Monday, February 14, 2022

Advertising, B2C Marketing, Branding, Creative, Media

The Best (And Not So Best) of the 2022 “Big Game” Commercials

Instead of spending $6.5 million on a Super Bowl spot—sorry, our lawyers now insist that I call it the “Big Game”—we decided to gather a handful of Jackson creatives, harness their insights and comments on the commercials, and ride the online coattails of the NFL via SEO. David Madson, our CFO, approves this decision.


As Super Bowl Big Game spots continue to escalate in price, brands can’t simply shoot, edit and broadcast their spots to the world. They need to amplify their content as much as possible to justify the spend. This is why we’ve seen brands create teaser spots for their television spots, shoot behind-the-scenes videos, add financial incentives to interact with their spots (free crypto!) and utilize social media to engage with fans pre-game, during game and post-game.

For a television spot to be successful today, it needs to live outside of the television. Smart TV, streaming and Nielsen metrics are still very important, of course, but digital share of voice, YouTube viewership, Twitter conversations and organic search engagement also play a vital role in a spot’s storytelling success.

The opinions below do not reflect all opinions at Jackson, and not all spots are discussed, to save both time and sanity. Also, healthy disagreement is most welcome, as you’ll see. And lastly, a caveat: no creatives below have created a Super Bowl Big Game spot so, grain of salt, please.



Uber Eats: “Uber Don’t Eats”

“‘Uber Don’t Eats’ is a great line. Great spot.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“The best spot all game. ‘We can’t eats that’ got me good. From a nerdy marketing perspective, this is a simple premise that touts the product benefit in a memorable way. I loved it; however, my youngest kid now wants to eat a light bulb.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director


Michelob Ultra: “Welcome to Superior Bowl”

“Loved it, brilliant.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“Payton Manning’s shirt should have said ‘Payton’ instead of ‘Manning.’ Giant oversight. Other than that, solid.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director


Planet Fitness: “What’s Gotten Into Lindsay?”

“Pretty good, Dennis Rodman walking off was funny, popperotsy (sic*) crying was funny and an ad featuring Lindsay was different.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

*Editor’s note: that’s how Jordan spells paparazzi. He’s a designer.

“Practically every Super Bowl Big Game commercial had a celebrity placement (or five), but I thought Planet Fitness’ choice of casting Lindsay Lohan was genius. They could have picked anybody and said ‘Gym = better’ but they picked Lindsay and said, ‘Our gym can turn your life around.”  Heidi Burgess, Copywriter


Chevy “Sopranos”

“All of the nostalgia came back watching Meadow Soprano drive the commute from Manhattan to New Jersey and meet up with AJ.” Chris Brady, Interactive Services Manager

“I’m still embarrassed that I haven’t watched Sopranos, but I ‘got it’ and did enjoy the ‘new generation’ tie-in.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director


Coinbase “QR Code”

“Thank goodness it was a minute. I had to fight through my dogs and kids, and then we had five people trying to shoot that QR code. But we all ran to the TV, so it worked.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director

“Three thumbs up emojis. I thought it was great.” Joanna Daniels, Graphic Designer

Coinbase Site “Can you imagine pitching that? Here’s our big idea after spending $6.5 million on the ad buy…let’s do an old school screensaver QR code and it’ll never hit the corner. Then we’ll give away $3 million more.”  Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“Trying to get it to scan while moving was a real pain, but it was the most memorable (and weirdest). They made no mention of the $15 free Bitcoin promo in the ad, which was weird.” Chris Brady, Interactive Services Manager

“I’m starting to think that Coinbase has made too much money off my transactions. The QR code reminded me of The Office where Jim and the team cheered for the square to hit the corner while Michael presented. The only sad news…the Coinbase website was down when I tried to sign in.”  Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director



BMW: “Zeus & Hera”

“OK, I rolled my eyes when I saw The Arnold, but the concept was smart, and the theme was funny and engaging. Car looks cool too.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director

“Nah, the green lights part was ok, the rest blah.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director


Salesforce: “Team Earth” 

“Loved it. ‘Team Earth’ is great, tie-in to metaverse and new frontier was cool, well done.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“I love the tagline. But coming from Salesforce it’s just kind of weird.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director


Budweiser: “A Clydesdale’s Journey”

“OK, Budweiser. Stop making us cry already. But that was a seriously good line at the end: In the Home of the Brave, Down Never Means Out.” Heidi Burgess, Copywriter

“Yeah, whatever, it was fine.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“Jordan has always hated horses.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director


Kia EV6: “Robo Dog”

“Let’s be real. If Kia had shown a car battery dying, we wouldn’t have cared. Not really. But put a cute little robot puppy on the screen, and our hearts skip a beat when his battery dies mid-leap. At least mine did.” Heidi Burgess, Copywriter

“Kids will love it, was ok.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“Jordan has always hated robot dogs.”  Joanna Daniels, Graphic Designer

“I think animals are a cop-out, but the Mountain Dew commercial where the deer’s legs come out of the wall…that was something special.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“I’ve watched that Mountain Dew commercial 20+ times. But I also drink Mountain Dew every day.”  Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director



Bud Light: “NEXT”

“Loved the set designs, but Miller Lite did it better for less money.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director


Hellmann’s: Mayo Tackles Food Waste

“Visually, it was very interesting. But after a few tackles, I got it. Pete Davidson’s line was great: ‘I get it. I’m very hittable.’” Joanna Daniels, Graphic Designer

“Terry Tate was better. Pete Davidson’s line was funny, but it didn’t save it for me.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“Hellmann’s is not mayo. Duke’s is mayo. This spot offended me.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director


Amazon: Mind Reader

“These types of ads are tough. Some parts funny, some parts obvious and a letdown. The end is funny where he left the food in the car and everyone spits it out, but I don’t think it saved the spot. My guess is that the writing was OK, and they hoped the actors could save it in delivery.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“I thought the eye patch scene was really, really funny, but the rest just seemed like a normal, Tuesday night TV spot. Maybe it’s what’s-his-name from SNL. I’m not sure he’s ‘leading actor’ material for a Super Bowl Big Game spot. He couldn’t keep up with Scarlett, who I thought was brilliant.”  Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director



Doritos: “Push It”

“I cringed when the animals started beatboxing. It reminded me of the worst of Madison Avenue in the 1990s. Just so lazy. That said, everyone at my house seemed to like it, so maybe that’s a reflection on my bad choices of friends. I like the idea of animals eating Doritos and then something funny happening, but beatboxing ‘Push It’ by Salt N Peppa is maybe the worst thing that could’ve happened. Plus, that song was old when I was young.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director

“Didn’t care for it at all, but I bet kids liked it.”  Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“Jordan hates sloths.” Joanna Daniels, Graphic Designer


Carvana: “Oversharing Mom”

“Changing backgrounds was interesting, but it didn’t get me there. They also told me a month ago that my Hyundai Sonata was worth $49.” Jordan Fretz, Associate Creative Director

“They had more sets in that spot that every commercial I’ve shot in my lifetime. I thought it was a mess that asked multiple set-ups to save a very thin premise.” Chad Rucker, Executive Creative Director



If you’ve made it this far, bravo. Thanks for hanging in there. And if you’re craving more, you can watch all the Super Bowl Big Game spots here and judge for yourself!





Todd Steen
Kristie GraySmith
Jackson offices