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I’m Ad Age Editor Jeanine Poggi, kicking off our countdown to Super Bowl LVI. In the weeks leading up to the game, which will, as of now, 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 newsletters. Sign up right here to get them in your email.

Who’s in 

Google is the latest high-profile brand expected to return to the Super Bowl. After sitting out of the game last year, the tech giant is poised to make its return. Google pulled at the heartstrings in its last Super Bowl go in 2020, with a spot starring an elderly man trying not to forget his deceased wife. The poignant commercial, titled “Loretta,” promoted Google’s search functionality and virtual assistant. 

Google is one of 17 brands so far expected to air commercials in Super Bowl 2022. Other Super Bowl advertisers include stalwarts like Squarespace, TurboTax, WeatherTech, Avocados From Mexico and Pringles. 

On Friday, Frito-Lay announced its plan to return to the Super Bowl with an ad for Flamin' Hot featuring both Cheetos Flamin' Hot Crunchy and the new Doritos Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch. The commercial is set to include an undisclosed "celeb superstar," Ad Age's Jon Springer reports.

To keep track of all the advertisers running national spots in the game, bookmark Ad Age’s regularly updated Super Bowl ad chart

Crypto boom 

Cryptocurrency brands will make their first foray into the game, with Crypto.com and FTX both announcing plans to air commercials. This comes as the crypto marketplace heats up and companies look to educate consumers on the technology. 

We are now placing bets on which brand will be the first to create a Super Bowl-themed NFT.

Get the latest Ad Age Super Bowl 2022 news here.

Who’s out 

Mars Wrigley will sit out of the Super Bowl for the first time in 12 years. The candy marketer does not plan to advertise brands such as M&M’s, Skittles or Snickers during next month’s game, Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl reports. Since 2010, one or more of the three major candy brands had an in-game Super Bowl ad. 

Last year, Mars featured its M&M’s brand in the game with a commercial starring Dan Levy. And of course we can’t forget the iconic Snickers commercial from 2010 starring Betty White. In the wake of the actress’ death, Ad Age’s Keira Wingate took a look back at the famed Super Bowl commercial

You can watch Mars Wrigley’s prior Super Bowl ads in our voluminous, searchable Super Bowl Ad Archive

Another high-profile brand sitting out of the game is Tide. The Procter & Gamble brand aired an ad in the game the last two years and had been in the Super Bowl four out of the last five years. 

??It remains to be seen if the absence of these two brands will set the stage for a repeat of last year’s trend, which saw the likes of Budweiser, Coke and Pepsi sitting on the sidelines, making room for an unprecedented amount of first-time advertisers.  

Thus far the only newcomers confirmed to air spots in the game are Crypto.com, FTX and Rakuten

RSVP for Ad Age’s Super Bowl event on Feb. 8 at AdAge.com/InDepthSuperBowl.

COVID contingencies 

It seems 2021 will also be repeated in another way: COVID contingency plans continue to be a necessity both for advertisers and the NFL. According to multiple reports, the league is preparing in case COVID restrictions impede the game from taking place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, which is the current plan. The NFL is said to be exploring other possible venues. But on Thursday, Inglewood Mayor James Butts said the Super Bowl will be played in the city as planned.

Lastly, to get your tastebuds fired up for the Big Game, ESPN just debuted “Postseasoning,” a custom spice mix to top off tailgating favorites including brisket, mac and cheese and, questionably, cereal, Ad Age's Parker Herren reports.