Health and wellness marketers score touchdowns with Super Bowl 2022 ads

Pulse Issue 2 2022

"Health and wellness marketers score touchdowns with Super Bowl 2022 ads"

When it comes to creativity and brand recognition, nothing packs the punch like airing an ad at Super Bowl.

For many, watching the commercials have become as entertaining as watching the big game. A 2020 survey revealed that almost 71% enjoyed watching the commercials.1 Not to mention the online and social buzz leading up to the first screenings.

But reaching the promised 200 million plus eyeballs doesn’t come cheap, with the cost of a 30 second spot this year averaging US$6.5 million. Throw in agency creative, production, filming and celebrity endorsement fees and it becomes the type of investment you want to be sure makes a touchdown.

It’s literally ‘rarefied air’ – exclusive to the select few brands that can afford the price of entry…

But this year saw some new players taking the field alongside the chip, beer, and soft drink staples, with almost 40% advertising for the first time. These included numerous Crypto platforms, tech services and no less than five electric car makers.

The great news – reflecting the shift in direct to consumer health messaging and on-demand care – is that 3 health and wellness brands also stepped up for the ‘big dance’, and pitted their creativity against the very best…

So how did they stack up?

While overall I was blown away by the level of creativity and sheer entertainment value of most the ads, I felt I would only ‘judge’ the health entries. That said, I do have some personal favourites that I’ll reveal at the end of the article. But first, let’s look at the 3 health brands who were very brave in choosing to air their messaging on a day the audience collectively consume over 1.42 billion2 (yes billion!) chicken wings and gulp an estimated 325.5 million gallons of beer on Super Bowl Sunday!

Planet Fitness “What’s Gotten into Lindsay?”

This spot starring former sensation Lindsay Lohan seems at first to follow the trend of many others, where the idea seems to be to load up on as many celebs as possible – in this ad you’ll find five. And while many will say that’s overkill, the ad still feels sharp, snappy and tight – like the new Lohan herself. The celebrities aren’t just there as spokespeople, but feel they belong in Lindsay’s brave new ‘Fitacular’ world…
The other interesting idea here is that being fit makes you stronger and ‘fitter’ in body, but also in other aspects of your life. A feel-good ad that makes you want to go get fit.

Rating 7.5/10

Hologic “Her Health is Her Wealth”

Med-tech company advert features singer and actress Mary J. Blige making time for a wellness check-up amid her busy schedule.
And while this ad lacks the laughs and fun of your classic Super Bowl variety, it’s an emotional reminder of how important it is for everyone to prioritize self-care, even if you are a celebrity.
The ad is beautifully clear and well balanced, and Blige brings a very real sense of vulnerability. The moment her doctor gives the ‘all clear’ – we feel an emotional lift and sense of relief in knowing everything is ok. We’ve all been there before.
A bonus for the company was that Blige also performed during the Super Bowl halftime show, (the only woman) alongside Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre.

Rating 8/10

Cue Health “Meet Cue”

Not surprisingly, viewers couldn’t quite get through the day without a reminder that we are still living in a pandemic. Seeking to generate instant awareness of their at home Covid testing device, Cue Health developed a very clever little ad which opens with a mum talking to her kid about COVID testing.
As the kid runs to get the test, a story develops around the ‘smart health device’, Cue. With the voice of Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, she introduces herself to the other smart devices in the home, “I’m Cue, and I’m here to protect the family.” The other smart devices – speaker, camera, vacuum, and thermostat all “warm up to Cue,” once they know she’s there to protect the family’s most valuable asset: it’s health.
I really liked the way they linked Cue as the most important ‘essential device’ in a modern home for modern families, playing on the emotions of protection, combined with hi-tech science no family can do without.

Rating 9/10

So that’s my take on the Health advertising at the Super Bowl. New players really did make an impact. But how did they stack up to the others?

Consumer search data company, EDO scored the Super Bowl ads by measuring online searches for the advertised brand or product in the minutes following the ad airing, to see which drove the strongest customer engagement. The ultimate rankings this year surprised many.

Coming out on top was electric car manufacturer Polestar’s powerful and plain-speaking ad that reminded me of an Apple iPhone release meets action marvel movie trailer vibe – that ended up being more effective than many of the more ‘creative’ ads to win the best performing ad at the Super Bowl this year.
Cue Health’s 30-second commercial was placed second among all Super Bowl advertisers in terms of how well it drove people to search and engage with the brand online.
1. Polestar – No Compromises
2. Cue Health – Meet Cue
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Amazon)
4. Kia – Robo Dog (EV6)
5. Nissan – Thrill Ride (Nissan Z)
6. Coinbase – QR in Technicolor
7. Toyota – The Joneses (Tundra)
8. Disney+ – Moon Knight
9. Netflix – The Adam Project
10. Chevrolet – All-Electric Silverado

As for the rest, I do love the Pringles spot for its bizarre and detailed storytelling… great tagline and song to match… truly out there…
The Salesforce ad for its ‘reading of the room’ insights about what we need to be doing in society right now…
and the ad many have dubbed the best, this stunningly simple ad for Polestar EV. Gets the heart racing for sure…

If you have a few moments spare, check out all the Super Bowl ads online. It’s well worth the search for 30 seconds of fantastic entertainment.

If you would like to share Bastion’s ‘Top 10’, arrange a time for our Super Bowl presentation today – we’ll even supply the chicken wings.
Bruce Williams is ECD at Bastion Brands.

1. Public perception of Super Bowl ads in the U.S. 2020. Published by A. Guttmann Oct 19, 2021
2. National Chicken Council’s (NCC) 2022 Wing Report,


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Bruce Williams
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