What three things do you think of when you hear the words “The Super Bowl”? For me, it’s 

  • Commercials.
  • Food & drinks. Specifically, dips. All the dips.
  • Football, sure, but really I’m mostly concerned with who is playing during the halftime show, and furthermore, will whoever it is ever top Lady Gaga bungee jumping into the stadium in 2017 or be more iconic than Katy Perry’s left shark?

Design of the halftime show aside, the Super Bowl commercials always leave me with something to think about, something to talk about, and something to wish I had an exorbitant budget to pull off (hi, virtual component of the halftime show, I see you). This year, amid a sea of EV’s, crypto, and celebrities drinking Budweiser products, three major themes rose to the top.

Millennial Nostalgia

Millennials – those who fall into the 26 – 41 age bracket – account for the largest portion of the eyeballs in the 18-49 demographic, making them the clear target for messaging. Advertisers capitalized on their nostalgia, using 90’s childhood favorites to promote decidedly grown-up products like mortgages and electric vehicles.

Rocket Mortgage

There’s a reason Barbie Dream Houses always end up in Buzz Feed lists of most coveted 90’s girl toys. Super smart of Rocket Mortgage to pull on the heartstrings of those little girls who are now life-size home-buying age. Bonus points for the likable and relatable Anna Kendrick.


A Sopranos spin-off starring Meadow?! Oh, wait… nope, just another electric truck. Great shot-for-shot remake of the iconic intro though.


Nostalgia in its purest form.

Nostalgia… for Ancient Civilizations?

Have the past two years really made everyone so sick of present day that Ancient Rome seems appealing? Apparently, the answer to that is yes. These ads took viewers on miniature time-travel vacations into alternate realities and featured high production value and attention to detail, while also fitting in humorous quips and celebrity appearances.

Avocados From Mexico

I’d like to speak to someone from the Colosseum hair salon. Also, those avocados are beautiful specimens of ripeness and I’m jealous. 


Imagine for a moment seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger walking his little baby Pegasus around your neighborhood and then tell me that isn’t a world you want to live in. You’re lying.

FXT Larry David

Watching Larry David travel through time would actually be a really entertaining sitcom.


Oddvertising is a relatively newly-coined term to describe the phenomenon of off-putting, eye-catching, bizarrely memorable ads. These commercials featured dazzling set design and visual effects in strange contexts. Oddvertising works by keeping viewers alert and confused, but most importantly, unable to tear their eyes away from the screen while they waited to see what on earth was being advertised.

Irish Spring

Bizarrely picturesque setting? Check. Talking rabbit? Check. Product no one has thought about in literally DECADES? Check. 

Flamin’ Hot

Why are all these adorable and exotic creatures in the same place? Why are they listening to Salt n Pepa? I don’t know and I don’t care because this is weirdly heartwarming.

Taco Bell

Sad clowns magically shedding their makeup and escaping from school definitely doesn’t make me think of tacos, but I’m loving the color palette and wacky camera angles.

My biggest takeaway from the game day ads as a whole? Above all, advertisers are clamoring for a way to make people care about digital currency and cars you have to charge and long-forgotten bars of soap. New things are introduced by marrying them to old things that viewers already have a connection with. If that’s not an option, make it weird enough to keep the commercial living rent-free in our minds and being shared on social media. When all else fails, there’s always celebrities and cute animals.