Big Game Commercial Showdown 2024
The Super Bowl is not just about the game itself; it’s also a battleground for brands vying for attention with their commercials. In the midst of the flashy, star-studded ads, some stood out more than others, capturing the essence of what makes a Super Bowl commercial memorable. The Siarza team goes head-to-head for this year’s best commercial!
Donyelle Lucero, Director of CLient RELATIONS: State Farm
It was the Super Bowl commercial everyone heard about long before the Super Bowl. With nearly as much promo as the Usher halftime show, State Farm may be setting the stage for brands to rethink their Super Bowl ad strategy: promoting their own promotion. With a teaser to their primetime spot airing several days in advance and their star endorser Arnold Schwarzenegger promoting his “new action movie” on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, State Farm was effective in making sure audiences were on the lookout in between game plays for their 60-second commercial. The commercial could have been a total flop and still been effective thanks to the pre-promotion, but luckily it delivered.
Sofia Gomez-Legarreta, Content Creator: Pringles
Among the standout Super Bowl commercials, the Pringles ad featuring Chris Pratt as Mr. P, I would say is one of the best. The key to a memorable Big Game commercial often lies in its comedic elements, and this advertisement excels in that aspect. Initially hesitant when compared to the Pringles mascot on the logo, Chris Pratt’s transformation into Mr. P becomes a humorous journey, fueled by the agreement of fans on social media. Not only does the commercial leverage comedy, but it also incorporates a touch of satire, reflecting social media today, where influencers gain attention by resembling famous personalities, ultimately gaining popularity through this association.
Julia STARKEY, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Kia
It seemed like a lot of the commercials this year were very with celebrities and AI. That being said, I thought the car commercials stayed away from that concept and focussed more on the experience of the product. One of the commercials that I found most notable was the KIA commercial. Now, what made this commercial stand out was that I had to keep watching it to see what product was being advertised to us consumers. It starts out with a little girl performing her ice skating routine and panning over to an empty seat next to her dad. So I thought the commercial was going to be centered around the loss of her mom or something. On their way home, the father takes a new route to a cabin and starts transforming it into a lit-up skating rink at which point the audience can confirm that this is a commercial for KIA’s latest e-car. This commercial pulled on everybody’s heartstrings when they showed the little girl’s sick grandfather watching her routine. Instead of using a comedic concept of marketing, KIA focussed on family and love. It left me in tears by the end of it.
Alejandro PINEDA, CONTENT CREATOR: IF
My top pick from the Super Bowl commercial lineup was the IF movie trailer. Not sure how big The Office fanbase is, but for those who picked up the reference, when John Krasinski (Jim) pulled a prank on Dwight, making him believe Jim was replaced by an Asian man – I couldn’t stop laughing! They took that iconic scene and brought it all the way to the Super Bowl, and to make it even better, Ryan Reynolds joined in too. I think this simple, funny, and slightly organic approach is a winning formula for Super Bowl commercials. I had no idea about this movie before, but now it’s on top of my watchlist.
Justin OTSUKA, Video/Photo Lead: Reese’s
I don’t think I’m alone in being a little bored and jaded when it comes to celebrities. I think the pandemic had a lot to do with de-glorifying them and making it less satisfying to just have a rich and famous person pop up and make some self-referential joke that’s supposed to be clever just because it’s meta. This year I’ll just take the absurd, chaotic, straightforward Reese’s commercial promoting their new Caramel Big Cup. They kept the big star in voiceover (Will Arnett) and actually put a little effort into the writing, tone and humor of the spot. It was a simple breath of fresh air among all the overdone VFX, cameos and cliche pop music choices.
Marisa GRAHAM, CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER: IN e.l.f we Trust
It’s no secret that e.l.f. has made some pretty close dupes to high-end make-up over the years, and this year’s Super Bowl commercial highlights that in the ultimate setting, Judge Judy’s courtroom. Not only did e.l.f. bring attention to their products being amazing dupes for high-end make-up, they did it in a way that was funny, light-hearted and brought in a slew of celebrity cameos from some of the past year’s most influential shows. The commercial, which also featured Suits icons Gina Torres, Rick Hoffman, and Sarah Rafferty, comedian Benny Drama, RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Heidi N Closet, singer Meghan Trainor, former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho and Jury Duty’s Ronald Gladden may have had the most cameos in one commercial this year. While there’s nothing revolutionary about a make-up commercial, the satire and light-heartedness of the spot made it enjoyable and the star-studded cast of some of my favorite TV shows definitely made me tune in and pay attention.
Jace DOWNEY, Marketing & Research Coordinator: BIC EZ REach
Marketing serves as a dynamic mirror reflecting the ever-changing landscape of society, capturing its quirks, trends, and values. From Super Bowl commercials to social media campaigns, marketers keenly observe and adapt to societal shifts, providing a sign of the times. Take, for example, the return of the BIC EZ Reach Lighter commercial featuring Willy Nelson, Snoop Dogg, and unlikely pal, Martha Stewart. This ad not only utilized a relatable Zoom meeting setting, reflecting the widespread shift to virtual communication during the pandemic but also cleverly incorporated innuendos related to the legalization of marijuana, tapping into changing attitudes towards cannabis. Moreover, by bringing together icons from different generations and backgrounds, the commercial showcased the brand’s universal appeal, bridging divides and emphasizing inclusivity. Though not the best Big Game commercial, the BIC EZ Reach Lighter exemplified how marketing can reflect and shape public opinion, while also serving as a unifying force in society.
Amy VItale, Web Lead: CeraVe
Michael Cera is one of those actors who never peaked. Part of his charm has just been playing the awkward, funny guy millennials have known and loved for the past 20 years from Arrested Development to Superbad. The guy was typecast as Allan in Barbie. He’s even less important than a Ken. But to juxtapose him into a skincare commercial for CeraVe, the “skincare experts”, in place of some no-name model or dewy 37-step skincare influencer was brilliant. Since its launch in 2006, millennials have trusted the CeraVe brand because it has always gone down the semi-science advertising route about the benefits of ceramides. Now, CeraVe has given people something new to talk about. His timing and delivery. His Zoolander-esque parody of the skincare industry. Younger audiences will now remember CeraVe.
Kristelle Siarza Moon, CEO: DoorDash
It was the Doordash “Doordash-all-the-ads” commercial that was the highlight of the night – not because of the quality of the production, but moreover it’s purpose! I love a good interactive commercial that tells people to participate and collect data. That’s what that ad did. The days of watching without a call-to-action conversion are long gone. Thanks to its well timed video publishing and its hilarious (and almost impractical) claim code, the wittiness and humor of the site and the ad gave it a thumbs up from me.
You decide! A good commercial is not just about flashy visuals or celebrity endorsements; it’s about connecting with the audience on a deeper level. Memorable commercials often incorporate elements of humor, creativity, and relatability. They tell a story, evoke emotions, or offer a unique perspective that resonates with viewers long after the ad has ended. Additionally, strategic pre-promotion can build anticipation and make the commercial stand out amidst the Super Bowl ad frenzy. Whether it’s through humor, heartwarming narratives, or clever interactive elements, the best commercials leave a lasting impression and drive brand engagement. In the ever-evolving world of advertising, it’s not just about selling a product, it’s about forging a meaningful connection that lingers in the hearts and minds of viewers long after the screen goes dark.