Max Kalehoff, Vice President, Marketing at Realeyes, looks at what the reception has been to early-released ads for Super Bowl LVI so far – and what that portends for the ads on game day. 

If you were underwhelmed by the ads in recent years, there is reason to be optimistic this year!

This year’s Super Bowl TV ad spots are priced around $6.5 million for 30 seconds – a $1 million hike over last year – to reach an engaged audience of approximately 100 million Americans. Advertisers can’t control viewer attention to the game itself, though they can control the ad creative needed to capture attention surrounding the game. This can be a key distinction, as anyone who has watched a Super Bowl during a crowded party knows.

That is why many advertisers release their ads – or teasers of their ads – early. They can achieve first-mover advantage by capturing and sustaining attention when anticipation is highest. For onlookers, pre-released ads also signal the quality of the entire ads portfolio to come. Realeyes data has shown that the first ads out of the gate are a proxy of the ones that air later, reflecting the creative pulse or tone of the others. They represent the time period – and in an era when production can turn quickly, they might even influence the creative direction of the ads that follow by setting the bar.

What do the early-released ads tell us thus far? We’ll look at this through the lens of Realeyes’ Quality Score, which reflects the ability of a video to capture attention, retain attention and prompt emotional response once flighted in market.

Four pre-game key takeaways

1. This year’s pre-released ads are performing better on attention. This year’s early-released ads are scoring significantly higher than those for the last two years’ Super Bowls. Realeyes’ Quality Score of early-released ads this year is 5.8 on average out of a possible 10, up from 4.8 in 2020 and 5.0 in 2021.

Realeyes Super Bowl LVI Pre-Game Creative Attention Report

Early-release ads groups 2022 versus prior years

2020 – 2022 US General Population



Quality Score

Creative Efficiency



Released Early





All Ads





Released Early










Released Early




2. All Super Bowl LVI ads are likely to outperform Super Bowl ads from the past two years. Based on the predictive power of early-released ads in prior years, Realeyes predicts this year’s Super Bowl ads will achieve a Quality Score between 5.0 and 5.2, on average. Early-released ads tend to predict final scores of all the ads in a game within 15% variance.

3. Post-pandemic creative is resonating. After almost two years of serious, pandemic-laden themes, the creatives this year are getting, well, more bold and creative. They’re delivering more humor and portrayals of post-pandemic life. In addition to higher attention capture and retain scores, ads this year are driving higher emotional encoding scores, up 95% from 2021 and 53% from 2020.

4. Early-release creative is more media efficient. Creatives that performs on attention reduce the effective cost of a quality exposure by maximizing potential impact of each media impression. Poor creative? Higher cost to impact. Quality creative? Lower cost to impact. The creative efficiency of this year’s early ads is 52%, a full 7 to 9 percentage points higher than prior early-released ads. In other words, if the actual CPM were $10, the effective cost of a quality exposure in this year’s early-released ads (or qCPM) would be $19.

Spoiler alert: The pre-game ad that is so far scoring the best on attention is this ad for Walmart’s Sam’s Club featuring Kevin Hart.

Last-ditch play for advertisers

While time is running out to alter creative strategy, now would be a good time to ditch the COVID-era messaging and leave that to the health PSAs. Instead, focus on bolder themes representing better times.

Realeyes Super Bowl LVI Pre-Game Creative Attention Report

Early-release ads individual 2022

2020 – 2022 US General Population



Quality Score

Sam's Club

Super Bowl Ad



Flake the Musical



Road to Super Bowl LVI


Michelob Ultra

Peyton's Ready



We're Back


AT&T Fiber

A Lot in Common






What Are We Doing



Big Game Teaser Evil Laugh



Zac Efron



All or One


Idris Calls His Spokes-Blokes


Irish Spring

Welcome to Irish Spring



The Search Is On


Humor drives attention, and people are hungry for it now. Couple that with celebrities known for poking fun, like retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, and you’ve got a winning combination. One through-line for Super Bowl commercials, which looks like it will be repeated this year, based on the scores of the early-release ads above, is that they employ humor.

Finally, attention is scarce with all the distractions around Super Bowl viewing, so err on the side of capturing attention and cutting to the chase. Viewers that don’t wait around for your big reveal simply add to the effective cost for your ad to win attention.

Methodology and definitions

The creative attention scores are provided by Realeyes’ PreView tool, which measures the facial queues and eye movements of participants as they watch video from desktop and laptop computers, and mobile devices. Each ad received approximately 150 views among participants representative of the US general population.

  • Quality Score: A composite metric reported on a scale of 0-10 and measures a video’s ability to perform in market. It includes three critical elements: Capture, Retain and Encode.
  • Capture: Ability to capture audience attention in the first seconds.
  • Retain: Ability to retain the audience throughout the ad.
  • Encode: Ability to encode the brand message into the brain through emotional engagement.
  • qCPM: An estimated cost of one thousand quality media exposures based on Capture, Retain and Encode performance, and derived from a $10 nominal cost of one thousand impressions (CPM).
  • Creative Efficiency: The extent to which a creative captures the full value of a nominal CPM based on attentional scores.