Super Bowl 2022 commercials: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, and Idris Elba among the stars out for Super Bowl LVI

For as long as there have been Super Bowl parties, there have been spouses disinterested in sports that somehow get dragged along. “Hey,” the rationalization goes, “at least you’ll get to see all the new Super Bowl commercials.”

As the Los Angeles Rams face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, February 13, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, those of us without six grand or so to buy a ticket on StubHub will be watching on CBS, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. It won’t just be great athletes like Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford keeping us engaged, but the finest minds in advertising serving up witty instant catchphrases or maybe bringing a tear to our eye with something poignant before the final “brought to you by Bank of America” tag. There will also be the best Super Bowl commercial of all, the one for which the entire world agrees to ask “what the hell were they thinking?”

Some of 2022’s “big game” ads have already leaked out, featuring some well-loved performers. First, there’s this from Lay’s Potato Chips, in which regular guys Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen chomp down on chips and reflect on their long friendship. It offers an amusing collage of movie tropes, a classic song, a glimpse at an old Lay’s logo, and concludes with a little joke about Jewish weddings

Nothing goes better with potato chips than beer, so following his recent documentary “Listening to Kenny G,” Busch Light has teamed up with the hirsute saxophonist Kenny G for its ad. Playing off G’s “smoothness,” two hikers learn that if they crack open a smooth Busch Light under optimum conditions, the mountains themselves will serenade them, and that may include some dazzling runs from this meme-ready superstar. 

As of right now, the Squarespace spot featuring Emmy Award winner Zendaya has yet to fully drop, but a teaser has been revealed. Yep, that’s right: an ad for an ad.  It consists of a close-up of a seashell and the words “Everything to Sell Anything” which then transforms, weirdly, into “Everything to Shell Anything.” So either Zendaya is going to sell seashells down by the seashore, or she’s getting into bed with Shell Oil. I guess we’ll find out. Then there are a few seconds of her twirling in an aquamarine dress. Maybe Terrence Malick directed this commercial. (It would not be his first.) 

The recently-engaged Lindsay Lohan, who will make her return to family-friendly holiday rom-coms later this year with Netflix’s “Falling For Christmas,” is the star of an ad for Planet Fitness that actually doubles as an ad for herself. The narrative is that Lindsay has grown up, and has left the scandalousness of her youth behind (thus a bunch of sobbing paparazzi.) Danny Trejo, Dennis Rodman, and William Shatner also make appearances. She calls the “Star Trek” star “William,” which is weird; people either call him Bill or Mr. Shatner, but Lindsay always stood out.

Idris Elba has teamed up with, and so far the travel website has released two lead-ins for the big reveal. In them, Elba dials up Isiah Mustafa (aka the Old Spice guy) and Jonathan Goldsmith (aka the Dos Equis guy) for advice on how to be a successful pitchman. 

Next is an ad that is certainly impressive from a CG perspective, and will likely be a hit with kids – this despite the fact that I’m pretty sure you should not feed wild sloths and other animals Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch Doritos. (And I’m not even sure how something can be both “Flamin’ Hot” and “Cool,” but that just means there’s a date with a bag of these in my future.) Nevertheless, it’s always enjoyable to watch animals dance to Salt-N-Pepa.

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