Super Bowl LVI Ads Ranked On Brandware’s ‘Truth-O-Meter’
After a slight dip in 2021, the average investment for a 30-second ad during Super Bowl LVI was up to nearly 6.5 million dollars. It’s a hefty price tag for what largely amounts to a giant popularity show where brands try anything to make themselves memorable to an audience estimated to top 112 million.
While Americans place their bets on the game, advertisers gamble big money in hopes that this highly-anticipated event will give their product or service the shot in the arm it needs to attract more customers. They employ tactics like celebrity appearances, comedy, catchy music and even puppies to help improve ad recall. With 40% of the 112 million viewers tuning in just for the ads, advertisers know that this is an enormous opportunity to connect with their target consumer.
While the creativity and entertainment value of the ads are often discussed and debated as much as the football after the game, the Brandware team took a slightly different perspective. We’ve analyzed some of our favorite ads based on truth. The Brandware “Truth-O-Meter” measures some of our top picks based on how much truth about a product or service was uncovered and communicated during the big game.
We hope you enjoy our take on this year’s spots. And of course, if you’re looking for cost-effective ways to communicate your brand’s truth, we’re always here to help.
Chewy’s ‘Chatty Pets’ commercials score high in both the truth and creativity categories. Every pet owner wishes they could tell what their pet is thinking, and the mannerisms of the pets in these ads are bound to ring true with pet owners everywhere. In addition to the humor and cuteness, Chewy still manages to clearly communicate who they are, what they do, and how it works. The only deceiving part about these ads is that (disappointingly) your cat won’t really tell you what to order from Chewy.
Pringles – 5/10
Pringles’ ‘Stuck In’ commercial may get some laughs from viewers, but overall it misses the mark in clearly conveying the truth about their brand. The premise of reaching into a Pringles can and getting it stuck for decades is certainly amusing, and while it does imply to some degree that Pringles are tasty enough to go all-in for that last chip, the message isn’t quite clear enough for all viewers to understand what they’re trying to say about the chips.
Expedia – 9/10
Among the crowd of commercials that want to sell you on material items, Expedia’s ‘Stuff’ commercial is surprisingly refreshing. The 60-second spot that shows Ewan McGregor walking through a variety of commercial sets resembling Super Bowl ad sets prompts you to reflect on all of the other ads you saw on Super Bowl Sunday and consider if you’ll really look back at the end of your life and regret not having bought an “even thinner TV” or a “smarter smartphone.” The commercial ends with Ewan stepping out on a beach with a simple phrase appearing on the screen – “Save more on the things that matter.” With those words, we understand what Expedia does, and why we should care. Not only does this commercial convey the truth about Expedia, but it reveals a little truth about every other commercial selling you “stuff.”
Lay’s Potato Chips – 7/10
Lay’s scores high in the creativity and truth categories. While most people enjoy Lay’s during a summer barbecue or as a side to a lunch sandwich, viewers of the ad have no problem believing that Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd actually get up to all of these crazy adventures. And more importantly, the ad showcases the truth that Lay’s was trying to convey – that regardless of what adventure or misfortune you find yourself in, you can always count on Lay’s to be a great snack.
QuickBooks X MailChimp – 3/10
With a singing cat, DJ Khaled and solid 3-act spot, the QuickBooks advertisement for the new MailChimp integration seemed to have it all together. However, viewers are left scratching their heads at what the product offered truly is. Those who are familiar with both products – an online bookkeeping service and newsletter management platform, respectively – can infer the truth and value of the combination of services, which earns a few points.
Kia – 10/10
With a modern twist on classic car commercials, the Kia EV6 spot tugged at the heartstrings, demonstrated truth and stayed true to the Kia brand. The viewer of this spot could see the benefits of the electric car as well as be enthralled by the spin on the “dog chasing a car” scene – with a heartwarming twist. The advertisement also showcased the benefits of the electric vehicle without overselling the idea. Overall, the ad was a perfect addition to a “big game” ad spot.
Rocket Mortgage 8/10
If you’ve ever put an offer in on a house, you can relate to the anxiety of worrying about getting beat out by an offer way above asking price or a cash buyer. With the current reality of an ultra-competitive housing market, this Rocket Mortgage ad definitely rings true while bringing some humor to a home buying process that is stressful even in the best of times.
Who remembers watching bouncing logo screen savers and waiting for the icon to perfectly align with the corner of the screen? Coinbase’s Super Bowl ad used a QR code to recreate this nostalgic screen saver. Unfortunately, their ad was so popular that their app crashed due to the influx of traffic. While having a fan favorite Super Bowl ad is as close as advertisers may get to becoming Super Bowl Champions – the only truth that Coinbase successfully conveyed is the fact that their app doesn’t have the bandwidth to handle its sudden popularity.
Booking.com wasted no time getting to their brand truth in their Super Bowl ad debut with their new spokesperson Idris Elba. He told us what they are (“literally” a travel booking website), what they aren’t (flash, sexy or lit), what they’re good at (helping you book travel), and what they’re bad at (naming things). This commercial made us chuckle while telling us everything we need to know about booking.com, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice truth in favor of comedy.
Google Pixel 6 10/10
Google’s return to the Super Bowl really checked all the boxes in our view. Up front, the ad uncovers a truth that may be overlooked by roughly 87 percent of the U.S. population. Great creative follows, eloquently communicating why we should care with a mix of some very real voiceovers, inspiring music and beautiful photography. Google technology within the new Pixel 6 is the solution in this wonderfully executed ad.
Creatively, this new ad from Verizon is spot on. The annoying door knock and buzzer really grab your attention followed by Jim Carey reprising his nostalgic role as the Cable Guy. But actor Geraldine Viswanathan immediately lays down some truth: She has no need of him or his “miles and miles” of cable with Verizon 5G internet in the home. With some comedic help from Carey, she flatly explains why the product is “way better,” hitting some top points like no contract, no hidden fees and no need to schedule an install.
What did you think the Super Bowl LVI ads? Let us know below if you agreed with our assessments or if there were any other ads that resonated with you. And of course, we’re always here to help you discover and communicate your brand’s truth. Contact our team of experienced marketing professionals for all of your public relations, social media and marketing research needs.