Like the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49 fought in the Sunday thriller, some of the world’s biggest brands also tried to score points among viewers. Here are the best and worst commercials that aired in the 2024 game, according to experts.
The top-ranked ads included ads from Google, Dove and CeraVe, according to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, which rates the ads each year in its Super Bowl Advertising Review.
As usual, advertisers had a lot at stake and brands paidto reach an audience that was expected to exceed 100 million viewers. Not every Ad scored a touchdown and some fumbled.
“Most of the ads were light-hearted, with some brands going deeper, like Dove and Google,” said Derek Rucker, a Kellogg professor and co-director 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 “1999 Super Bowl advertisement for Just for Feet, which was called racist and tone-deaf.“The commercial helped the fledgling technology company establish the Macintosh as a more modern personal computer that rivals IBM hardware. At the same time, a clumsy or insensitive ad can seriously tarnish a brand, such as the infamous
“It’s not just appearing in the Super Bowl that creates brand value,” but making an ad that resonates with viewers, Rucker said. “There are some marks that appeared, but you and I will forget about them the next day.”
“When the costs are as high as the Super Bowl, that’s really dangerous,” he said.
Kellogg’s grades, which range from A to F, measure ads based on marketing qualities such as distinctiveness and positioning, and a panel of business students applies the metrics to the ads. In other words, ratings view ads through the lens of whether they helped boost the brand, rather than through their popularity with viewers.
None of the 2024 Super Bowl ads received an “F” grade from the panel this year, but several received Ds.
The best: Google
Google’s ad for its Google Pixel camera showed a visually impaired man using 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 advertisement for CeraVe skin care products featured actor Michael Cera claiming that he developed their moisturizer; After all, the product includes his last name. The humorous ad highlights that dermatologists, not Cera, were the ones who developed the moisturizer.
“That was one of my favorites because it was so well done,” Rucker said. “I wasn’t very familiar with the product, but I had an idea of what they do.”
CeraVe received an A from the panel.
The candy brand used its Super Bowl ad to highlight a new twist on the product: caramel peanut butter cups. With voiceover by actor Will Arnett, the brand took fans on an emotional journey as Arnett told them about the changes coming to the candy, while assuring them that classic Reese’s will still be available.
The ad received an A from Kellogg’s review.
The automaker presented a nostalgic look at its vehicles through the decades in America, from the introduction of the VW bug to its iconic bus. The end of the ad also featured Volkswagen’s new electric minibus, the ID.buzz, all set to the sound of Neil Diamond’s “I Am… I Said.”
This ad also received an A rating.
The worst: Temu
Temu ran the same ad several times during the Super Bowl, an animated spot showing people receiving low-priced items from the Chinese shopping app, which baffled some viewers and prompted the Washington Post to complain“The same boring ad, over and over again.”
This ad received a D grade from the Kellogg panel.
Homes.com ran three ads, starring “Schitt’s Creek” actor Dan Levy, during the Super Bowl, but failed to convey to viewers what their benefit was, the Kellogg panel said. Homes.com was one of 11 brands to receive a D grade from the panel, its lowest score this year.
“The ads seemed a little all over the place,” Rucker said.
Worst: square space
This ad looked flashy and had a cameo from Martin Scorsese, but it failed to connect the dots between the company’s services and the commercial. The commercial depicted an alien invasion of Earth, but humans are too engrossed in their phones to notice.
Best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 2024, ranked
Here are the ads by grade, according to Kellogg.
- mountain dew
- Uber eats
- T Mobile
- youtube television
- Oreo cookies
- Foundation to combat antisemitism
- Michelob Ultra
- State farm
- turbo tax
- T Mobile
- outbreak light
- Light Coors
- Pluto television
- Bass Pro Shops
- Strike crowd
- He catches us
- square space
- American Values 2024