Super Bowl Alert—First commercial drops, mystery NFT and more travel

I’m Ad Age Editor Jeanine Poggi, counting down to Super Bowl LVI. In the weeks leading up to the game, which will, as of now, air on NBC on Feb. 13, Ad Age will bring you breaking news, analysis and first looks at the high-stakes, Big-Game commercials—all in our Super Bowl newsletter. Sign up right here to get them in your email.First spot drops 

Vroom is once again the first brand to reveal its Super Bowl commercial a full 25 days before kickoff. The song-and-dance number shows the roller-coaster ride that is selling a car: from the euphoria of finding a buyer to the letdown of said buyer pulling out of the deal. The Broadway-esque spot is meant to show how Vroom takes all the hassle out of selling a car. Watch the commercial here.

RSVP for Ad Age’s Super Bowl event on Feb. 8 at ads pile on 

BMW will advertise in the Super Bowl for the first time in seven years, Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports. BMW is the fifth automaker to confirm a 2022 in-game ad, following Nissan, Toyota, General Motors and Kia. Last year, only three automakers bought ads, and in 2020 there were six. The category’s recent peak came in 2018, when 11 auto brands ran ads

BMW last appeared in the game in 2015 with an ad starring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel. It flashed back to 1994 when the then-“Today Show” hosts struggled with the concept of the internet. The spot then flashed forward, as the duo pondered the improbability of electric cars—specifically BMW’s i3 EV. 

While BMW remained tight-lipped about the focus of this year’s spot, it seems natural that the company would want to once again use its Big Game ad to plug electric vehicles. 

You can watch BMW’s prior Super Bowl ads in our voluminous, searchable Super Bowl Ad Archive. 

Get the latest Ad Age Super Bowl 2022 news here.Going for laughs 

Lay’s has cast Seth Rogen as the star of its Super Bowl commercial, Ad Age’s Jon Springer reports. A 15-second teaser released by the Frito-Law potato chip brand shows a shadowy bearded character singing, “Oh Seth Rogen, Oh Seth Rogen, where are you?” before a makeshift shrine to the star of comedies like “Knocked Up,” “Superbad” and “Sausage Party.” Watch the teaser here.Bud Light’s mystery NFT 

It looks like Bud Light could be poised to bring NFTs to the Super Bowl. The Anheuser-Busch InBev brand switched its Twitter profile picture earlier this week to an NFT avatar from Nouns, a project that mints one new NFT per day. According to Decrypt, a site that covers Bitcoin and Ethereum news, Nouns purchased the beer-themed NFT valued at about $394,000 to give to Bud Light as part of a deal for Nouns glasses to be featured in a Super Bowl commercial and on real beer cans. An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson declined to comment on Super Bowl plans. Given AB InBev’s push into the NFT space, a digital token of some kind is all but a given tied to the Big Game. 

 Miller goes to the metaverse

While Miller Lite won’t air a Super Bowl commercial (AB InBev holds exclusive rights in the beer category), the brand will look to get some buzz around the Big Game by building a bar in the metaverse. The bar, which will live in the virtual platform Decentraland, will be the sole place where fans can watch Miller Lite’s “Big Game” ad, Ad Age’s Asa Hiken writes.  Pepsi sits out again 

Pepsi-Cola will once again skip running an in-game Super Bowl ad for the second straight year, instead investing its marketing efforts in its halftime show sponsorship, Schultz writes. Those efforts are kicking off with what Pepsi is calling a “trailer” for the show, which stars Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.Taking to the skies  

Turkish Airlines is the latest travel brand to confirm that it will return to the game, Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli reports. The airline last aired a Super Bowl ad in 2019. Turkish also marks the third brand in the travel sector to reveal Big Game plans. 

Last week, said it will air its first commercial in the game as it tries to capture growing interest for trip-taking from consumers. Expedia will also air a spot in the game for its namesake brand, as well as a spot for its Vrbo brand in the pre-game.

To keep track of all the advertisers running national spots in the game, bookmark Ad Age’s regularly updated Super Bowl ad chart.  All sold out … almost 

NBC, which will air the game on Feb. 13, provided a brief update earlier this week on the state of Super Bowl ad sales. “When it comes to the Super Bowl, we are virtually sold out, as we have been for quite some time,” said Dan Lovinger, executive VP, sales and partnerships, NBCUniversal. “We tend to hold a few units in our back pocket until the final game match-up is announced, because as we’ve learned, some optionality is helpful for us and it’s helpful for our advertising partners. So much of the decision to be part of the Super Bowl is based on creative, and when we know who’s in the game, sometimes that creative creates some resonance based on the match-up. So that optionality is there and we’ll be able to react with the last few units.”

 Best matchup for brands

According to data, measurement, and analytics company EDO, recreating last year’s Buccaneers and Chiefs Super Bowl matchup would provide advertisers the most “bang for their buck.” Call it the Brady-Mahomes effect. Ads that aired during regular season Buccaneers games generated 26% more engagement for advertisers than the average broadcast primetime program, while ads aired during Chiefs games generated 23% more engagement, according to EDO. This day in Super Bowl history 

Super Bowl XIII was played 43 years ago today when the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Dallas Cowboys. That year saw an ad from five-year-old Miller Lite (this was long before AB InBev held exclusive rights and Bud Light didn’t even exist). There were also spots from McDonald’s, Master Lock and IBM, according to the Ad Age Super Bowl Archive. NBC was averaging $222,000 for 30 seconds of air time that year when adjusted for inflation in early 2016.

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