Here’s what tech companies are advertising this Super Bowl Sunday: Crypto, EVs and the metaverse

Most tech companies are featuring celebrities in their ads this year, while Meta is tapping into the metaverse.

Illustration of football helmets with tech logos on them

Here’s a look at some of the biggest themes you can expect from tech companies’ ads.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Creators, celebrities, avatars and crypto enthusiasts are all getting their red carpet moment during Super Bowl LVI. They won’t be on the football field, of course, but tech companies will spotlight them during commercial breaks. Crypto companies will be particularly front and center this year, but a slew of other tech companies will tap into the rise of creators and the ambiguous metaverse in their ads.

Per Front Office Sports, 30-second spots are going for $7 million. If that figure is correct, this year would be the most expensive for Super Bowl ads ever. At least a dozen tech companies have signed up for an ad anyway, including Meta, Amazon, Expedia and Verizon, and slots for those commercials have sold out.

Jef Loeb, a brand strategist for the marketing firm Brainchild Creative, said the Super Bowl is the “single most efficient media buy” ever. “The number of impressions delivered in that period of time is unmatched by any other standard, by any other media opportunity out there,” Loeb told Protocol.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest themes you can expect from tech companies’ ads this Super Bowl Sunday.

Bring on the celebrities

When in doubt, toss a celebrity into the mix. Uber, Squarespace and Amazon are all featuring a star-studded cast in their commercials this year. Jim Carrey will appear as Verizon’s favorite cable guy, Lizzo will drop a new track in Google’s ad and Zendaya will play the main character in Squarespace’s seashell-themed video.

Uber came out with a 15-second teaser of its Uber Eats Super Bowl commercial, which features Trevor Noah bringing a stick of deodorant to his armpit, then, on second thought, taking a bite out of it. There are no rules in Super Bowl commercials.

Alexa has been the star of Amazon’s commercials for a few years now. This year, the company will present Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost in their first on-screen debut as a couple. Alexa will apparently pretend to be a mind-reader in the 90-second commercial.

In case you’ve forgotten about the metaverse…

Meta is here to remind you that it is still a thing. Or at least, it's a thing Meta is working on. The company is promoting its Oculus headsets with the help of an animatronic band led by a dog. The dog loses its bandmates throughout the commercial, and is only reunited with them in Horizon Worlds. The commercial is quite a shift from last year, when the company formerly known as Facebook promoted Groups during game breaks.

The metaverse critics are participating in the Super Bowl, too. Salesforce tapped Matthew McConaughey to play an astronaut who comes back down to Earth. “It’s not time to escape. It’s time to engage,” McConaughey says as he floats down on a hot air balloon. “All the others look to the metaverse and Mars. Let’s stay here and restore ours,” he says later. In case that’s not on the nose enough, he’s also wearing a badge that says “Team Earth.”

Car companies are all-in on electric

Car commercials are a longtime staple of the Super Bowl, and this year they’re going electric. General Motors, Kia, BMW and Nissan all plan to highlight their electric vehicles during the commercial break, with the help of “Schitt’s Creek” star Eugene Levy, a robotic dog and the song “Here Tonight.”

In Nissan’s commercial, Levy and Brie Larson walk down a red carpet toward their new Nissan Z, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek Pinault star as Greek gods Zeus and Hera in BMW’s commercial. GM seems to be the only one talking specifically about how EVs are better for the planet with the help of Dr. EV-il from “Austin Powers.” Which, sure.

Get out of your home

The travel industry has a message this year: Get moving, you cabin fever-having lunatic. Expedia and are both using their ads to get people traveling again. is airing its first Super Bowl ad ever this year, and CEO Glenn Fogel said the company is trying to tap a “tremendous amount of desire to travel.” “We think this is a great time to reintroduce and bring forward this lighthearted idea of travel,” Fogel told CNBC. The company will feature actor Idris Elba in the commercial on Sunday, and separately on that day, it’ll raffle off a vacation giveaway.

Expedia, on the other hand, will highlight Vrbo in its commercial. Jon Gieselman, the president of Expedia Brands, told The Wall Street Journal that its commercial will emphasize experiences over things. “The Super Bowl spot asks that question, ‘Do you want to invest in more stuff, or experiences?’” Gieselman said.

Or just open TikTok

Instacart hasn’t announced a Super Bowl commercial, but the company said it is launching a campaign with TikTok creators leading up to game day. Instacart partnered with six TikTok influencers to promote their party plans and favorite dishes for the game. The company is encouraging people to interact with their content by using the hashtag #hereforthesnacks.

Instacart is also offering deals on snacks ahead of the game. Between Wednesday and Saturday, customers can get a discount on a different snack or drink, depending on the day.


The minerals we need to save the planet are getting way too expensive

Supply chain problems and rising demand have sent prices spiraling upward for the minerals and metals essential for the clean energy transition.

Critical mineral prices have exploded over the past year.

Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The newest source of the alarm bells echoing throughout the renewables industry? Spiking critical mineral and metal prices.

According to a new report from the International Energy Agency, a maelstrom of rising demand and tattered supply chains have caused prices for the materials needed for clean energy technologies to soar in the last year. And this increase has only accelerated since 2022 began.

Keep Reading Show less
Lisa Martine Jenkins

Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email (

Sponsored Content

Why the digital transformation of industries is creating a more sustainable future

Qualcomm’s chief sustainability officer Angela Baker on how companies can view going “digital” as a way not only toward growth, as laid out in a recent report, but also toward establishing and meeting environmental, social and governance goals.

Three letters dominate business practice at present: ESG, or environmental, social and governance goals. The number of mentions of the environment in financial earnings has doubled in the last five years, according to GlobalData: 600,000 companies mentioned the term in their annual or quarterly results last year.

But meeting those ESG goals can be a challenge — one that businesses can’t and shouldn’t take lightly. Ahead of an exclusive fireside chat at Davos, Angela Baker, chief sustainability officer at Qualcomm, sat down with Protocol to speak about how best to achieve those targets and how Qualcomm thinks about its own sustainability strategy, net zero commitment, other ESG targets and more.

Keep Reading Show less
Chris Stokel-Walker

Chris Stokel-Walker is a freelance technology and culture journalist and author of "YouTubers: How YouTube Shook Up TV and Created a New Generation of Stars." His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian and Wired.


The 911 system is outdated. Updating it to the cloud is risky.

Unlike tech companies, emergency services departments can’t afford to make mistakes when migrating to the cloud. Integrating new software in an industry where there’s no margin for error is risky, and sometimes deadly.

In an industry where seconds can mean the difference between life and death, many public safety departments are hesitant to take risks on new cloud-based technologies.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Dialing 911 could be the most important phone call you will ever make. But what happens when the software that’s supposed to deliver that call fails you? It may seem simple, but the technology behind a call for help is complicated, and when it fails, deadly.

The infrastructure supporting emergency contact centers is one of the most critical assets for any city, town or local government. But just as the pandemic exposed the creaky tech infrastructure that runs local governments, in many cases the technology in those call centers is outdated and hasn’t been touched for decades.

Keep Reading Show less
Aisha Counts

Aisha Counts (@aishacounts) is a reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software. Formerly, she was a management consultant for EY. She's based in Los Angeles and can be reached at


'The Wilds' is a must-watch guilty pleasure and more weekend recs

Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

Our favorite things this week.

Illustration: Protocol

The East Coast is getting a little preview of summer this weekend. If you want to stay indoors and beat the heat, we have a few suggestions this week to keep you entertained, like a new season of Amazon Prime’s guilty-pleasure show, “The Wilds,” a new game from Horizon Worlds that’s fun for everyone and a sneak peek from Adam Mosseri into what Instagram is thinking about Web3.

Keep Reading Show less
Janko Roettgers

Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.


Work expands to fill the time – but only if you let it

The former Todoist productivity expert drops time-blocking tips, lofi beats playlists for concentrating and other knowledge bombs.

“I do hope the productivity space as a whole is more intentional about pushing narratives that are about life versus just work.”

Photo: Courtesy of Fadeke Adegbuyi

Fadeke Adegbuyi knows how to dole out productivity advice. When she was a marketing manager at Doist, she taught users via blogs and newsletters about how to better organize their lives. Doist, the company behind to-do-list app Todoist and messaging app Twist, has pushed remote and asynchronous work for years. Adegbuyi’s job was to translate these ideas to the masses.

“We were thinking about asynchronous communication from a work point of view, of like: What is most effective for doing ambitious and awesome work, and also, what is most advantageous for living a life that feels balanced?” Adegbuyi said.

Keep Reading Show less
Lizzy Lawrence

Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She's a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school's independent newspaper. She's based in D.C., and can be reached at

Latest Stories