I’m Ad Age Editor Jeanine Poggi, taking one last look at what you need to know about all of the commercials ahead of Super Bowl LVI. With just hours to go until the Cincinnati Bengals face off against the Los Angeles Rams, airing on NBC, Ad Age is bringing you breaking news, analysis and first looks at the high-stakes Big Game commercials—all in our Super Bowl newsletter.
Final ad tally
Numerous Super Bowl advertisers were willing to show their hand this year, with 45 pre-released commercials compared with 36 last year. Watch them all here.
But you won’t get to see commercials from Google, Verizon, eToro, Polestar, E-Trade, FTX, the NFL or Hologic until they air in the game.
Here’s a look at all of the confirmed advertisers set to appear in the Super Bowl. It’s worth noting Ad Age only considers a brand an official Super Bowl advertiser if it runs between coin toss and end of play. So that means that Headspace’s ad and other pre-kickoff spots aren’t part of our final tally.
There are at least 18 first-time advertisers in the Super Bowl this year, slightly below the 21 newcomers who ran an ad in last year’s game. Newcomers include crypto brands like FTX, Crypto.com and eToro, electric vehicle charger Wallbox, Caesars Sportsbook and Planet Fitness. Trends to watch
The auto category is returning in full force, with six automakers running eight ads. Last year, just four automakers ran five ads. One thing they have in common—they will be using the game to promote their electric vehicle ambitions.
??There will be a few traditional auto Super Bowl advertisers missing, however. Stellantis (formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) confirmed to Ad Age that it will be on the sidelines. The automaker ran an ad for Jeep last year featuring Bruce Springsteen, after sitting out the 2019 game, but before that had appeared in every Super Bowl since 2009. Hyundai is sitting it out for the second straight year after regularly running ads in years prior.
Health and wellness is also a growing ad category. After all, as you are stuffing your face with chips and drinking beer, it’s only natural you also want to think about hitting the gym and getting your cholesterol checked.
There will also be new forms of innovation featured in Super Bowl commercials, including several cryptocurrency brands, an NFT cameo and multiple references to the metaverse.
Super Bowl ads continue to be more humorous and lighthearted this year, as marketers try to inject some entertainment into real-life fatigue. Marketers, it seems, don’t want to go anywhere near politics or issues that could be viewed as controversial. Based on Ad Age’s viewing of ads before the game, roughly 20% have a more serious tone, while 80% are humorous or lighthearted.
Several brands will recreate iconic movies and TV shows, including General Motors’ “Austin Powers” revival, T-Mobile’s “Scrubs’” reunion, and Verizon’s take on Jim Carrey’s “The Cable Guy.”
You can read more about trends to watch here.
Ad Age is also tracking representation in Super Bowl commercials. We asked every advertiser with plans to air in-game commercials about how they prioritized diversity and inclusion in the creation and production of their ads. This included how they approached casting, diversity within the agencies they worked with, and the makeup of those working on the production. While some brands had very clear action steps and outlined ways they implemented these practices in the conceptual and production phases of their ads, many could not provide specific details on the makeup of who worked on their ads. Others continued to provide cookie-cutter DEI mission statements that simply said they support the cause without disclosing much detail.
When it comes to casting: Of the 49 commercials viewed by Ad Age as of Sunday morning, there are 37 people of color in leading or featured roles. There are also 42 women with starring or featured roles compared with 63 men. Last year, of the 35 ads that were pre-released, there were 27 people of color, 30 women and 54 men in lead or featured roles.
Behind the camera, of the 54 commercials that reported director information to Ad Age as of Sunday morning, 47 are men, seven are women and five are people of color. Last year there were three female directors and five people of color.
Follow us during the game
Ad Age’s editorial team will be bringing you all the Super Bowl commercial news and reactions during the game.
Follow @AdAge on Twitter, starting at 6 p.m. EST, where I will be tweeting commentary, insights and analysis about all the commercials. Be sure to join the conversation!
And follow reporters and editors Judann Pollack (@judy_pollack), E.J. Schultz (@ejschultz3), Adrianne Pasquarelli (@shelikestoshop), Jessica Wohl (@jessicawohl), Ann-Christine Diaz (@annzo), Brian Bonilla (@BrianBonillaNYC) and Asa Hiken (@asabhiken).
Super Bowl commercial playlist
From Dolly Parton to Doja Cat, the music featured in this year’s crop of commercials certainly runs the gamut. Ad Age compiled the soundtrack of the Super Bowl commercials for you to rock out as you prep your game-day snacks.