As the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49s faced off on Sundaythriller, some of the world’s biggest brands also sought to score points with viewers. Here are the best and worst ads to air during the 2024 game, according to experts.
The top-ranked ads included spots from Google, Dove and CeraVe, according to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, which annually evaluates the ads in its Super Bowl Advertising Review.
As usual, advertisers had a lot to play for, with brands payingto reach an audience that was expected to exceed 100 million viewers. Not every commercial scored a touchdown and a few missed the ball.
“The majority of ads were lighthearted, with a few brands that went deeper, like Dove and Google,” said Derek Rucker, a Kellogg professor and co-leader of the school’s ad review.
A memorable Super Bowl ad can not only elevate a brand, but also help create a narrative around a product that helps change the way consumers perceive it. Four decades ago, for example, the iconic “The ad helped the young tech company solidify the Macintosh as a hipper personal computer that rivaled IBM’s hardware. At the same time, a clumsy or insensitive ad can seriously tarnish a brand, like the infamous 1999 Super Bowl ad for Just for Feet, which was called racist and tone-deaf.
“It’s not just showing up at the Super Bowl that drives brand value,” but also creating an ad that resonates with viewers, Rucker said. “There are marks that have appeared, but you and I will forget about them the next day.”
“When the costs are as high as they were in the Super Bowl, it’s really dangerous,” he said.
Kellogg grades, which range from A to F, measure ads based on marketing qualities such as distinctiveness and positioning, with a panel of business students applying the measurements to ads. In other words, audiences view ads in terms of their contribution to brand promotion, rather than their popularity with viewers.
None of the 2024 Super Bowl ads received an “F” grade from the panel this year – but several received a D grade.
Google’s spot for its Google Pixel camera showed a visually impaired man as he used the technology to take photos of himself and his family. The ad was “powerful” because it “linked technology with emotion,” Rucker said.
The Google Pixel ad received an A grade from the Kellogg panel.
This commercial for CeraVe skincare products showed actor Michael Cera claiming he developed its moisturizer — after all, the product is named after his last name. The humorous spot emphasizes that it was dermatologists, not Cera, who actually developed the moisturizer.
“It was a personal favorite because it was so well done,” Rucker said. “I didn’t really know the product, but I had an idea of what they were doing.”
CeraVe received an A from the panel.
The best: Reese’s
The candy brand used its Super Bowl spot to highlight a new version of the product: caramel peanut butter cups. Featuring a voiceover from actor Will Arnett, the brand took fans on an emotional journey as Arnett talked to them about the upcoming changes to the candy, while assuring them that classic Reese’s would still be available.
The ad received an A from Kellogg.
The automaker has presented a nostalgic take on its vehicles throughout the decades in America, from the introduction of the VW bug to its iconic bus. The end of the spot also presented Volkswagen’s new electric minibus, the ID.buzz, all to the sound of “I Am… I Said” by Neil Diamond.
This ad also received an A in the rankings.
Temu aired the same spot repeatedly during the Super Bowl, an animated commercial showing people receiving low-cost items from the Chinese shopping app, which confused some viewers and prompted the Washington Post to complain: “Just the same lame ad, over and over again. on.”
This ad received a D rating from the Kellogg panel.
Homes.com ran three spots, featuring “Schitt’s Creek” actor Dan Levy, during the Super Bowl, but failed to convey to viewers what the benefit was, the Kellogg panel said . Homes.com was one of 11 brands to receive a D rating from the panel, its lowest rating this year.
“The ads seemed all over the place,” Rucker said.
This ad looked flashy and featured an appearance by Martin Scorsese, but it failed to make the connection between the company’s services and the ad. The advert depicted an alien invasion of Earth, but humans are too absorbed in their phones to notice.
Ranking the best and worst Super Bowl 2024 commercials
Here are the announcements by grade, according to Kellogg.
- Mountain Dew
- Uber eats
- T Mobile
- Youtube Television
- Foundation to fight anti-Semitism
- Michelob Ultra
- State farm
- Turbo Tax
- T Mobile
- Bud light
- Coors Light
- Pluto TV
- Bass Pro Shops
- Crowd strike
- He understands us
- Square space
- American values 2024
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