I’m Ad Age Editor Jeanine Poggi, counting down to Super Bowl LVI. In the weeks leading up to the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams, which will air on NBC on Feb. 13, Ad Age will bring you breaking news, analysis and first looks at the high-stakes, Big Game commercials—all in our Super Bowl newsletter. Sign up right here to get them in your email.
Super Bowl Alert: Big Game goes into the metaverse, Clydesdale tries to make us cry
Meta’s metaverse play
Meta is revealing more details about its Super Bowl commercial, and unsurprising to anyone following Facebook, it will take place in the metaverse. A teaser released today shows an empty fictional restaurant called Questy’s, a Chuck E. Cheese-style backdrop that looks a little tattered, Ad Age’s Garett Sloane writes. The trailer pans across the arcade-eatery playing a song with a vaguely familiar ’80s sound that ends with the lyrics, “and we’ll always be together.” One of the goals of the campaign is to give people a reason to visit the virtual reality world Meta is building, said Chelsey Susin Kantor, Meta’s head of brand and integrated marketing. “Our focus is on what’s ready today.”
Budweiser is back to its sentimental ways. With its return to the Big Game it is also returning to its emotional formula with an ad that stars a Clydesdale and a dog, Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz writes.
The spot, directed by Academy Award-winner Chloé Zhao, shows a Clydesdale galloping through an open Western landscape before tripping on a barbed wire fence, suffering a leg injury. A yellow lab looks on, barking its concern. A stableman and vet nurse the horse back to health (and drink Budweisers in one scene). The final scene shows the Clydesdale charging out of its stable, with the dog running to greet it, as the phrase “In the home of the brave down never means out” appears on screen.
The spot follows the formula of several other prior Budweiser ads that look to tug at the heartstrings all to get people to crack open a cold one. It is expected to be one of just a few ads that attempt to hit a more sentimental note—in this case, looking to remind people that America is resilient.
You can watch all of Budweiser’s prior Clydesdale/puppy Super Bowl ads in our voluminous, searchable Super Bowl Ad Archive.
The chips that bind us
Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen star in Lay’s Super Bowl commercial, which dropped today. Moments before Rogen is set to get married (the identity of his bride raises many questions), the two friends reminiscence over a bag of chips. The commercial was written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the director, screenwriter and producer of some of Rogen and Rudd’s most beloved comedies including “Superbad” and “This is the End.” Goldberg also directed the commercial. You can watch the spot here.
To keep track of all the advertisers running national spots in the game, bookmark Ad Age’s regularly updated Super Bowl ad chart.
Uber Eats is the latest brand to reveal a host of high-profile celebrities tied to its Super Bowl commercial. A series of teasers the brand released today star Jennifer Coolidge, known for her comedic roles in “American Pie” (Stiffler’s mom), “Legally Blonde,” and more recently, HBO’s “White Lotus”; “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah; and actor and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow. In each, the stars receive non-food deliveries via Uber Eats such as makeup, deodorant and a candle—yet they go ahead and eat them anyway, Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz writes.
You can watch Uber Eat’s teaser, as well as new teasers from Expedia and Wallbox here.
Don’t take crypto advice from Tom Brady or Matt Damon. That’s what Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, is warning Super Bowl viewers in a campaign that dropped today. As brands like Crypto.com and FTX prepare to make their first foray into the Super Bowl (both of which are expected to come with celebrity spokespeople), Binance is urging consumers not to necessarily buy into the hype. The irony is that it is using celebrities of its own to send this message, writes Ad Age’s Asa Hiken.
NBA player Jimmy Butler appeared in a teaser on social media, in which he told viewers that crypto-shilling celebrities “don’t know you or your finances.” He then encouraged viewers to “trust yourself” and “do your own research” before entering the market.
Feats of strength
Former NFL star Deion Sanders and his son, the pro football prospect Shedeur Sanders, outdo one another with feats of strength in an ad for Danone’s Oikos Pro yogurt set to air shortly before halftime during Peacock’s livestream of the Super Bowl, Ad Age's Jon Springer writes. Titled “Strong,” the 30-second commercial from creative agency Lightning Orchard shows the Sanders duo out-muscling one another tackling tasks like wood-chopping, leaf-raking and SUV-lifting before both are left cowering before the might of “Mamma Connie”—Deion’s mother and Shedeur’s grandmother.
Oikos is remembered for a broadcast TV Super Bowl ad in 2012 in which John Stamos has a romantic encounter interrupted by his “Full House” co-stars, Bob Saget (RIP) and Dave Coulier.
Modern-day ticket stubs
Fans attending the Super Bowl can't frame paper ticket stubs, since they won't exist, but they will be able to unlock their own special NFTs. The NFL today announced that it is issuing free NFTs that commemorate Super Bowl tickets and serve as digital keepsakes. As Ad Age's Asa Hiken writes, the league's other plans include seven NFTs that will be available for purchase to commemorate the Super Bowl’s seven previous appearances in Los Angeles.
Today in Super Bowl history
In honor of Groundhog Day we are remembering the 2020 USA Today Ad Meter winner, Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” commercial starring Bill Murray reprising his role from the 1993 film.