by Alexa’s game-day routine that they start comparing it with Alexa being able to read their minds that leads to disastrous results. The ad is funny, entertaining, and entices viewers into the storyline as they anticipate Alexa’s next prediction. 

Incivus Insight: In their 60-sec ad spot, Amazon displayed their product for 19% of the ad length and they were able to successfully garner the attention of their viewers on their product for 94% of the product presence. 

Bottom 2 Ads and Why They Didn’t Work

1. Flying Your Way, eToro

eToro’s Super Bowl Ad ’Flying Your Way – The Power of Social Investing’ revolves around a person trying to find his way in the investing world. And as he explores the investing world, he is surprised after he discovers the powerful combination of social media and investment platform. 

Over 25 million users are seen flying around the city, trying to answer questions by the new user in the Super Bowl ad. 

Incivus Insight: While the storyline and the concept were unique, eToro failed to highlight their product (in this case, their app) in their 30-sec slot. Moreover, they displayed their branding elements for 27% of the ad length but were only able to gain attention on them for 44% of their presence which is quite low. 

2. A Floating QR Code, Coinbase

Coinbase took a huge risk when they aired their bouncing, color-changing QR-code ad during the Super Bowl. The QR-code, when scanned, led the users to their app wherein if they signed up for the app, they could claim $15 worth Bitcoin. 

Despite being rated as the one of the worst ads of 2022, it was the most talked about ad on the Internet. And here are some mind-blowing facts about how their ad broke the internet.

  • On Super Bowl Sunday, it was in Twitter’s trending topics. 
  • According to Sprout Social, the ad was tweeted about 31,000 times with 250,000 engagements and 207.5 million potential impressions. 
  • According to Marketing Dive, Coinbase received as much as 386,073 online engagements in a single day.

Coinbase spent approximately $16M for their ad and frankly, it did its job. After the ad aired on Super Bowl, it crashed Coinbase’ website and app for a few minutes, generated hundreds of PR mentions and articles, and added over $1B to its market cap overnight. A whopping 1 billion dollars! 

Apart from Coinbase, brands like Avocados from Mexico, Captain Morgan and Samsung also received a respectful number of Tweets and engagements during Super Bowl Sunday. Avocados from Mexico received 13,865 mentions, Captain Morgan received 10,841 mentions, and Samsung received 8,465 mentions.

5 Overarching Themes of Super Bowl Ads of 2022

  • Targeted towards millennials: After watching all the Super Bowl Ads of 2022 countless times, we realized something was missing; yes, all the TikTok celebrities and the Gen Z slangs and references. It seems like brands are marketing their products and services primarily to millennials – a trend which might change in the future. 
  • Hint of power imbalance between brands and celebrities: Most brands took a star-studded approach to their Big Game ads which made it evident that to get attention and be a part of post-game conversations, celebrities were a must. Clearly, celebrities are more effective than any other brand elements when it comes to attracting attention. 
  • Legitimization of crypto: Crypto brands like Coinbase, FTX, etc. used the legitimacy of a Super Bowl ad spot to build trust among their target audience. 
  • Desire for humor: To return to pre-covid narratives, most brands used humor and nostalgia as the main emotions in their ads. 
  • Sonic branding is here to stay: Sonic branding, when used in the right way, has always worked for the brands and it is not going anywhere in the future. A few brands like Squarespace leaned on catchy songs and tunes like Sally sells seashells by the seashore to make their ad creative more memorable. 

A Quick Glimpse of the Future of Marketing

Super Bowl Ads have always been an indicator of the present cultural standing of society and of the future of marketing. Based on the directions and storylines of the Super Bowl ads, here is what we have deduced on what the future of marketing might look like:

  • Empowerment to the consumers: As like FTX’s Don’t Be Like Larry was made to educate customers and as our everyday lives get more intertwined with complex technologies, marketing will need to make it a point to educate and empower customers with the right information and know-how. 
  • Human-to-human marketing: It is unlike for B2B brands to approach their advertising with a human-to-human strategy but most of the B2B brands in Super Bowl like QuickBooks, ClickUp, Monday.com and more showcased how they are designed to make the lives of people easier in a more personalized way. 
  • More tech behind big game spots: With robot dogs, mention of cryptocurrency trading platforms, and self-driving cars, we saw increased use of AI in several brand’s advertising campaigns in the year 2022. In the coming years, we will see a seamless integration between the tech and the brands. 

More on how AI is all set to rule the 2023 ads in our next article. 

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