Advertising’s Biggest Night

A Deep Dive into Super Bowl LVI’s Advertisements

While the Super Bowl LVI was an emotional rollercoaster for both Bangles and Rams fans, the nail-biting game wasn’t the only focal point. Bizjournal and Avocado Technology reported that more than 40% of Super Bowl viewers annually tuned in specifically for the advertisements. 50% of the respondents added they then “purchased the product or service.” With that in mind, let’s touch on the 2022 highlights.

One of the biggest debates of the evening revolved around Coinbase’s 60-second bouncing QR code ad. The “USA Today Ad Meter” heavily criticized the spot, while AdAge, Adweek, and many other publications praised it. With the average cost of a 30-second 2022 Super Bowl commercial landing at about $6.5 million, Coinbase spent a fortune on the placement. Taylor Holiday, Common Thread Collective, outlined the necessity for a positive ROI. Ultimately, the ad drove more than 20 million visits to the company website in the first minute. That looks like a win for Coinbase.

Other than Coinbase, opinions on the ad were similar. Rocket Morgage–Dream House, and Lay’s–Golden Moments were the most praised. Did anyone spot the StockX cameo in the Rocket Morgage spot?

EV had two standouts: BMW–Zeus & Hera included brilliant comedic timing, while Kia–Robo Dog tugged at our heartstrings. Kia also used their ad to enter Web3, as they opened an auction for six unique Robo Dog NFTs on As per their press release, this is the start of a more extensive campaign. 

The Pepsi Halftime Ultra Pass Experience was one of my favorites. Viewers could download an app to immerse themselves in the production. The experience included a 360-degree close-up camera, AR technology, and backstage footage. An incredible way to elevate an already unbelievable performance.

My final thoughts: I agree with AdAge reporting all ads revolved around crypto, health and wellness, electric vehicles, and celebrities. First, the Coinbase QR code was genius. It drove significant traffic to the website, and the curiosity led to conversation and top-of-mind awareness. Second, the ads were clearly a cluster of celebrity cameos, but I’ll take it after last year. For me, watching Alexa read Johanson's mind and Rudd and Rogen cracking jokes was hilarious. Lastly, while there was an increase in audience engagement, the experiences fell flat. Brands are entering “the metaverse” in many unique ways, yet the most interactive elements were QR code links to websites and camera angles. I would’ve loved to see gamification, social media filters, shazam scanning, XR overlays, a VR headset experience, a “Zoom” section (think NBA 2020), or a virtual being activation. The Super Bowl NFT was a start! 

What were your thoughts? Let us know

Max Harberg
Jenah Stautzenberger