Watch: Here are the buzziest Super Bowl commercials for 2024
Budweiser focuses on its iconic Clydesdales, Michelob Ultra capitalizes on the iconic star power of soccer legend Lionel Messi, and Uber Eats goes for laughs with an ad where Jennifer Aniston forgets she starred in “Friends” with David Schwimmer.
Big name advertisers pulled out all the stops on Super Bowl Sunday — enlisting high-profile actors, investing in dazzling special effects and, they hope, going for laughs as they seek to win over viewers during game breaks.
In an increasingly fractured and polarized media environment — and with fewer people watching live TV — the Super Bowl is an anomaly. The big game's viewership has actually increased, with a record 115.1 million people tuning in last year.
So marketers used the game on Sunday, which aired on CBS and stream on Paramount+, to draw attention to new products, brand extensions and their marketing message as they again competed for the eyes of more than 100 million expected viewers.
Almost as an escape from the divisive U.S. presidential election and conflicts deepening around the world, most Super Bowl advertisers appeared to be doubling down on flights of fantasy or light humor, often with a dose of nostalgia and a lot of mini-reunions of TV characters.
“Serious is out," said Kimberly Whitler, marketing professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. “Marketers have figured out entertainment, enjoyment and escapism is the name of the ad game.”
Here are some of the buzziest ads that were released before the game:
Actress Tina Fey has so many choices on the online travel agency booking.com site she has to hire body doubles: an influencer type played by her 30 Rock co-star, Jane Krakowski, to stay at a fancy hotel, a bigfoot handled by another 30 Rock co-star, Jack McBrayer, to stay at a cabin, and even actress Glenn Close, who stays on a farm.
The Bud Light genie grants wishes — like giving someone '80s metal hair and someone else a giant bicep — to Bud Light drinkers. NFL legend Peyton Manning, rapper Post Malone and more also appear on screen.
Budweiser is bringing back familiar characters to its gameday slot. In the beer brand’s nostalgic ad, a snowstorm threatens to derail a delivery to a small-town bar. But a team of Clydesdales and a Labrador retriever team up to help Budweiser make the delivery.
Two grandmotherly women ("Dina" and “Mita”) chase after “Top Gun: Maverick” actor Danny Ramirez, who took the last bag of Doritos Dinamita from a store shelf, leaving actress Jenna Ortega behind.
Dove's ad begins seemingly whimsically showing young girls having mishaps playing sports to the tune of "It’s the Hard Knock Life." But the ad cuts starkly to a girl looking self-consciously in the mirror. The message: low body-confidence leads to girls quitting sports, not the mishaps.
Google's heartstring-pulling ad follows a blind man as he uses “Guided Frame” — Google's AI-powered accessibility feature for the Pixel camera that uses a combination of audio cues, high-contrast animations and tactile vibrations — to take pictures of the people and places in his life.
In an ad for Hellmann’s, Kate McKinnon makes an unusual discovery: her cat can talk. Well, sort of. Her furry friend can say one word, “may-ow” — which skyrockets her to celebrity status and causes a mayonnaise-buying frenzy. The “Mayo Cat” becomes so famous that she even dates (and soon dumps) Pete Davidson.
Lionel Messi’s Super Bowl debut shows off his soccer mastery and apparent loyalty to Michelob Ultra. In the ad, the soccer star also gets an assist from NFL legend Dan Marino and nod from “Ted Lasso’s” Jason Sudeikis.
MTN Dew Baja Blast
Aubrey Plaza is always having a blast, whether she is stuck in an elevator or being abducted by aliens — or reuniting with her “Parks and Rec” co-star Nick Offerman while riding dragons.
Retired Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, Buffalo Bills’ Bruce Smith and wide receiver Terrell Owens never got a Super Bowl ring, but M&M’s and Scarlett Johansson present the “Almost Champions” ring to the almost winners.
According to Oreo, the key to making life’s biggest decisions is to “twist on it.” An ad for the iconic sandwich cookie suggests that even Kris Jenner used the tactic before agreeing to start “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” back in 2007.
After a gas station clerk points out Chris Pratt looks like the man in the Pringles logo, he goes viral and stars in a movie about “Mr. P.”
PepsiCo's year-old lemon-lime soda's debut Super Bowl ad features rapper Ice Spice dealing with a breakup by spending time with the Starry lemon and lime spokescharacters — the message: “It's time to see other sodas.”
Jason Momoa shows off his singing chops in an ad that shows Scrubs duo Zach Braff and Donald Faison singing about T-Mobile home internet to the tune of “Flashdance ... What a Feeling." “Flashdance” star Jennifer Beals pops in to spray Momoa with water and ask him to sing it again — without his shirt.
When someone tells Jennifer Aniston they didn't know you could order a wide variety of products on Uber Eats, Aniston tells them, “In order to remember something, you've got to forget something else.” That prompts a wave of forgetting: David and Victoria Beckham forget Victoria Beckham used to be Posh Spice, and Jennifer Aniston forgets she starred in “Friends” with David Schwimmer.