Super Bowl LVIII Ad Touchdowns & Fumbles

Super Bowl LVIII Ad Touchdowns & Fumbles

By: Anthony Romano

Another Super Bowl filled with glitz, glamor, and waves of creative (or not so creative) ads is in the books, and just like with the big game itself, we’re inevitably left with some winners and some that fell short (sorry, Niners 😬). For the ads, the night’s “touchdowns” and “fumbles” ranged from tried-and-true formulas to experimental risks, but it was those that deviated from the pack that rose to the top in 2024.

An (Unforeseen) Losing Strategy?

This year’s football season oozed with “celebrity” — at least much more than any in recent memory. With the T-Swift–Travis Kelce connection front and center, a star-studded halftime show on the ticket, countless celebs looking on from the stands, and all centered in good ol’ Sin City, did we really need to add MORE celebrity to the occasion with an over-index of cameos and star-led concepts in the majority of the ads? It might’ve gone a bit too far at the expense of some smarter creative or, at the very least, variety.

When You Zig, I Zag

While there were certainly some bangers that followed the pack — celebrity soup included — a seemingly winning strategy came from brands like Google and DoorDash who stood out by doing something wild: staying true to their core personality. It’s kind of strange to say that “being authentic” or “staying on brand” while still testing limits is a noteworthy approach, but maybe that’s just the crazy world we live in these days. 🤷‍♂️

3 Touchdowns

CeraVe: Michael Cera

The best execution of a celebrity endorsement/inclusion/concept spot, not just because the humor was smart, unexpected, and expertly delivered by a comedic actor, but because the crossover is so seamless across the campaign. While not an entirely new idea (Michael Bublé and Bubly from 2019), the execution works wonders with its delivery that feels smart, current, and not overdone. 👏

DoorDash: DoorDash All the Ads

Beating out most, if not all, of the 30-second celeb mash-up ads throughout the game, DoorDash delivered more than just a spot. The “not-new-but-why-aren’t-more-brands-doing-this” approach of engaging the viewers directly stuck out, both in execution and follow-through. The spot itself wasn’t the best of the bunch, but it had a nice internet-meta/meme approach with some fun graphics and movement. The highlight was the full package, complete with some smart and funny writing with a strong personality on the companion website where viewers had the chance to win a boatload of stuff from all the ads (some more giving than others). Perhaps most notably (and cleverly), a gift card from competitor Uber Eats.

Google Pixel 8: Javier in Frame

There are always at least a few gems that strike a great balance of getting you in your feels without being too emotional. This Pixel spot was well-crafted, used interesting and unorthodox footage approaches to connect the dots, and leaned into empathy when others were betting on wacky comedy. Showcasing how Google makes peoples’ lives better in a lighthearted and human way did the trick.

4 Fumbles

Squarespace: Hello Down There

You’d think that the great Martin Scorcese, directing and starring in his very first Super Bowl spot, would lead to a promising result — especially if it includes social satire concerning technology in our everyday lives. But you’d be wrong. Instead, we got a very “WTF?!” 30-second spot that weaved together aliens, websites, and NYC traffic in what felt like another 3+ hour feature from the director. What exactly were we supposed to get from this spot again? Websites are both good and bad? Still unclear.

Skechers: Mr. T

There were a ton of ads that leaned on celebrities as their crutch, but none were perhaps as poorly done as Skechers, which treated the audience like idiots for implying that “Skechers,” a well-known brand that’s been in the marketplace since 1992, is difficult to spell. Adding more confusion to what seemed like a non-issue, they used outrageously farcical scenarios with Mr. T at the center to sell Dad slip-ons. This was a particularly egregious entry among the slew of celebrity-humor-for-celebrity-humor’s sake spots. Trio

Doubling, and even tripling down on ad slots that are now going as high as $7 million for 30 seconds, without adding much value or sticking out in the bunch, felt like a big fumblerooski.

Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire

When you factor in the star power and production value of the spots that covered 2 minutes of ad time, the dollars get a bit mind-boggling. Wonder why putting ourselves in the shoes of a billionaire fell flat…

All in all, a wild night filled with celebrities, football, and strange realities. And with that, we raise our glasses to the winners and wish the ad-fumblers better luck next year — oh, and the 49ers.

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Anthony Romano

Anthony Romano

Associate Creative Director, Art

Anthony is an award-winning art director and designer with 15+ years of industry experience — from in-house to freelance and agency roles. He works to bring fundamentally sound design principles and thinking to every creative problem before finding new and interesting ways to challenge the expected. He is an integral part of creating and supporting multichannel campaigns and branding initiatives, helping to lead the creative across all accounts. Prior to joining RP3, Anthony worked on major national media campaigns across all mediums for Discovery, such as Shark Week, Deadliest Catch, and Frozen Planet.


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