The Super Bowl may be a big night for sports fans, but, more than ever, people tune in to enjoy a vast spectacle of ads. After all, when companies dust off their best jokes, special effects, and gimmicks, it becomes hard for even the best teams to compete. And although we saw many clever Super Bowl ads, we’re here to talk about a very specific subset of them. After all, nerds need something to enjoy if they have to sit through three hours of resetting a ball on a line. (Although, we recognize and respect you, Sports Nerds.) From odes to Greek mythology to guest appearances from pop-cultural icons, here are the best nerdy ads from Super Bowl LVI.
2022’s Best Nerdy Super Bowl Ads
Lay’s Super Bowl 2022 Ad: “Golden Memories” Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd Super Bowl LVI Commercial
What can we say? This Super Bowl ad nails all things nerdy. Of course, the duo of Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd already clues us in that this will be a fun ride. The two have starred together in many a movie, after all. But, we couldn’t have expected such a delightful romp through our favorite movie and TV tropes. We get a cross-country road trip that brings the bromance and a crashing plane that evokes Yellowjackets. We even meet a kidnapper that screams The Black Phone, though we doubt Ethan Hawke will serve Lay’s in the upcoming thriller. Finally, the commercial takes us into a Haunting of Hill House place. Honestly, we’re glad to see the ghost get a happy ending for once.
BMW’s Super Bowl 2022 Ad: Zeus & Hera
Nerds have always loved mythology. So it makes sense that myths of all kinds have had a big couple of years on-screen. We’ve already seen Marvel’s mythology-based Eternals excite audiences. Soon Moon Knight will arrive on Disney+, bringing Egyptian mythology to life. And, eventually, we’ll even see a Percy Jackson & the Olympians series take shape. While we wait for mythology goodness, we can watch BMW’s Super Bowl offering.
This nerdy Super Bowl ad stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek as Zeus and Hera. We have to say, they do make for a very tame Zeus and Hera. But, we guess this wouldn’t be the place to showcase the gods at their worst. The commercial is fun, playing off Zeus’ lightning powers. And the hook, “All-electric?” It does have us huffing knowingly and smiling.
Bonus points, of course, for the adorable Pegasus.
General Motors’ Super Bowl 2022 Ad: Dr. EV-il | #EVerybodyIn
Pinkies up, everyone. Doctor Evil is back. And he is in fine form. Anyone who has been craving an Austin Powers 4 or a reboot has to crave no more. This parody of a James Bond parody makes for the perfect nerdy Super Bowl ad. Mike Myers returns as Doctor Evil to… save the world from climate change? Well, we guess that’s a cause we can support. But Doctor Evil can’t do it alone, of course. Rob Lowe, Seth Green, and Mindy Sterling also revisit their Austin Powers characters. This Super Bowl ad is hilarious, nostalgic, and has a message is worth sharing. Yeah, baby! Yeah!
Chevrolet’s Super Bowl 2022 Ad: The First-Ever All-Electric Chevy Silverado – New Generation (The Sopranos) | Chevrolet
The Sopranos may very well be one of the greatest shows of all time. So it’s not surprising Chevrolet would want to invoke it in its Super Bowl ad. And honestly, the effort paid off. With The Sopranos‘ showrunner David Chase directing the ad, this one definitely ranks as one of the best shots ads we’ve seen in a while. Almost like it came right out of an episode of The Sopranos. It doesn’t hurt that Jamie-Lynn Sigler returned in her long-time role of Meadow Soprano. In the show’s opening, it’s Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) doing the driving. Meaningfully, he also drives a Chevy truck. But now a new generation has arrived. A.J. Soprano, Meadow’s brother, played by Robert Iler, also appears.
The ad contains Easter eggs for The Sopranos devotees among us, including an homage to Tony’s cigar. We also love that this Sopranos Super Bowl ad was shot on location in New York and New Jersey, adding a truly authentic flair. And, of course, the iconic Sopranos theme music hits us hard with nostalgia. Truly, this is a nerdy ad successfully executed.
Amazon’s Super Bowl 2022 Ad: Mind Reader
Amazon’s 2022 Super Bowl ad reminds us of one of the many “robots gone wrong” movies we’ve either watched or seen trailers for recently. You know the ones. The robots start off innocently enough, ordering mouthwash, being helpful, and the next thing we know they’re ruining our lives. We’re not sure if this commercial is a threat… But we aren’t confident it isn’t, either. But, like the machines often do, it does come in a fun package. Black Widow‘s Scarlett Johansson and her husband, Colin Jost, star in the ad. Of course, it’s funny to see Alexa sass them… And they do assure us that it’s all just fiction. Then again, that’s what the machines would tell us.
Rakuten’s Super Bowl 2022 Ad: High Stakes
Le Chiffre, who? We know who we want to see starring as our next James Bond villain and that’s Ted Lasso‘s Hannah Waddingham. We have to say, and we mean this with the utmost respect, she could step on us. Of course, the story would only feel complete if she were to fall madly in love with her Rakuten-obsessed opponent. But we suppose that’s a story for another ad. In the meanwhile, we’ll be rewatching this nerdy Super Bowl ad, and the smirking, cheekbones, sphynx-cat of it all, again and again.
Nissan’s Super Bowl 2022 Ad: Thrill Driver
From meta to movie, this ad takes us on a whole journey. Not only does it feature a bevy of beloved stars as themselves, but it also shows them acting in a fake Fast & Furious-like flick. And honestly, Eugene Levy, Brie Larson, Danai Gurira, and Dave Bautista make for a pretty good fake movie cast. But they’d make for an even better real one. Especially if Catherine O’Hara wanted to join in the fun. After all, who wouldn’t want to watch Danai Gurira launching Dave Bautista off a motorcycle? Plus, this Super Bowl ad already has the catchphrase for the movie figured out. “Watch the coffee.”
Verizon’s Super Bowl 2022 Ad: Goodbye Cable
Jim Carrey has acted in many a nerdy thing. And upcoming, Carrey will star in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. But for his nerdy Super Bowl ad foray, Carrey revisited a very nostalgic role. He reprised his character of Chip Douglas, a.k.a. The Cable Guy, from 1996’s The Cable Guy. This commercial takes us back to a beloved film and reminds us of how far the internet has come. Not to mention, seeing this actor on our screens is always a pleasure. We hope next year Jim Carrey revives his take on the Riddler.
Rocket Mortgage’s Super Bowl 2022 Ad: Dream House with Anna Kendrick and Barbie
In this nerdy Super Bowl ad, Anna Kendrick brings us a dream crossover with Barbie meeting He-Man. It makes sense because they are both Mattel properties, after all. After Barbie kicks out the rest of her friends and family from her dream home, they have nowhere to go except… Castle Grayskull. That’s nice Barbie, real nice. But don’t worry Skipper, He-Man is here to protect you. And soon a brand new live-action version of He-Man will be too.
2022 Nerdy Super Bowl Ad Honorable Mentions
This year was so jam-packed with nerdy ads we couldn’t fit them all in an article. Other ads featured beloved nerdy stars like Ewan McGregor, who will soon appear in the long-anticipated Obi-Wan Kenobi series (which finally has a release date), Idris Elba, who we always love to see, and Zendaya, fresh off her appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Other ads showcased internet memes and trends we love. Here are some of the ads that didn’t quite make the cut as 2022’s best nerdy Super Bowl ads, but are still worth a watch.
We can’t wait to see what 2023’s Super Bowl ads will bring us.