6 Best Super Bowl Ads of 2022 You May Have Missed
Some people watch the Super Bowl for the game, and some people watch the Super Bowl for the ads.
We’ll give you a moment to think about which camp we fall into.
(Did you think it wasn’t the commercials?)
Each Super Bowl brings with it an ocean of new ad creative, from the biggest brands to the smallest players, all trying to make an impact on a global stage.
But the big game is also the moment where brand’s go all-in on their ad creative.
It’s a time where they put less emphasis on expressly selling their product, and more on creating a vibe they hope will become synonymous with their brand. That could be from eccentric comedy with huge celebrities to ads that tell emotionally complex stories that compel a viewer to see a legacy brand in a new light.
But with every single ad striving to be more memorable than the next, it can get a little mentally taxing trying to catch and process every spot in every commercial break. We’ve pulled a selection of our favorite ads from the 2022 Super Bowl that we think can be the perfect thought starters for you to conceptualize your future ad creative.
Here’s our favorites.
Learn More: Social Media Video Ad Specs & Placements Guide
One of the internet’s biggest obsessions is the A24 folk horror film, Midsommar, a movie about a group of college grad students who stumble into a creepy cult in Sweden. In the ad, a hapless man finds himself in the mysterious land of Irish Spring, where the locals seem to have a low tolerance for anyone they consider stinky.
As a rush of anxiety fills his face, and the music swells, we see a collage of shots of the man going through a strange ritual before joyously dancing around a maypole (in the shape of a bottle of Irish Spring, naturally) having found acceptance after putting a stop to his B.O with their body wash. The niche horror reference may fly over some viewers’ heads, but the confidence in going in this creative direction positions Irish Spring as a brand with a finger on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not on the internet today.
Audiences are receptive to advertising that engages emotion through storytelling, which is at the core of what makes this ad from Toyota so effective.
Viral videos of paralympic athletes have captivated internet audiences who’ve been impressed by the athleticism of their guide runners. Toyota feeds that curiosity by telling a story of two brothers, one an athlete who lost his vision, and the other his brother who helped him achieve his dreams after an unthinkable setback.
Even more incredible? For the biggest ad opportunity of the year, Toyota didn’t use the spot to sell a product, but to radiate goodwill, something world wide audiences are craving in 2022.
The pandemic accelerated a lot of things in the tech world, but none more obvious than delivery services. In the pre-pan days, delivery was dominated by your favorite local restaurants, but as the way we consume–well, everything–changed in 2020, so did what we expect to get delivered to us.
Now we aren’t just ordering shawarma bowls and birria tacos, we want basic necessities from our local bodega, from shampoo to kitty litter. Uber Eats makes this relatable new fact of life the center of this spot featuring a revolving door of celebrities, like Jennifer Coolidge and Nicholas Braun, asking the question on everyone’s mind: if everything’s delivered by Uber Eats, does that mean everything can be eaten?
Alright, so it was probably hard not to miss my favorite ad from the 2022 Super Bowl. This spot is many things all at once: one of the simplest, most affordable, and most inventive ads of the night.
It first catches your attention with a visual effect that gives the appearance of watching some mysterious VHS tape with a cryptic message. Suddenly we see a black screen with a QR code bouncing around the frame, oscillating colors as it moves in diagonal lines. This forces the viewers off their couch and to their screen with phones in hand, snapping the code, which takes them to a landing page with two options: signing up for their bitcoin service or, for those already on their platform, the option to win $3 million.
The ticker clock at the top of the screen counting down when the offer expires only turns up the heat for the viewer to make the leap into the crypto space.
For the cheekiest spot of the night, we present you this ad from shoe brand Skechers featuring country legend Willie Nelson. Nelson is best known for his Texas roots and renegade music, but it’s his laidback bonhomie that has made him such a lasting icon in the entertainment industry–something many fans attribute to his advocacy for a certain kind of plant with proven medicinal properties.
Now, this plant is something the Super Bowl expressly bans from even being discussed in the commercials that run during the big game, so in order to make a statement that is becoming less and less controversial each year, Skechers got creative. You see, this isn’t a spot about you know what–it’s about how Skechers shoes are so comfortable they feel practically illegal. The ad then breaks the fourth wall as a director’s voice chimes in to remind Willie that actually, no, Skechers shoes aren’t against the law. “I assumed the man made ‘em illegal,” Willie quips back.
Considering the amount of alcohol commercials that run during the big game, and the continued destigmatization of one of Willie’s greatest loves, we have a feeling in the next few years ads on this subject won’t have to pull a cloak and dagger to get their message across.
Meta Quest 2
Look, the jury is still out on exactly how excited the internet is about entering the metaverse, so Meta decided coax in audiences to their digital world by hitting them with a bit of emotion and engaging something that’ll never not be popular: nostalgia.
If you were a child of the ‘80s and ‘90s with strong memories of watching animatronic rock bands at Showbiz Pizza or Chuck E. Cheese then you’ll find your heart strings being pulled ever so slightly by this spot centered on a robot dog being put out to pasture, but finding new life in the metaverse.
Bonus: Mint Mobile
Let’s get a few technicalities out of the way. Yes, this ad technically didn’t run during the Super Bowl. Yes, this ad was technically created for a 2019 campaign. And yes, Ryan Reynolds is the Chief Creative Officer at MNTN (which technically makes him one of our talented coworkers.) But don’t let those technicalities distract you from why we chose to include this ingenious spot from Mint Mobile.
The ad does something that is part of the backbone of QuickFrame by MNTN’s approach to video creation: repurposing existing creative into new video ads. By flipping the image to immediately grab audience attention, and layering a new voice over to replace the previous dialogue, MNTN is able to make a subtle point. You don’t need millions of dollars to create a commercial that is engaging and effective in a unique way. Don’t think celebrities like Ryan Reynolds are the only ones able to get away with doing something so out-of-the-box. Use this spot as permission to needle into the esoteric corners of your own brand to surface humor and creativity in your next campaign.
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