Super Bowl Alert: ‘Thursday Night Football’ gets some play, chips go CGI, and women take center stage

I’m Ad Age Editor Jeanine Poggi, counting down to Super Bowl LVI. In the weeks leading up to the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams, which will 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.Touchdown

Amazon Prime Video is returning to the Super Bowl with at least one spot that will promote “Thursday Night Football,” which moves to the streamer from Fox this year. In today’s live edition of Ad Age Remotely, Amazon Prime Video Chief Marketing Officer Ukonwa Ojo unveiled the streamer’s Super Bowl commercial plans. Watch the full interview on the company’s Super Bowl marketing strategy.RSVP for Ad Age’s Super Bowl event on Feb. 8 at CGI?

Despite hyping up the appearance of Megan Thee Stallion and Charlie Puth in its Super Bowl ad through multiple teasers, Frito-Lay instead went the CGI route for its commercial, Ad Age’s Jon Springer reports. We don’t actually see the two music stars: Megan Thee Stallion and Charlie Puth voice woodland animals who jump on bags of snacks when they fall from the backpack of a birdwatcher perched on a jungle tree limb. Their reactions to tasting the Flamin’ Hot varieties include “oohs” and “ahhs” that when combined create the backbeat of Salt-N-Pepa’s 1980s hit, “Push It.” The fox’s voice is provided by Charlie Puth, the Grammy-nominated singer known for his beatboxing skills, while Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion plays a songbird emerging from the mouth of a crocodile. 

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

 Diners, drive-ins and Bud 

Bud Light is tapping Food Network star Guy Fieri for its Super Bowl push around its Seltzer Hard Soda line extension, Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports. An extended 60-second version of the 45-second ad that will appear in the game was released today. 

This is the first ad campaign for Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda, which recently hit stores and comes in flavors such as cherry cola and orange soda and comes as Anheuser-Busch InBev continues to expand its core Bud Light label in an effort to remain relevant. The brand is also running a Super Bowl ad for Bud Light Next, a new zero-carb beer aimed at younger drinkers who don’t like feeling bloated. (Um, who does?)

 Product focused

Gillette isn’t bringing in a big-named celebrity or other kinds of star power for its first Super Bowl commercial in 16 years. Instead, the Procter & Gamble brand is squarely focusing on the product—the launch of GilletteLabs with an exfoliating bar razor system. 

Gillette’s last Super Bowl commercial in 2006, promoted its new system, Fusion—a razor with five blades on the front and one on the back. Gillette’s last big activity around Super Bowl time was a controversial #MeToo-inspired ad in 2019 that took on toxic masculinity.

You can watch Gillette’s prior Super Bowl ad, among others, in our voluminous, searchable Super Bowl Ad Archive.Girl power

Medtech company Hologic is putting women center stage in its Super Bowl commercial—both in front of and behind the camera, Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli reports. Mary J. Blige will star in the ad, which promotes women prioritizing their health. Behind the camera, the spot was directed by Child, whose bio says she focuses on exploring “the depths of the Black experience;” CHE? Creative, a 100% Black-owned and women-led shop, worked with Hologic to create the spot; and Little Minx, a women-owned production company, handled production duties.

This comes as the ad world continues to be called upon to diversify and create more inclusive marketing. Last year, such efforts fell short, especially behind the camera. In 2021, credits provided by agencies and advertisers for all Big Game commercials found that only three of the 87 spots that ran were directed by women; at most five people of color directed the ads.

Watch all the Super Bowl commercial teasers released so far, including DraftKings and Pringles. RSVP for Ad Age’s Super Bowl event on Feb. 8 at

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