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  • Writer's pictureCasey Voelker

"Breaking Down Our Top 5 Favorite Big Game Ads of 2024"

Updated: Feb 20

It's been over a week, and we haven't posted our annual "favorite" big game ads blog post. So without further ado, here are our top 5 favorite big game ads for 2024. This year, only a few ads really stood out, including one that was quite controversial. It was nice that some brands didn't leak their big game ads early, so they caught the attention of the captive audiences. These 5 ads range from emotional, practical, and silly.

5. REESE'S Cups Big Game Commercial 2024 | Yes! :30

So, this ad is the only 'silly' ad we have on our list. And in all transparency, we didn't particularly like the ad. What we did like was the lead-up to the ad being shown during the big game. Reese's ran multiple short ads in the weeks prior to the game that teased their "big change" to Reese's peanut butter cups. Naturally, these ads gained attention on social media and made a lot of people wonder what was going on. Then of course they played the "answer" to the big change during the big game - revealing that the change was a limited-time caramel-layered cup. The ad was outrageously over the top. In this case, it worked. For most ads, going over the top needs to be coupled with clever tongue and cheek storytelling.

What can brands learn from the REESE's Cups Big Game ad?

One of the best ways to build momentum with a campaign is to use a teaser campaign that intrigues your customers. Sometimes these teaser campaigns can be used as lead magnets to help with digital remarketing.

4. Hard Knocks: A Dove Big Game Film | #KeepHerConfident

I remember watching this ad but not being able to hear the audio. It stood out to me because of the consistent "home video"-like shots of girls failing in sports. Of course, it caught viewers' attention not just because of the fails, but because of the fails over and over. You couple these shots with the popular soundtrack, and you get a whimsical ad. But the whimsical ad turns emotionally serious when it shows a young girl in a swimsuit looking at herself in a mirror with a statistical graphic that states "45% of girls quit sports by age 14." This ad does a great job of bringing awareness to a stat that is important. It also brings awareness to one of the reasons for that important stat: low self-confidence. At the end of the ad, you see the young lady running with a confident smirk. A great testimonial that this young lady is confident. And Dove celebrates that in the ad and with their hashtag.

What can brands learn from the Dove Big Game ad?

A great way to make a memorable marketing piece is by connecting real and important stats to your company's mission. Dove does wonderfully with this. Brands can learn that connecting with viewers through their mission with real and actionable solutions can help align their why with their customers' why.

3. Auditions | 2024 Big Game Day Commercial | T-Mobile

This ad may have seemed clever to me more so than other viewers. The main reason is that I was like many who re-watched the TV Show Suits on Netflix recently and seeing the two main characters vying for a spot in a T-Mobile ad with an audition definitely got me pumped up. But what made this ad even better was that T-Mobile has already been using an iconic BFF duo in their ads in Zach Braff and Donald Faison. This ad kind of acted as a prequel to those ads as if these were the auditions leading up to the casting of Scrubs stars.

What can brands learn from the T-Mobile Big Game Ad?

For most brands, they try to appeal to the masses with their advertising. Even though this ad does some mass appealing, it actually has a little "inside jokes" going on that not everyone was going to catch. If you didn't put 2 and 2 together when it comes to the campaigns with Zach Braff and Donald Faison and the fact that this ad was supposed to be the auditions for those roles, then you may have just thought it was a fun ad that brought together some great actors. Brands can learn that you can advertise in a way that seems like an "inside joke" or that only a certain percentage of your true followers will really get what you're trying to say.

2. Perfect 10: The Kia big game commercial featuring the 2024 Kia EV9

Here is one of the ads I watched on social media before it aired on TV during the big game. This did give me a chance to let the ad sit with me a bit. I'm always a fan of emotional storytelling. This ad uses music, silent acting (reactions by the actors), and not-so-subtle product placement to create an entertaining ad. Kia didn't shy away from this being a Kia EV9 ad first and foremost, but they did use some great shots including the slow zoom in on the empty chair, the despair on the girl's face, and the empathy on the father's face. These shots were sandwiched between a few Kia EV9 product shots that let you know "this is a car commercial." But it still makes you wonder "why is she sad?" "Where is her dad taking her?" Although the ad is a little fantastical when it comes to the benefit of being able to use the EV9 to power the lights and speaker, it does so for storytelling purposes. The emotional music partnered with the reveal at the end helps sell this ad as storytelling versus just product placement.

What can brands learn from the Kia Big Game Ad?

The biggest takeaway for brands from this spot is that your product or service doesn't have to be the star in your ad. Instead, your product or service can act as the "best supporting actor." And if done correctly, people will relate your brand, product, and service back to the story. That makes you memorable.

1. Javier in Frame | Google Pixel SB Commercial 2024

Each year, Google seems to get me with an ad. And typically it's a simple ad. Maybe the ad just shows their search page. Or maybe the ad carefully uses user-generated content. But this ad was a production. Yet, it still felt like a Google ad. The ad uses subtle music that builds, sound effects that move the ad along, and the consistency of the AI voice helping the visually impaired main character take photos of one face in frame, two faces in frame, two faces in frame, two faces in frame, and finally at the end reveals a third face. This ad has the butterfly effect. The effect that gives you butterflies when you realize what is at the end of the commercial. The commercial as a whole flows with emotion and storytelling. They kept the ad focused on one feature which made it easier to make an ad that really stands out.

What can brands learn from the Google Big Game Ad?

The Google big game ad does something that brands often overlook. It focuses on just one feature and crafts a story around that one feature. Because they do this, they are able to tell a concise story that shows the importance of features that combine hardware, software, and AI to the individuals who use their products. The takeaway is to focus each video or ad your brand creates on one feature or set of features or information to allow you to create deeper development and entertainment value in your ad. Too often brands try to fit everything into their ads.

Why worry about Big Game ads as a brand who may not run Big Game ads?

Whether your brand is in line for a big game ad in the future or is a smaller local or regional brand, you can learn a lot from these ads each year. Taking the time to reflect on the ads that relate to you and why can help you create ads that relate to your own customers.

Which of our favorite 5 ads was your favorite? We'd love to hear from you!

Which was your favorite ad?

  • REESE's

  • Dove

  • T-Mobile

  • Kia



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