The 5 best Super Bowl ads of 2022 (and the worst one)

Super Bowl LVI won't just be a competition between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams — brands are vying for fan attention with every second of commercial air time. Duos like Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen, Mila Kunis and Demi Moore, and Pete Davidson and his mom are facing off against the likes of Zendaya, Lindsay Lohan, and even a robotic dog.

NBC, this year's station host, announced that ad spots cost a record high of $7 million for 30 seconds. Still, Super Bowl regulars like Doritos and newbies like Irish Spring took them up on the offer.

EW has compiled a list of Sunday's commercials. Take a look at the star appearances and heartwarming stories you may have missed while polishing off wings between plays:

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Linebacker Jerod Mayo has found the perfect brand partnership for his name. As he goes house to house tackling anyone wasting food, he reaches the defense of the "very hittable" Pete Davidson.


The all-knowing Alexa can even read minds as Colin Jost and Scarlett Johansson poke fun at their relationship. Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update host and the Black Widow actress adorably bicker in an ad that Michael Che will certainly roast in the next SNL episode.

Planet Fitness

Lindsay Lohan is glowing more than ever thanks to Planet Fitness as she shows off her smarts, health, and creativity. With cameos from Dennis Rodman, Danny Trejo, William Shatner, and Jeopardy's Buzzy Cohen, Lohan doesn't shy away from her past paparazzi and DUI troubles.


Directed by Nomadland's Oscar-winning helmer Chloé Zhao, Budweiser's commercial doesn't contain much beer, but it does tell an uplifting story of getting back up after being pushed down.

Bud Light Hard Seltzer Soda

Guy Fieri, the Mayor of Flavortown, opens a can of hard seltzer in a pop heard around the world. Now, how does one get to Flavortown? Asking for a friend.


The Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen bromance is real. The Knocked Up costars reflect on all the times Lay's was involved in their road trips, confessionals, kidnappings, turf wars, and haunted houses.

Busch Light

The cracking open of a Busch Light can is music to hikers' ears as the beer triggers a musical performance in the clouds. Kenny G makes a guest appearance playing saxophone on the company's jingle.

Idris Elba travels to hotels, lodges, and tiki huts in's ad. He riffs about the site's strengths in function and weaknesses in naming.


Besties Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart are using BIC EZ Reach to light bowls... of strawberries, of course. The duo will also host and coach this year's Puppy Bowl.


Zendaya is selling something not hidden in a Euphoria suitcase: seashells! In the website development platform's commercial, Sally sells seashells by the seashore and looks like a celestial, swanky stunner while she's at it. 


Are Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The Schitt's Creek patriarch transforms into an action star in a Nissan as he encounters the actors behind Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and Drax (Dave Bautista).


The unexpected pairing of Ashton Kutcher's wife and ex-wife isn't so random after all. Mila Kunis and Demi Moore actually went to the same high school, and in AT&T's ad, they bump into each other at the reunion while competing for the Most Admired Alum award.


Hannah Waddingham doesn't keep a great poker face. The Ted Lasso actress unleashes her inner-Cruella as she just can't one-up her opponent's bet: the cashback she got from using the Rakuten app.


Matthew McConaughey recovered from last year's "Flat Matthew" Doritos commercial just in time. This year, he joined Salesforce's Team Earth campaign, preaching the importance of restoring the planet rather than focusing on new frontiers in space.

Sam's Club

Kevin Hart wants everyone to know that he is a Very Important Person when it comes to his Sam's Club membership.

Uber Eats

In what might be the Super Bowl's most eclectic commercial cast, Jennifer Coolidge, Nicholas Braun, Trevor Noah, and Gwyneth Paltrow struggle with the meaning of "eats" in the brand's name. Watch it just for Braun downing dish soap and crying "This tastes bad."

General Motors

Mike Myers is back as Dr. Evil with the rest of his Austin Powers world-dominating allies. Before taking over the world, the group vows to reduce their carbon footprint by driving GM's electric vehicles.

Taco Bell

Featuring a "Celebrity Skin" cover by Doja Cat, the Taco Bell ad plays around with what it means to "live más." To Doja Cat and friends, it means escaping clown college and having some fun for once.


Ewan McGregor spits the truth about what really matters in life in his spot for Expedia. 


Finally, we can all "sleep" with John Legend. In the most ASMR commercial of the year, Legend whispers sweet nothings while promoting his Headspace sleep cast.

Avocados From Mexico

Tailgates look way more fun in ancient Rome, especially with Andy Richter playing a salad-obsessed Julius Caesar.

Peacock's Bel-Air

In West Philadelphia, born and raised... you know the rest. This video collage of people singing and playing along to the iconic Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song nostalgically introduces the reboot, which premieres after the big game.


When Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zeus and Salma Hayek's Hera retire from Mount Olympus, they live a sweet suburban life with their pet pegasus. His electric powers lead him to the BMW iX in one of many of this year's electric automotive commercials.

Michelob Ultra

The Big Lebowski's Steve Buscemi is back in the bowling alley, running a hotspot for athletes like Peyton Manning, Alex Morgan, and Jimmy Butler to come out to play. All heads turn when Serena Williams joins the party.


In a twist on his longtime advocacy for the legalization of pot, Willie Nelson calls for the legalization of "the one thing that can bring comfort to millions," which is — checks notes — shoes in this ad for the sneakers brand. 


Eagle! It's a musical Scrubs reunion as Zach Braff and Donald Faison play neighbors delighting in the thrill of affordable internet in this T-Mobile spot.


Dolly Parton shares an inspiring message for real-life goddaughter Miley Cyrus in another T-Mobile ad, which sees the former Hannah Montana star leading an anthem about switching cell phone providers. 


Yes, that was Kanye West in the McDonald's commercial saying "Can I get uhhhh." After a recent social media drama, the rapper appeared alongside race car driver Bubba Wallace and purple spokesperson Grimace.

Rocket Mortgage

Anna Kendrick says it best: "It's a very competitive market." Properties like Barbie's Dream House are no exception in this Rocket Mortgage ad.


The newest Loki comes in the form of a goat as Awkwafina introduces all the greatest of all time (G.O.A.T.) characters in Disney+'s repertoire.

Caesars Sportsbook and Casino

The Manning family is joined by JB Smoove and Halle Berry as Caesar and Cleopatra for an ultimate dinnertime roast.


Between flights from Los Angeles to New York to London, Jason Sudeikis finds the time to match with a tax expert just right for him.

Turkish Airlines

If Morgan Freeman was a geology teacher, with that voice, we would all be Pangea experts.


Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler reunite as Meadow and A.J. Soprano in an emotional homage to the series' opening montage.


It's tough to keep up with the Joneses in their Toyotas — that is, Leslie Jones, Rashida Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, and Nick Jonas (close enough). 


Larry David is doing what Larry David does best as he travels from historic moment to moment, insulting and criticizing as only Larry David can.


Jim Carrey reprises his role as the Cable Guy in a sad time for his business where cable wiring is no longer needed. 


NBC legends like Mariska Hargitay and Terry Crews fight for the No. 1 spot as Ted Danson and Kenan Thompson beat them to the punch in the station's new ad. 


Joel McHale and Ken Jeong are back at their Community-esque shenanigans as they debate the proper way to eat mixed nuts.


Mary J. Blige stands up to cancer in her ad for Hologic, demonstrating that even someone as busy as the singer-songwriter can take time for her annual women's health screening.


Nobody taught ultimate TV dad Ty Burrell how to manage his finances as he says yes to everything thrown his way in this commercial.

How do you measure Super Bowl ad success? Some kneel at the altar of consensus with USA Today‘s Ad Meter. Some will look at the direct impact on sales or brand awareness. At Fast Company, I adhere to an evaluation process that revolves around entertainment value, how the creative actually addresses the product or brand, and whether or not it invoked an eye-roll, full-body cringe, or rather aggressive dry heaving. Ultimately, commercials—like film, music, art, or any other piece of culture—are subjective. There are no wrong answers! (Unless you’re WeatherTech.) On to the countdown!


Okay, okay, I know. Hear me out. This is a brand no one has talked about for eons, and now parent Colgate-Palmolive decides to jump into the Soap Wars with a Super Bowl ad. There were so many ways this could go. Ultimately, we get an oddly fun mix of Old Spice-meets-Skittles crossed with . . . Midsommar? I don’t know, but I’m a sucker for advertising. The setting is steeped in the brand’s vintage work, the tagline “Smell From A Nice Smelling Place” echoes “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” and that creepy bunny harks back to Skittles’ singing rabbit from 2006, all without coming off like a copycat. Ultimately, it’s a spot that is just weird enough to get your attention for a brand you haven’t seen since you had to shower at your grandparents’ place, and it provided the game with a much-needed dose of actual WTF.


This ad was tailor-made for the Super Bowl. You can almost hear the Don Draper-style pitch. Two very likable, famous, and funny faces dropped into a montage of ridiculous situations to keep you interested and giggling for 60 seconds. Created by agency Highdive, a smaller agency jam-packed with big game vets, the agency has found a formula that works and continues to execute it in a variety of ways. Last year’s Ad Meter-topping Rocket Mortgage ad with Tracy Morgan? They are funny guys in a montage of ridiculous situations. The best-rated ad of 2020 was the agency’s Jeep ad, “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray. Funny guy, montage—you get the idea. Add to that the proven Rudd/Rogen chemistry, and you’ve hit stand-out Super Bowl levels.


Automotive ads are the meat and potatoes of any Super Bowl advertising lineup. These brands are a constant in the ever-shifting landscape of marketer trends and emerging industries. Toyota had a heart-warming Olympic story (again), Kia tried to split the difference between cute animals and innovation with a RoboDog, and I’m not even going to acknowledge the comedic blasphemy of GM’s Austin Powers reboot spot. Both BMW and Nissan went with big, conceptual Hollywood takes. The former used Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek Pinault as Greek Gods and didn’t quite hit the mark. Nissan, on the other hand, collected a fun variety of faces—Brie Larson, Danai Gurira, and Dave Bautista—to surround the legendary Eugene Levy in an action flick spoof that actually uses the product as the central character throughout. Levy is as versatile as ever, going from goofy to suave quicker than you can say Armed and Dangerous. The Catharine O’Hara cameo is just a bonus.


This spot has everything, a Super Friends mix of sports stars and celebrities, The Big Lebowski tribute, and a “Grade A” Super Bowl pun. That’s all you really need. Peyton Manning, golfer Brooks Koepka, soccer legend Alex Morgan, NBA star Jimmy Butler, WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike, and Serena Williams are all strapping on the rental shoes served up by Steve Buscemi. It’s fun to imagine these folks gathering at the alley for their Tuesday night league, tipping back a few low-carb suds and talking trash. ELO’s “Showdown” is not “Just Dropped In” by Kenny Rogers, but it gets the job done.


Once again, we’re back to Amazon. Starring celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost, the ad shows us what might happen if Alexa knows a bit too much about us. Since launching last Monday, the ad had more than 50 million views on Amazon’s YouTube channel by Sunday morning and has been gleefully covered by the global press. So by most metrics, it was a hit well before kickoff.

At its most basic level, we have a celebrity couple put in funny situations with the actual product at the center of the joke. That last part is the difference between a funny ad like Lays and this one. Rudd and Rogen could’ve been bonding over just about any snack or soda. While the appearance of a familiar big-name face boosts a brand’s chances of getting your attention somewhere between third down, a second beer, and that fourth plate of wings, if the spot doesn’t effectively involve your product or brand until that final logo flash, the celebrity is the only thing anyone will remember.

Amazon and its longtime Super Bowl ad agency Lucky Generals have crafted a proven formula for big-game success, and it’s executed here once again to near perfection. They did it in 2018 with “Alexa Loses Her Voice,” in 2019 with “Not Everything Makes The Cut,” in 2020 with “Before Alexa,” and again last year with “Alexa’s New Body.” Each pair a fun, unexpected celebrity or celebrity with a montage of borderline absurd situations involving the brand’s virtual assistant. Again, that last part is the not-so-secret sauce, and every single one of these ads scored at the top or close to all Super Bowl ad rankings in their respective years. The formula, creatively interpreted each time, simply works. And this Johansson-Jost ad keeps the streak alive.

And now . . .  the Worst Ad of the 2022 Super Bowl.


Directed by Academy Award-winner Chloé Zhao and made with agency VaynerMedia, Budweiser once again swings for the barnyard fences with a heartwarming Clydes-tale. The problem is, there isn’t much of a story. The horse carelessly attempts to jump a barbed wire fence, even though it’s clearly a workhorse built for pulling wagons, hauling goods, and working the land. It’s no Dutch Warmblood. It suffers a heinous leg injury and looks destined for the glue factory. The dog seems to not want this to happen. A few worried glances are exchanged over a beer and a fire. Seasons change. And voila! The horse miraculously recovers. The End.

What we needed here was to form some kind of emotional connection with these two characters and their friendship. What we needed was Rocky IV-style training montage in which the horse is Rocky and the dog is Uncle Paulie. Budweiser is no stranger to crafting stories about a dog and a Clydesdale that tug the heartstrings. The brand topped Super Bowl ad rankings in 2014 with “Puppy Love,” and again with “Lost Dog” in 2015, two ads that at least introduce some stakes as well as context to the relationship between the pooch and the horse.

Here we get none of that, just a collection of images seemingly slapped together to make us go “Awwww” but with nothing beyond that.

There may be more poorly executed ads that ran during the game. WeatherTech has a standing reservation at that table. GM’s Austin Powers abomination and Meta’s metaverse of the Chuck E. Cheese band failed in their missions of presenting a bold future for those companies. But Bud is the most disappointing. The venerable beer brand possesses all the resources, talent, pedigree, heritage, and obvious enthusiasm for the Big Game spotlight. But this year, the result was just skunky.

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