The Super Bowl Ad Themes Agency Experts Expect To See In 2022

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The Super Bowl isn’t just a big day for football fans—it’s also a pop culture event that draws the interest of people who have no affinity for the sport, due in no small part to the notoriously creative Super Bowl ads. The day after the big game, it’s just as common for viewers to discuss the commercials they saw (and the brands that ran them) as it is for them to talk about the match itself.

Forbes Agency Council

Of course, many ads were centered around the global pandemic last year. But will the theme remain the same in 2022, or will brands take other routes to connect with their audiences? Below, 14 experts from Forbes Agency Council discuss some of the themes and concepts they expect to see in this year’s Super Bowl ads.

1. Adventure, Growth And Expanding Past Boundaries

Some of the overarching themes to Super Bowl ads this year are going to be adventure, growth and pushing yourself to expand past your boundaries. We’ve been in a lockdown for two years, with people busting at the seams to get out and experience life and live. Brands and the people behind them feel the same—and they’re ready to help fuel the adventure. – Stacy Jones, Hollywood Branded

2. Community And Inclusion

You can bet there will be a pervading theme of community and inclusion. We’ve already seen an immense reorientation toward equity in commercials and media over the last year. Brands want to demonstrate that they’re progressive, human and focused on bringing people together during times of division and contention. – Lion Shirdan, UPRISE Management

3. Cute And Comedic Themes

It’s all about standing out, but I don’t see many companies going the controversial route this time around. With our culture, I feel many (who can afford the ad spend) will play it safe and resort to cute ads (insert: puppies) or something emotional. The ones who want to get the most attention, though, will integrate celebrities into their ads and go the comedy route—and be able to reuse it! – Zack Teperman, ZTPR

4. ‘Live Your Best Life’

Now is the time to “live your best life.” The last two years have forced people to put their lives on pause, sacrificing personal enjoyment to protect their physical and financial health. As the pandemic continues to recede, consumers are now ready to take that trip, buy that car, host that party and make up for lost time. – Stefan Pollack, The Pollack Group

5. A Return To Ourselves

This year’s ads in the Super Bowl are going to be showing us how to live life to the fullest. Since our lives have been flipped upside down these past two years, we are looking for ways to feel ourselves again and create memories that feel normal. Commercials will show and encourage us to continue to find and add that zest we’ve been missing back into our lives. – Marilyn Cowley, PREM – PR & Social

6. A ‘Wide Open’ Array Of Content

This year is much different than last year. While Covid remains prevalent, brands feel more comfortable pushing the envelope again. I think we will see a combination of serious and hilarious ads. I expect to see travel, electric vehicles, the restaurant industry’s reemergence, talent and recruiting, and possibly even name, image, likeness (NIL) content, per the NCAA’s new policy. It should be wide open. – Dean Trevelino, Trevelino/Keller

7. Corporate Social Responsibility

Brands this year may focus on their corporate social responsibility and how they are not only benefiting their consumers’ lives and making them better, but also bettering the world. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

8. A Mix Of Normalcy, ‘America Strong’ And Lighthearted Fun

Big brands jumped on the Super-Bowl ad train early this year, since most sat out last year due to uncertainties brought on by the pandemic. We will see ads from Weather-Tech, TurboTax, Toyota, Nissan, Anheuser-Busch and cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX. The messaging this year will be mixed between getting back to normal, “America strong” and some lightheartedness. – Thomas Morganelli, Centipede Digital

9. Vaccine Safety And The Future Of Meta

Based on what’s been on people’s minds this year, I expect to see advertisements about the future of Meta and/or the reliability of the Facebook platform. The other series of ads I expect to see will come from companies such as Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson, reinforcing the effectiveness of the vaccines and how they helped America to return to normal after the pandemic. – Marc Hardgrove, The HOTH

10. Authentic, Wholesome Content

In a time where seriousness and sadness have seemed to be themes for the past two years, we can expect to see lighthearted, comedic and wholesome ads. Bigger brands will attempt to create an authentic connection with consumers, and controversial topics will be left out. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing

11. More Emotional, Human Types Of Ads

I think we’ll see a continuation of the themes of the past few years, with fewer humorous commercials and more emotional, human types of ads. I think there will still be a mix of funny ads and emotional ads, but I think we’ll see more companies attempting to address the emotional strain and political division nearly every American is feeling right now. – Jeremy Jackson, SKY Marketing Consultants, LLC

12. A Focus On Reconnecting

I expect to see a focus on our ability to gather together once again. What I hope to see is brands taking that idea one step further to explore what that concept really means, not just what it represents on a basic level. To best accomplish this, brands and agencies must dive into real stories and user-generated content to rediscover how people will now choose to connect with the world around them. – Annette Sally, Blue Sky Agency

13. The Promise Of A Brighter Day Ahead

The last two years have been incredibly hard for so many people. We just want to put it behind us and lean into a new future that holds so much more promise. I would expect the big winners to be brands that focus on a positive future filled with health, wealth and strong family connections. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

14. Crypto Advertising

I expect to see a lot more advertising focused on cryptocurrency being the future and leveraging the “FOMO” (fear of missing out) of not buying now. Advertising for crypto is beginning to become less restricted, and these companies have a lot of money to play with. We have already seen FTX doing commercials with Tom Brady, and we will likely see more of the same from its competitors during the Super Bowl. – Tellef Lundevall, Accelerated Digital Media

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