Mariah Cooper
Feb 9, 2022

Why adtech company Criteo is buying a Super Bowl ad

The spot imagines the open web’s future with utopian—and dystopian—possibilities.

Why adtech company Criteo is buying a Super Bowl ad

Adtech company Criteo has a lot resting on the future of the open internet. 

So much so, in fact, that the brand is shelling out big bucks for a local ad that will air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 13 in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. 

Although concepts like the open web are niche to the technology industry, the Super Bowl attracts an ad-savvy audience who tune in for the ads as well as the game, said Criteo CMO Brendan McCarthy.

“The rationale is you have people within our target audience who are tuned in to the Super Bowl, for the ads and for the sports,” he said.

The spot follows a woman as she waits for coffee at a shop. She passes the time by swiping on her phone, summoning a version of herself from the future to appear.

“Wait before you click that, I’m you from 20 years in the future,” the woman says, dressed in futuristic attire. 

Suddenly another version of the woman—this time dressed in battle attire—appears saying, “Don’t listen to her. I’m you from even further in the future.” 

Then, a third version of the woman—floating in a bubble—zaps into the coffee shop. “I’m you, 400 years in the future,” she says. 

Soon multiple versions of the woman flood the coffee shop, representing possible utopian and dystopian futures shaped by the real woman’s approach to the open web. 

“[The spot] makes the point that she has the opportunity to make decisions herself, because she's empowered to do so,” said McCarthy. “It's an interesting way of considering what our future selves would be like based on the different decisions we make now.”

“People should be empowered to have a voice and to have a choice,” he added. 

The spot—which will also air throughout the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics—doesn’t get too technical, instead relying on fun visuals and a futuristic storyline. 

“It doesn't answer a lot of questions; it raises them, more than anything,” said McCarthy. 

Criteo joins a long list of first-time Super Bowl advertisers including Planet Fitness, FTX,, Carvana and Caesars Sportsbook.

Campaign US

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