March 1, 2024


Discover The Difference

Upcoming trends, types of ads to expect

CLEVELAND, Ohio – This is the fourth annual year we have analyzed the types of commercials from the previous Super Bowl, offering us a chance to spot trends and see what advertising dollars are targeting.


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A 30-second ad is about $5.5 million for a spot in Sunday’s game.

We use four categories – company / product, media, promotions and automotive (scroll to the bottom for last year’s ad-by-ad breakdown). Our annual unscientific look at the ads allows us to spot which upcoming shows had staying power vs. those that became relegated to the flash-in-the-pan bin. Last year, with the game coming on the heels of stay-at-home orders for Covid, some movies didn’t come out (“Black Widow,” “No Time to Die”) and some companies actually went under (remember Quibi?).

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For the 2020 game – Super Bowl LV – ads were in production long before anyone had heard about Covid. But this year, advertisers have had a lot of hunkered-down time to ponder how the prevailing stay-at-home climate would affect their approach to advertise during the big game.

Margo Kahnrose sees a correlation between Covid and this year’s ads as well as some newer trends. Kahnrose is chief marketing officer of Kenshoo, which has headquarters in Tel Aviv and Chicago. The technology company assists marketers with applications designed to build their brands and generate demand via digital advertising.

“We’re seeing that this year, a lot of the big advertisers are approaching the Super Bowl in a different way than ever before, with some mainstay advertisers pulling out completely,” she said, citing Anheuser-Busch not advertising Super Bowl staple Budweiser for the first time since 1983, instead allocating that money toward vaccine awareness. “Other brands that have been hit harder by the pandemic – like Coca-Cola – are pulling out entirely in order to invest their money in other activities. Every brand is reallocating their marketing dollars in a unique way, but each shift can be attributed to the impact of the pandemic on this year’s game.

“We’ve also seen brands shifting dollars to online advertising, not only to avoid the $5.5 million price tag that comes with a TV ad, but also because that money can go much further when spent on digital ads. Without big in-person parties, brands don’t necessarily get the same ROI (return on investment) from those expensive investments, as people aren’t discussing them in real-time with the people around them. Spending money online not only helps get eyes on your ads, but also gives brands valuable data. Large brands are learning from smaller, newer, more agile companies and market entrants like D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands about how to maximize customer engagement in a much more cost-efficient way.”

Kahnrose said many campaigns also will enjoy a viral push via social media. But she added: “Although some of the larger brands are pulling back on advertising this year, consumers should still expect memorable ads. This shift has created an opportunity for new advertisers to get in on the Super Bowl ad game. There will be more newcomers to the space, especially those in categories that benefitted big from the at-home and ecommerce boom, like DoorDash, who had an incredible year leveraging digital. (DoorDash is a Kenshoo client.)

“In terms of content, expect values-centric ads that focus on unity, either explicitly or implicitly with their creative choices. I think everyone learned the hard way in the early months of the pandemic that consumers don’t want to look at ads focused on the realities of the pandemic, and we’ll see less of that this time around. But coming off such a socio-political minefield as was 2020, feel-good stuff that is values-centric is likely to play a starring role.”

Promoting network shows took on a starring role of sorts last year. We consider spots promoting network shows to fall into this category. The Super Bowl is, after all, a showcase for 100 million viewers, so the presenting network takes advantage of using that platform to tease us with upcoming shows. But last year also marked the NFL’s centennial, and there were plenty of promotions for that, leading to a big year-over-year increase: Almost one of every four spots in 2020 was a promotion – of a show on the host network or for the league.

The other difference in 2020 was the airing of political ads – one from Donald Trump, another from Michael Bloomberg. We counted them under “company / product” rather than create another category. Also, we did not count announcer segues or sponsored in-game pop-up graphics in our ad breakdown.

Here is who advertises by segment and by game:

Company / product

2020: 54.9%

2019: 47.6%

2018: 54%

2017: 50.4%

Media (movies, streaming services, gaming)

2020: 13.7% (Fox)

2019: 39% (CBS)

2018: 27% (NBC)

2017: 30%1/4 u00ad (Fox)


2020: 10%

2019: 6.6%

2018: 9.3%

2017: 11.5%

Promotions (TV shows)

2020: 22.5% (Fox)

2019: 6.6% (CBS)

2018: 9.3% (NBC

2017: 7.9% (Fox)

Expect to see about 100 commercials, from kickoff to end-of-game whistle.

The 2020 Super Bowl ads

Coin toss

1. “Disney’s Mulan” (media)

2. State Farm (company / product)

3. Intuit TurboTax (company / product)

4. YouTube TV (media)

5. NFL (promotion)


6. “F9” movie (media)

7. Quibi (media)

8. Bud Light and Tide (company / product)

9. “The Masked Singer” (promotion)

10. Daytona 500 (promotion)

11. Trump political ad (company / product)


12. Wal-Mart (company / product)

13. “Black Widow” movie, Marvel Studios (media)

14. Rocket Mortgage (company / product)


15. Porsche (automotive)

16. Snickers (company / product)

17. Hulu (media)

18. “Lego Masters” (promotion)


19. Mtn Dew (company / product)

20. Squarespace (company / product)

21. New York Life (company / product)

22. Super Monday (promotion)

23. Cleveland Clinic (company / product)


24. Hyundai Smart Park (automotive)

25. Cheetos (company / product)

26. Oil of Olay (company / product)


27. Michelob Ultra Pure Gold (company / product)

28. Avocados from Mexico (company / product)

29. Hard Rock (company / product)


30. Pringles (company / product)

31. Turbotax (company / product)

32. Bud Light (company / product)

33. Genesis (automotive)


34. Coca-Cola Energy (company / product)

35. Planters (company / product)

36. “No Time to Die” James Bond movie (media)

37. “The Masked Singer” (promotion)

38. Google (media)

39. Sabra hummus (company / product)

40. WeatherTech (automotive)


41. Verizon 5G (company / product)

42. GMC (automotive)

43. Pop-Tarts (company / product)

44. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” movie (media)


45. Fox Nation (promotion)

46. Wilder-Fury II fight (promotion)

47. Saint Archer beer (company / product)

48. Walmart (company / product)

49. Blue Heron Brewery and Event Center (company / product)

Halftime (Score: 10-10)

50. (promotion)

51. “Lego Masters” (promotion)

52. Gyro George (company / product)

53. Honda (automotive)

54. Smack Down wrestling (media)

55. (promotion)

56. Fox TV shows (promotion)

Halftime performance

57. Verizon (company / product)

58. “The Masked Singer” (promotion)

59. Daytona 500 (promotion)

60. Geico (company / product)

61. Schumacher Homes (company / product)

62. Serpentini (company / product)

63. Akron Children’s Hospital (company / product)


64. Sodastream (company / product)

65. “Prodigal Son” (promotion)

66. Michael Bloomberg political ad (company / product)


67. “Hunters” Amazon TV show (media)

68. Pepsi (company / product)

69. Heinz (company / product)

70. Wilder-Fury II fight (promotion)


71. Bud Light Seltzer (company / product)

72. Little Ceasars Pizza (company / product)

73. Doritos (company / product)


74. KIA Seltos (automotive)

75. Turkish Airlines (company / product)

76. Reese’s Take 5 (company / product)

77. “Wonder Woman” and Tide (media, company / product)


78. Alexa (company / product)

79. Michelob Ultra (company / product)


80. Inspire Change NFL (media)

81. Harley-Davidson (company / product)

82. Kent State (company / product)

83. Leaf Filter (company / product)

84. Harley-Davidson (company / product)


85. Toyota Highlander (automotive)

86. Discover (company / product)

87. Disney Plus / Wanda Vision / Marvel (media)

88. Discover (company / product)

89. Fox XFL (promotion)


90. T-Mobile (company / product)

91. “9-1-1 Lone Star” (promotion)

92. Fox shows (promotion)

93. NFL technology (promotion)


94. Budweiser (company / product)

95. Procter & Gamble (company / product)

96. Daytona 500 (promotion)


97. Katie Sowers NFL (promotion)

98. “9-1-1 Lone Star” (promotion)

99. Jeep (automotive)


100. Facebook (company / product)

101. Tide (company / product)

102. Audi (automotive)

Game, segue to postgame show

I am on’s life and culture team and cover food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, here’s a directory on Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. And tune in at 8:05 a.m. Fridays for “Beer with Bona and Much, Much More” with Munch Bishop on 1350-AM The Gambler.

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