Sunday, March 26, 2023

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    Super Bowl alert: Game Day commercial trends and analysis

    With just hours to go until the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Philadelphia Eagles on Fox, Ad Age is bringing you breaking news, analysis and first looks at the high-stakes Big Game commercials—all in our Super Bowl newsletter.

    Final ad tally

    Numerous Super Bowl advertisers were willing to show their hand this year, starting with Busch Light, which released its ad on Jan. 30. In all, 37 ads were pre-released, compared with 45 last year and 36 in 2021. Based on Ad Age’s viewing, only 3 have a more serious tone, while 34 are humorous or lighthearted.

    Related: Watch the Super Bowl commercials released so far

    Here’s a look at all of the confirmed advertisers set to appear in the Super Bowl. It’s worth noting Ad Age only considers a brand an official Super Bowl advertiser if it runs a spot between the coin toss and the end of play.


    There are at least 14 first-time advertisers in the game this year, down from 21 newcomers in 2022. Rookies include a couple of liquor brands—Crown Royal and Rémy Martin—which had been shut out of the game until Anheuser-Busch InBev this year dropped the exclusive alcohol advertiser rights it had held for 33 years. While AB InBev still has four ads in the game, the brewer will compete for interest with its top competitor, Molson Coors, which has yet to release its ad. (That is because of legal reasons; Molson Coors’ ad is the culmination of a contest in partnership with DraftKings that asks viewers to predict details in the spot for a chance to win money.)

    Also new to the game is Jesus. In what will surely be among the most talked about Super Bowl strategies, the Jesus rebranding campaign “He Gets Us” will air two ads. They have yet to be released, but the campaign in recent months has already gotten extensive airtime, including during NFL broadcasts. Still, there is nothing like the Super Bowl to generate new conversation, and these ads will surely create a stir on social media. The campaign gets funding from the Signatry/Servant Foundation. Lerma/ created the ads alongside marketing firm Haven.

    Reminder: Ad Age will review all the ads once they air. Check at halftime to see the first batch, with our take on the second-half ads dropping once the game ends. You can follow our real-time coverage on Twitter (@adage and @creativitymag) during the game.

    And come Monday, Ad Age editors will discuss the game’s ad highs and lows during a special edition of our live “Remotely” show.


    T-Mobile was the final brand to pre-release its ad (as of now). The spot came out this afternoon and stars Bradley Cooper and his mother, Gloria Campano. Read more here on how the ad did not come off as originally planned. The carrier released its other spot, starring John Travolta reprising his “Grease” role, on Feb. 9.

    Stellantis also waited until Super Bowl Sunday to drop its ads. The automaker’s Ram commercial is called “Premature Electrification” and uses sexual innuendos, along with a style that mocks pharmaceutical advertising, to plug its forthcoming electric Ram 1500 REV pickup truck. Jeep, meantime, is promoting its electric models using a remix of the reggae classic “Electric Boogie,” with an assist from Shaggy on the vocals and a cast of animals dancing their way through the spot.

    Read more about the Jeep and Ram ads here. We also caught up with Shaggy to learn more about how the song came together.

    Auto trends

    Barring any last-minute surprises, the game will include just four auto ads from three automakers—Stellantis, General Motors and Kia. That matches the recent low for the category in 2021, which also saw just four ads run from three automakers. Experts peg this year’s decline on economic factors, including a softening sales environment that has marketers keeping a close eye on their ad budgets.

    Tesla won’t be in the game (unless there is a major surprise)—but a major critic of the Elon Musk-run electric vehicle maker is using the game to call out Tesla’s self-described “Full Self-Driving” software. The spot, backed by Dan O’Dowd, founder and CEO of Green Hills Software, portrays the technology as unsafe. It will air in several local markets, targeting politicians and regulators in Washington, D.C., and state capitals within California, New York, Texas, Florida and Georgia.

    More analysis

    Want to sound smart at your Super Bowl party? Catch up on some other major ad trends with some of our recent coverage:

    Super Bowl commercials reflect waning DE&I commitment

    Inside the Super Bowl’s hottest ad trend—brand partnerships

    Listen to music from Super Bowl 2023 commercials

    Behind e.l.f.’s surprising Super Bowl TV buy

    How brands are using the metaverse and NFTs despite lack of crypto ads

    Super Bowl advertisers are preparing for anything to happen on Twitter

    Super Bowl 2023 has AI marketing—just not on TV

    YouTube rents masthead ads by the hour to Super Bowl brands

    17 underrated Super Bowl ads from the past 17 years


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