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Creativity Brand Strategy

Chipotle, Fiverr to sit out Super Bowl LVI

By Kenneth Hein | Global Director of Marketing

January 11, 2022 | 5 min read

Two of 2021’s first-time Super Bowl advertisers have opted not to return to this year’s big game. They join long-time advertisers Mars Wrigley, Kraft Heinz, Tide and Hyundai — all of which have said they will take their media dollars elsewhere.

It’s a different Super Bowl story this year. Last year, Chipotle and Fiverr took advantage of discounted Super Bowl ad costs to air their first ever big game ads. The uncertainty about what tone brands should strike and whether the game would even happen scared off a number of usual suspects including Coca-Cola and Budweiser. This time around, NBCUniversal said in September that the game was “essentially sold out.”

Three American football players sitting on sidelines bench with helmets between their feet

Chipotle, Fiverr, Hyundai, Kraft Heinz and others to sideline their advertising efforts at this year's big game

Ads are fetching a reported $6.5 million for 30 seconds of precious Super Bowl time in 2022 — up nearly a million dollars from last year. As a result, some of the new brands who dipped their toes in the water are walking as are some surprising stalwart advertisers.

Chipotle made headlines last year when it asked, “Can a burrito change the world?” The spot touted its supply chain practices by focusing on its “food with integrity” pledge. On the day of the game, it donated a dollar from all orders to the National Young Farmers Coalition. All told, it has pledged $5 million to the advocacy group.

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Chipotle fared considerably well during lockdown as loyal consumers shifted easily to digital sales. In fact, the company's digital sales more than tripled at one point thanks to a bevy of online activations and the chain’s ability to leverage its loyalty program.

Fiverr, meanwhile, sought to capture all of the momentum brought about by “the great resignation.” Its 'Opportunity Knocks' ad poked fun at the Trump campaign’s Four Seasons news conference that took place not at the five-star hotel chain but rather in a parking lot at an industrial complex.

Fiverr CMO Gali Arnon said at the time that it is “aspiring to be one of the biggest brands in the world.” This year, a Fiverr spokesperson tells The Drum, “We are continuing to grow our brand recognition by investing in other marketing channels at the moment.”

Other notable holdouts include Mars Wrigley (the manufacturer who owns Snickers, M&M’s and other major brands), Kraft Heinz, Tide and Hyundai.

Here’s a breakdown of the current ad lineup for Super Bowl LVI:

Suiting up: Halftime sponsor Pepsi, beer giant Anheuser-Busch, Avocados from Mexico, Crypto.com, DraftKings, Frito-Lay (including Lay’s, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Doritos), FTX, General Motors, Google, Meta, NFL, Nissan, Pringles, Quickbooks, Rakuten, Squarespace, Taco Bell, Toyota, TurboTax, Vroom, WeatherTech

Sitting out: Chipotle, Fiverr, Hyundai, Kraft Heinz, Mars Wrigley (which had participated in 12 consecutive Super Bowls) and Tide — a surprising development considering the brand has in recent years established a notable presence at the event

First-timers: Crypto.com, FTX and Rakuten, with more announcements on deck

First time in a while: Lay’s (making its first Super Bowl appearance in 17 years), Nissan (making its fist appearance in six years)

Other activations of note: Animal Planet to offer a series of NFTs to promote its annual Puppy Bowl event

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