The most important thing about Super Bowl LVI is that Joe Burrow and the Bengals are playing. That’s an undisputed fact. So, let’s say this first … WHO DEY?!

On par with the star-studded Halftime Show as the second-most important thing about Super Bowl LVI — The commercials!

Yes, those! I’ve met many a’ person, in fact, who claim to watch the Super Bowl for the commercials rather than the game itself. So, what should we expect this year?

Big names are back

“Usual suspect”-type advertisers like Budweiser “took a knee” last year out of sensitivity to the COVID-19 pandemic. While COVID continues, a collective desire exists to relive a pre-pandemic normal (especially amid glimmers of hope that light’s at the end of the tunnel, and maybe — just maybe — people feel marginally more optimistic than this time last year). So, among others, Bud and its Clydesdales are saddling up.

Not everyone’s coming back, though.

Worth noting here: About all of Super Bowl LVI’s ad spots were sold out before the NFL season even began.

The teaser trend

As of this writing, several brands already have released commercial teasers. Some companies even released more than one, and I fully anticipate that more will launch before the big game. Advertisers hope to pique your interest enough that you stay tuned during commercial breaks to see how the story lines come to fruition. Be ready for big punch lines, celeb appearances and twists. Mark my words: The vast majority (if not all) “endings” will be funny.

Speaking of humor … It will reign supreme!

Returning brands and lots of new advertisers will give us something we all deserve — a good laugh. Yes, some companies will strike a more somber tone: I foresee tributes to amazing healthcare heroes and reminders that we’re all living in these troubling times together. But I do predict that most ads will fall in the funny camp. It’s been a long two years, and companies want to make a splash, including those returning after last year’s hiatus. After spending millions of dollars on the coveted spots, they’re going to make sure the ads are good, too. Expect A-listers, nostalgia and surprises.

Plus, if the Bengals lose, we’re going to need humor to cheer us up.

But that’s a moot point. Because they’re going to win.