super bowl 2022 adverts: 4 key video marketing lessons

In recent years, the Super Bowl has become one of the biggest events in marketing. 2022 was no different. More than 50 international brands spent an average of $6.5 million per 30-second spot for Super Bowl LVI.


In this post, we discuss all the campaign trends, successes and mishaps, and provide you with 4 take-away video marketing lessons from the 2022 Super Bowl adverts.

1. be prepared for campaign traffic

When a marketing campaign might send lots of traffic to your website, be sure your website can handle it.

Coinbase’s commercial directed viewers to their website through an on-screen QR code. But the high traffic from curious viewers who scanned the code led their website and app to crash. It was not a great look, and may have lost Coinbase some potential customers. Meta parodied the advert later that night with the quip, “Hopefully this doesn’t break”.

So before a major campaign goes live, be sure to check your server capacity and website/landing page load times. (Google PageSpeed Insights is a great tool for the latter.)

Furthermore, much of the website-crashing traffic might not have been valuable to Coinbase. Adweek’s Brendan Condon noted, “it appears that some of this traffic may have been driven by curiosity rather than actual meaningful interest.” In other words, high traffic is not inherently an indicator of marketing success. That traffic needs to be from people in your target audience. So make sure your campaign targeting is focused.

2. you don't need a celebrity to make an impact

Sometimes all you need is a creative concept executed well.

This year’s Super Bowl ads saw appearances from celebrities including Scarlett Johanssen, Jim Carrey, Larry David and Lizzo. This has become standard fare for Super Bowl and other high-profile campaigns. But the ones that stood out from the crowd came from the brands that did not rely on star power to get their message across.

Take Pringles’ advert, which took the relatable situation of getting your hand stuck in one of its cans to hilarious extremes. Budweiser also went the celebrity-free route, and instead delivered stunning visuals.

3. consumers prefer upbeat & lighthearted content

It has been a difficult past two years. Generally, consumers do not need reminding of this. Many brands have caught on to this. This is why, as Northumberland University marketing professor Tim Calkins pointed out, “For the most part there was no mention of the pandemic, COVID or masks.”

Indeed, many of the most popular Super Bowl LVI adverts went for an upbeat and light-hearted tone. The most-watched Super Bowl advert on YouTube was Amazon’s “Mind Reader” Commercial, praised for its humour. 

In contrast, one Super Bowl advert that missed the mark was the oddly dystopian “Old Friends. New Fun” spot from Meta Quest. A group of animatronic musicians lose their jobs and end up in separate unrewarding jobs. One almost ends up getting crushed at a landfill. The happy ending (if you can call it that) is that they all get to escape from their depressing lives and hang out together in the Metaverse. 

This advert feels particularly depressing given the number of people who have lost their job as a result of the pandemic. As one YouTube comment puts it, “Telling your consumers that their life sucks is the worst possible way to sell them a product.”

4. Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool

retro nostalgia product marketing

Nostalgia continues to be a powerful force in marketing. So it is no surprise that many Super Bowl 2022 adverts took the nostalgic route. In particular, brands tended to take inspiration from the films and TV shows of the 1990s and early 2000s.

We’ve already mentioned a few examples of this. For instance, Coinbase’s minimalistic advert was a tribute to old DVD screensavers. And the animatronics featured in Meta Quest’s advert is reminiscent of retro restaurant chain Chuck-E-Cheese. Here are some more stand-out examples:

  • T-Mobile reunited 2000s TV show Scrubs stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison.
  • Chevrolet recreated the opening sequence from the 1999-2007 hit TV series The Sopranos.
  • Jim Carrey revisited his role from the 1996 film The Cable Guy for Verizon.
  • Cutwater Spirits paid homage to the iconic 1997 Apple campaign, “Here’s to the Crazy Ones.”
  • Mike Myers reprised his role as Dr Evil from Austin Powers for General Motors.

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Gemma Laws

Gemma joined the Blueprint Film team in 2021 as our marketing coordinator. She takes care of our social media, email marketing and advertising campaigns. Her strengths lie in following trends, conducting research and writing compelling copy.

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