As one of the most watched events of each year, Super Bowl LVI lived up to the hype in 2022. While the actual game being played at So-Fi Stadium in Los Angeles was the main headliner to an entertainment-packed weekend, one element that always peaks viewers’ interest is the high-value commercials throughout the big game. With just over 101.1 million TV viewers, these commercials provide an opportunity for companies to strengthen their brand, and build a lasting impact with the audience.
Formula and Strategies
The branding strategies that dominated the night tended to rely on references to pop culture, celebrity nostalgia, and cryptocurrency-related industries. In contrast to 2021, the general tone of successfully branded commercials brought a sense of cheerfulness and normalcy after last year’s pandemic-fueled approach to commercial scripts. While everyone probably has their own top-5 when it comes to the best commercials, the EWISE team put together their list of the top-5 branding efforts during the 2022 Super Bowl LVI.
1. Coinbase’s “QR Screensaver” Commercial:
The commercial that dominated the night from a viral standpoint was Coinbase’s QR Code Screensaver. This simple commercial displayed QR code bouncing around a black screen that paralleled that of an old retro screensaver. Scanning the code offered a promotion to Coinbase’s site, making the engagement a worthwhile one for the audience. In fact, the approach made the commercial the most heavily discussed commercial of the night. So much so, that the company’s website crashed in the wake of its airing. Although this was a small hiccup, the advertisement generated quite a bit of buzz on social media. In fact, there were over 33,600 tweets and 267,000 engagements referencing the commercial on Twitter alone. For a commercial with an incredibly low budget (outside of buying the actual commercial slot), it’s pretty impressive how it dominated the night in terms of discussion.
2. Crypto.com’s “The Moment of Truth” Commercial:
The second most successful commercial of the night was a perfect concoction of nostalgia, celebrity cameos, and current trends. Crypto.com recently announced a long-term partnership with NBA super star Lebron James, and this commercial made it truly official. This well constructed marketing piece depicted Lebron James speaking with a CGI-rendered version of his 17-year-old self. The commercial quickly blossomed into one of the most discussed and meme-worthy moments of Super Bowl Sunday. For Crypto.com, it seems the people of Los Angeles are an important audience, as they recently bought Staples Center as well. This blast from the past was a treat for anyone that has followed Lebron’s career over the last two decades.
3. Planet Fitness’ “What’s Gotten into Lindsay?” Commercial:
Nostalgia is always a go-to when it comes to successful Super Bowl commercials. Planet Fitness used this in a near perfect manner to promote their company during Super Bowl Sunday. To do so, they brought in a Planet Fitness advocate and a star celebrity, Lindsay Lohan. When it comes to nostalgia, it doesn’t get any better than Lindsay. She was a childhood star in the early 2000’s, and couldn’t do much of anything to escape the spotlight (for better or worse). This commercial highlighted Lohan’s struggles in the spotlight, but added a light-hearted approach to make it relatable to what they were trying to sell to their audience. So, what were they trying to sell? Well, it’s simple: If Lindsay Lohan can get her life together and go to the gym, so can everyone else. Planet fitness executed this in a fun, personable way that made this marketing push one to remember!
4. Chevy’s “The Sopranos” Commercial:
Many of the most discussed commercials all had a similar theme: Nostalgia. Chevy was yet another company that took advantage of this theme in a successful manner. Chevy did so by using the nostalgia of the popular show The Sopranos, which already had a return to pop culture with their new movie late in 2021. Within the first second of hearing the popular theme song, fans of the show gave their undivided attention to the commercial for the entire 60 second slot. This commercial played to multiple generations by using a sentimental reference in order to guide the attention to the future of electric cars. When you successfully utilize a reference to a show as iconic as The Sopranos, the payout is going to be tremendous! With the return of some prominent characters and locations within the show, Chevy attached their new 2022 Chevy Silverado with an already successful entity.
5. Uber Don’t Eats Commercial:
The Uber Eats’ “Don’t Eats” commercial had a very contrasting approach from the rest of the top commercials of the night. Instead of using nostalgia, they attacked their biggest marketing challenge, which was educating their users that their app delivers household products in addition to food. They used celebrities and pop culture references to deliver this concept by having them eat items that weren’t quite edible. They questioned eating these items in an almost sarcastic manner. In the background, the popular song Oh No by Capone can be heard as celebrities eat items like candles, deodorant, kitty litter, and even diapers. Seeing as though the song has been used frequently on various Tik Tok trends throughout the last year, many viewers immediately tuned in to see what trend Uber Eats was trying to start. Hopefully, it doesn’t influence viewers to start eating tide pods again...