I love the Superbowl. I couldn’t give a toss about football. I am there for the snacks, the snacks and more snacks. And Rihanna (congrats, Mama!). And the ADS! Every year, we ad lawyers measure our worth by how many Superbowl ads we have been asked to opine on. “Which ones are yours, Mom?” my kids used to ask proudly (until I let them know I just wrote the small type at the bottom of the page).

The bottom line, though, is that claim substantiation lawyers like me would find ourselves in the unemployment line if all the ads looked like Superbowl ads. Year after year, very few ads – perhaps wireless and home Internet excluded – make promises about the products. Very few ads require disclaimers to narrow the reasonable takeaway of the message. Most just want to show up and be memorable. They should be memorable for $7 million for 30 seconds.

This year did not disappoint. Gone were the COVID-era ads of being in this together. There were honestly very few ads that tried to be meaningful or moving, promoting products based on company decency or ESG commitment. And perhaps not surprising was the absence of crypto ads (although last year’s Larry David ad is classic for being so prescient). There were ones that made us laugh out loud (yes, you, Premature Electrification, Hamm and Brie, and the Afflecks). I also love the retro ads, even though I know more and more are not retro to me, as I lived it (Caddyshack, Sarah McLachlan, “Safety Dance”). Some new observations? It was exciting to see so many ads recognizing that women love football too by featuring strong women rather than objectifying them. One surprising trend I do not remember seeing before was ads that seemed to denigrate their own products, all in good fun, of course – primer and peanuts were two favorites. You can watch or rewatch them ALL here.

Now back to reviewing claim substantiation for the ads on the other 364 days of the year…