The commercial that won the Super Bowl was…

Sources: Super Bowl spots from General Motors; Rocket Homes and Rocket Mortgage; Frito-Lay; Squarespace
Feb 14, 2022

The Los Angeles Rams fought back to win yesterday’s Super Bowl in the last two minutes of the game, with its biggest stars — Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald — making sure that victory would not slip through the team’s grasp.

The game also offered an opportunity for brands to compete for the attention of consumers on the nation’s biggest broadcast stage. Some came up big, like the Ram’s stars, while others will just have to wait ‘til next year.

Adweek’s top 10 spots put Coinbase’s homage to “Pong” at number one. The commercial featured a color-changing QR code that slowly bounced around the screen. Viewers who scanned the code were linked to a landing page with a promotional credit.

The other spots making Adweek’s top 10 included Frito-Lay’s “Golden Memories”, Rocket Mortgage “Dream House”, FTX “Don’t Miss Out”, General Motors “Dr. EV-il”, Squarespace “Sally’s Seashells”, Nissan “Thrill Driver”, Amazon Studios “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” and Planet Fitness “What’s Gotten Into Lindsay?”.

Ad Age broke its list of top spots out by the game’s quarters, and Expedia’s “Stuff” took the top spot in the first. The commercial starring Ewan MacGregor asks the question, “Do you think any of us will look back on our lives and regret the things we didn’t buy or the places we didn’t go?”

The second quarter came up big for five-star spots, according to the publication.

Uber Eats’ “Uber Don’t Eats” enlisted celebrities Nicholas Braun, Jennifer Coolidge and Gwyneth Paltow to show that the company does more than just deliver meals from restaurants. 

Rocket Mortgage’s “Barbie Dream House” mixed realities to bring home the message that there is one place to go if you’re looking to finance a home purchase.

General Motors’ “New Generation” spots featured Jamie-Lynn Siegler from the Sopranos driving a Chevy Silverado EV to pick up her brother from the show. Tony may be gone, but his stage kids are driving on.

Toyota’s “The Joneses” pitted Tommy Lee Jones, Leslie Jones and Rashida Jones in a race behind the wheels of the auto maker’s Tundra truck. (LOL.)

The third quarter had two winners. Google Pixel’s “Seen on Pixel” spot, which shows that the company’s smartphone now fixes a problem with traditional cameras that cause Black Americans to be photographed as too dark. The spot uses personal testimonials to make the case particularly compelling. Pringles “Stuck In” took a much lighter approach and a gentle jab at its own stacked packaging.

The fourth quarter may have provided the most exciting moments, but were a dud in terms of commercials, according to Ad Age.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How did this year’s Super Bowl commercials stack up against previous years? Which of the current Super Bowl commercials stood out most to you?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
"The winner was the unproduced, amateurish, yet brilliant Coinbase QR code commercial. Coinbase’s bouncing QR code Super Bowl ad was so popular it crashed the app."
"It is a shame that advertisers feel so compelled to use celebrities that I found myself watching to see if any of them chose not use a celebrity."
"I spent the whole Coinbase Pong ad trying to plug in my Atari remote..."

Join the Discussion!

19 Comments on "The commercial that won the Super Bowl was…"

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Dave Bruno

The winner, by a blowout, was FTX “Don’t Miss Out.” It was far more than prettttty — pretttty — good, in my opinion. And I say this despite my disdain and distrust for all things cryptocurrency. I know some will tell me I need to curb my enthusiasm, but Larry David is simply a funny guy, and I simply loved that spot.

Ken Morris

I spent the whole Coinbase Pong ad trying to plug in my Atari remote, so I never got to scanning it but my grandson had it up and on their website in no time flat. I’d heard a radio interview earlier in the day that predicted a major crash in crypto eventually, so it’s probably just as well and they hit their intended audience.

The Pringles ad wasn’t bad. I’m not sure how you buy and eat more Pringles if you’re too dimwitted to get your hand out of a container for several decades.

Evan Snively
Evan Snively
Director of Planning & Loyalty, Moosylvania
7 months 12 days ago

Coinbase. The only commercial that got me to actively participate and text about it.
Also, they probably saved a lot of BTC on their approach!

Lisa Goller

After last year’s cautious, subdued messaging, this year’s Super Bowl ads swung toward refreshing playfulness.

As rapid delivery rivalry intensifies, Uber Eats picked a brilliant time to stand out with lunacy. Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd’s over-the-top humor also made the Lay’s ad memorable. GM’s Austin Powers ad and Chevrolet’s Sopranos spot triggered nostalgia while the Lord of the Rings teasers intrigued a new generation of fans.

David Spear

Maybe it’s just me, but a large majority of the commercials seemed like they were trying way too hard to be funny and, in so doing, they lost their true meaning. Too many were over the top in terms of elaborate costumes, backdrops, and celebrity castings. My favorites were GM and Uber Eats. The Pong spot was clever as well. The game was great and I only wished the Bengals would have scored at the end of the game to send it into overtime. But then we would have had to endure the worst OT rules on the planet.

Georganne Bender

As per any other year there were Super Bowl commercial hits and misses. I had a “wtf did I just watch” moment with the Irish Spring commercial. The QR code pong spot was cool and, like a gazillion other viewers, I got out my phone to read the code.

I teared up watching the Toyota spot featuring the McKeever brothers, and I breathed a sigh of relief when Chevy showed us that the Soprano kids made it, but my all time favorite was the NFL spot “Bring Down the House” that combined high-tech puppetry and animation. That’s the one that made me glad I recorded the game.

Katie Thomas

I had high hopes for the Super Bowl ads this year given some of the press and, dare I say, I was pretty disappointed. They were pretty standard, not a ton of differentiation, and overrun with celebrity guest appearances.

In general, I did think there were some reasonable common themes – crypto (with the star being Coinbase), electric vehicles, etc. Personally, I was not into the Lay’s commercial – I thought we could’ve seen way better from Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen!

Dave Bruno

I too was disappointed with the Lay’s ad, Katie — with those two stars I guess I had higher expectations….

Dick Seesel

I was “that guy” who scanned the QR code during the Coinbase ad, and I was mocked by my thirtysomething children for doing it. But can 20 million people doing the same thing be wrong?

There was a sameness to the EV and Bitcoin ads; on the other hand, Doritos can always be counted on to come through with a clever spot. (And Budweiser can always be counted on for a maudlin ad with a horse and a dog.) I was also a fan of the Amazon “Alexa” ad, if only for its comic take on a real celebrity marriage.

The standout was the Rocket Mortgage ad, which made its point about today’s real estate market in a funny, memorable and fast-paced way.

Brandon Rael

The winner was the unproduced, amateurish, yet brilliant Coinbase QR code commercial. Coinbase’s bouncing QR code Super Bowl ad was so popular it crashed the app. What started as curiosity led people to scramble for their smartphones and scan their TV screens to see what was going on. It could have been anything, and it captivated our attention.

QR codes have been around for quite a while and have experienced a renaissance during the pandemic’s touchless commerce movement. The full 60-second ad almost entirely consisted of a colorful bouncing QR code reminiscent of the iconic bouncing DVD logo meme. When scanned, the code brought viewers to Coinbase’s promotional website, offering a limited-time promotion of $15 worth of free Bitcoin to new sign-ups, along with a $3 million giveaway that customers can enter.

Sometimes less is more, and it’s mission accomplished for Coinbase, as they had our attention and time last night.

David Slavick

From an emotional standpoint, the Google spot – the benefit of the product was clear and it had a strong human connection. When you combine rational with emotional and the production value is outstanding, you win. The Coinbase spot was 60 seconds, likely cost $11-12,000,000 and the business had a historic fail as the website crashed. How do you launch a campaign and not have your back-end tested and ready to handle the demand/traffic?

Richard J. George, Ph.D.

Every year I had my students watch and evaluate the Super Bowl ads. They were directed to identify the target market, the message and effectiveness of the ad. While many BrainTrust members have identified a few winners, I suspect my students would have been hard pressed to find more than a handful of targeted, effective spots. Think about how hard we had to focus on many of the ads and remember, the average consumer won’t put in that much effort. Overall – disappointing.

Kathleen Fischer

Coinbase for the win! Definitely caught my attention and interest and stood out among the rest of the commercials.

Kai Clarke

Wow, it is incredible that Adweek’s ratings were almost totally the opposite of AdMeter, who ranked the crypto ads at the bottom of all of the Super Bowl ads while the number 1 ad was Anna Kendrick with Rocket Mortgage (and Barbie), second place was Amazon’s Mindreader. These ads were memorable, pushed the viewer to action, and clearly carried a message for their product. The crypto ads were anything but…

Gene Detroyer

Almost all the commercials were appealing. I just wonder how many were effective?

Raj B. Shroff

I was completely underwhelmed by the ads and lack of creativity. They worked too hard to not say anything.

Lucille DeHart

The Chevy Sopranos opening was my winner. I remember the brand and it held your attention through the commercial. I, too, was a huge fan of the Rocket Mortgage Barbie Dream House and liked the Larry David crypto currency spot. Many of the other spots tried too hard and lost their purpose which was to promote a brand. I dare most of the advertisers to do a blind, unaided commercial recall test and see if they would run their spots again. It does look like, however, that electric cars have officially made their mark on the market.

Zel Bianco

I was somewhat disappointed that there was no standout commercial. They all lacked a personal touch and not one of them gave me the warm and fuzzy feeling you would expect from the major advertisers.

It is a shame that advertisers feel so compelled to use celebrities that I found myself watching to see if any of them chose not use a celebrity. I believe there were only a few that did not.

Patricia Vekich Waldron

Breakout time for Crypto and EV industries! The Tundra/Sopranos get my vote. Wasn’t anyone else excited to see the e-Trade Baby back?

"The winner was the unproduced, amateurish, yet brilliant Coinbase QR code commercial. Coinbase’s bouncing QR code Super Bowl ad was so popular it crashed the app."
"It is a shame that advertisers feel so compelled to use celebrities that I found myself watching to see if any of them chose not use a celebrity."
"I spent the whole Coinbase Pong ad trying to plug in my Atari remote..."

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