Super Bowl Ads 2022 Analysis

Super Bowl Commercials 2022: Carlson School Students Review

Monday, February 14, 2022

Seun Abolade, '22 MSMK
Seun Abolade, '22 MSMK
Jeffrey Liss, '22 MSMK
Jeffrey Liss, '22 MSMK

The Super Bowl. It's the one time of the year when the commercials are just as important as the game. But did advertisers make the most of their TV time?

A group of students in the Carlson School's Master of Marketing program closely watched this year's Super Bowl commercials. Using their skills to analyze trends and strategies, they shared their insights on what made the best and worst ads for Super Bowl LVI.

Overall Themes

“This year’s Super Bowl ads offered a healthy mix of nostalgia and looking to the future. Overall, the tone of this year’s ads was lighthearted and silly, with a few heartwarming spots thrown in for good measure,” said Laura Bagwell Katalinich, '22 MSMK.

“Overall, ads this year eschewed both the aggressive wackiness of Super Bowls past and the stoic, somber tone of 2021 ads. In place of these, they adopted a level of sincerity and normalcy that – at some points – made me forget I wasn’t simply watching normal ads,” said Maxwell Buhler, '22 MSMK.

Laura Bagwell Katalinch, '22 MSMK
Laura Bagwell Katalinich, '22 MSMK
Yana An, '22 MSMK
Yana An, '22 MSMK
Maxwell Buhler, '22 MSMK
Maxwell Buhler, '22 MSMK

“Almost all the ads used a celebrity and not just unknown actors. I feel like in years past, the percentage of big-name celebrities was much lower. This is a great way to grab a viewer's attention as more likely than not, a viewer can be drawn to the screen with the sight of a familiar celebrity,” said Jeffrey Liss, '22 MSMK.

“This year's Super Bowl was definitely the introduction of cryptocurrency. Introducing an idea that the masses do not comprehend was very risky, but done so well. For the most part, other ads were standard and star-studded. With that being said, the use of celebrities is getting repetitive and seems to be unsuccessful without innovation and justification for a celebrity being present,” said Seun Abolade, '22 MSMK.

“This year's Super Bowl ads are not much different from previous years, with celebrities and humor still being used frequently. We saw a lot of tech companies (such as Meta, Google), exchanges, and even cryptocurrency companies (Coinbase, FTX, and starting to buy these spots as well. That is a really interesting trend,” said Yana An, '22 MSMK.

Super Bowl Ad Winners


“Definitely the most unique ad I have ever seen but the idea behind it was brilliant,” said Liss. “Just having a QR code on the screen created a lot of hysteria which led many to go up and scan their TV to figure out what it was about. This commercial did a great job of forcing a viewer to use their own initiation to find out more.”

Chevy Electric Silverado 

“Many times, what I consider a 'win' in Big Game advertising is simply the ability to successfully harness a trend, and anyone on TikTok can tell you that The Sopranos is enjoying a surge in popularity,” said Buhler.


“After the ‘Baby Nut’ debacle of the 2020 Super Bowl, I was bracing for another flop,” said Bagwell Katalinich. “I was pleasantly surprised by this ad and how it encouraged consumers to interact with the brand community based on how they consume Planters’ mixed nuts. While lighthearted, it was one of the few ads that alluded to larger societal issues as Joel McHale sarcastically mused: ‘Who knew America would tear itself apart over a relatively minor difference of opinion?’”


“The Lays commercial was a standard Super Bowl commercial, and there's nothing wrong with tradition,” said Abolade. “Unlike other commercials that chase comedy, this was actually funny. It was lighthearted and easy to follow. The use of celebrities made sense and did not feel like just a face to put on an ad.” 


“As Budweiser didn’t participate in the Super Bowl last year, it is so great to see that brand come back,” said An. “The ad reunites the Clydesdale horse and the grown puppy. It really touched me to see these two little buddies together again.”

Super Bowl Ad Losers


“This ad, while being one of the only genuinely funny ads of the night, shines the spotlight on the importance of synchronicity between the brand and spokesperson,” said Buhler. “While Larry David’s curmudgeonly attitude is perfect for (ostensibly wrongly) pooh-poohing the promise of cryptocurrency, viewers understand that David is nonetheless supporting the trading of crypto (a subject of ethical contention) through his appearance in the commercial. Instead of laughing, the viewer is now forced to consider whether David is a horrible sellout.” 

“The premise behind this was a great idea, but the thing that really brought this ad down was the poorly rendered CGI of a young Lebron James,” said Liss. “This made the ad seem cheap and not as credible and professional as others.”


“This ad is horrifying… I understood the message that TurboTax is trying to deliver, but tearing down the human-like ‘outfit’ was just so scary,” said An.


“T-Mobile’s commercial was honestly just another advertisement,” said Abolade. “Yes, they promoted what they do and their benefits, but they relied too much on their celebrity endorsement. It did not make sense why the celebrities were present as well as there was no lack of innovation present.”

Avocados from Mexico

“I found the 'medieval tailgate' to be humorous, but the timing of the ad was unfortunate,” said Bagwell Katalinich. “The United States government has banned all imports of Mexican avocados due to a U.S. plant safety inspector being threatened, so releasing this ad felt tone deaf. This ad can serve as an important reminder that advertisers need to keep a close eye on the external environment.”