Trend Reports

The Big Game Ad Breakdown: The MVPs of 2024

Superbowl LVIII–or “58” for those not born during the Roman Empire–is over, but the heat from the ads is still baking. Just like last year, we polled everyone at Inspira Marketing to get their takes on which commercials stuck with them and which faded into obscurity.

And, of course, to examine why certain ads worked and some didn’t. 

But first, to announce the winners and the losers. 

Only a third of Inspira (33.3%) were celebrating alongside the Chiefs, while just slightly more (37.5%) saw their beloved 49ers take the L. When asked which team they were rooting for, a solid 12.5% said “Usher,” with 8.3% rooting for Taylor to make it to the stadium on time. A lonely 8.3% said “none,” and were clearly just tuning in for the commercials. 

Inspira Team Members Shared the Ads That Worked


The next question we asked was “Which was your favorite Super Bowl advertisement, and why?” 

Our most popular answer, by a landslide, was the Dunkin’ Donuts “DunKings” commercial with JLo, Ben, Matt Damon, Tom Brady, and their entire crew of fly dancers. The team at Inspira loved the commercial, and consider it the best of the Super Bowl crop. Esquire agrees, which makes sense, because we’re highly fashionable. 

A few choice quotes from the team:

  • “So creative and memorable”
  • “Funny, relevant, and engaging”
  • “Who doesn’t love a bunch of self-deprecating celebrities?”
  • And simply “DunKings!” with multiple exclamation marks 

In second place at Inspira, with 20% of the vote, came the Verizon Beyoncé “Can’t B Broken” ad featuring the Beyoncé AI, a run for office, and a rocket ship.

Some quotes from Inspira: 

  • “I loved the little hints they were dropping days before the event, and the big reveal being that she released new music. Such a clever marketing strategy!”
  • “She so rarely does commercials, so it was surprising to see her for Verizon. Pairing her with Tony Hale was great.”
  • “A unique way to get lots of eyes on her new music announcement.”

Tied for third, with 8% of the vote each, were the BMW “Talkin Like Walken” ad and the Michael Cera CeraVe ad. Ads featuring terrible Christopher Walken impressions (including one from the disembodied perennial BMW voice of Chris Pine), and America’s quirky younger brother Michael Cera singing to a dolphicorn both deserve their kudos. 

Quotes from the team:

  • “Loved the mimicking and connection to the car.”
  • “‘Talkin Like Walken’ was a great way to show how people and brands like to imitate uniqueness with the punch line ‘There’s only one Christopher Walken and only one Ultimate Driving Machine.’”
  • “CeraVe with Michael Cera! Funny, relatable/trendy humor, and cringe (in a funny way).”

StateFarm’s “NeighBAAAA” commercial with Arnie and Danny, Reese’s “No, Yes” ad, and T-Mobile’s crooning tune with Jason Mamoa, Zach Braff, and Donald Faison all round out the “honorable mentions” category in our survey. 

The Game Day Ads That Didn’t Hit


Listen, we’re a marketing company, and we don’t want to be tagged for unnecessary roughness (it’s a football joke) against our esteemed competition. But where there are winners, there are those who…won less.

Here are the ads that some team members were less enthused by. It turns out, the idea that religion and politics aren’t right for mixed company is still relevant in 2024.

Religious ads scored the lowest on our survey. Prayer apps and foot-washing commercials just didn’t feel appropriate for a game that brings America together. Some team members felt that money could be better spent helping people than talking about helping people.

Political commercials went over like a lead balloon, as well, for pretty much the same reasons. Politics is a more divisive subject than ever before, and respondents felt these ads detracted from the feel-good, entertaining, heartwarming vibes of the evening.  

The Temu ads came in third place for least-loved. Our survey showed that people felt the ads were a little unoriginal, repetitive, and uncreative. Some found the images creepy or odd, while other respondents thought the ads weren’t clear enough about what the brand does. 

Interestingly, we saw Pluto TV’s couch potato ad frequently mentioned in the “favorite” and “least favorite” sections of the survey, possibly showing just how differently the creative of an ad can hit an audience. 

One of the most interesting quotes on the survey about the “least liked” ads was this: “I can’t recall my least favorite ad…probably for a good reason.” 

Marketing Takeaways from the Big Game


Judging by the data we collected, one of the biggest takeaways is clear: celebrities and humor are a slam dunk. Wait, no, a touchdown. Bennifer, Beyoncé, Chris Walken, and Michael Cera won this Super Bowl just as much as Taylor Swift and the Chiefs. 

The brands that broke the internet, literally in some cases, all leveraged the existing images of their celebrities without trying to fit them into a different context. Ben and tongue-in-cheek Bostonian bravado fit, as does Beyoncé and bombast, and Michael Cera and being weird. 

If we look a lair deeper than the celebrities and the jokes, we can see another victor: Millennial culture. 

Millennials are the largest generation now, and their buying power is skyrocketing. It’s no surprise Millennials were the target of so many of the ads, and even the half-time show with Usher. Millennials grew up with Usher and Beyoncé on the radio (when radio existed), Bennifer in the magazines (when magazines existed), and Chris Walken in music videos (when music videos existed). 

To touch on some of the “don’t do this thing” lessons, maybe religion and politics shouldn’t take up so much air next year. Not because they aren’t important or relevant topics: they are. And our team at Inspira has folks from all walks of life and philosophies. It’s simply a tone issue: the Super Bowl is a place for America to get together and have a good time. 

If you wouldn’t bring it up at a game day barbecue, it probably shouldn’t show up in the commercials. 

The Power of Authentic Storytelling and Real Connection

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For Inspira team members, this year was about as good as last year when it came to commercials. When we asked whether the ads were better this or last year, it was a literally 50/50 split right down the middle. 

Inspira’s Chief Creative Officer, Dave Wasserman, had this to say:

“I think overall there was some really strong work this year. In a domain where having a celebrity presence is now table stakes, the brands that can play off genuine relationships among the celebrities in their work added dimension to their storytelling. The ‘DunKings’ ad was so fun to watch because everyone knows the dynamic between Ben Affleck, J-Lo, and Matt Damon is rooted in reality. The 80s babies and older got the connection between Arnold and Danny DeVito in the State Farm work. Really well done this year.”

We’ll end with the most profound quote from the survey: 

“As always, I hope both teams had fun.”

If you’re looking for help planning your next marketing campaign, reach out to Inspira today.

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