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Super Bowl ads go big as cost hits new high

Super Bowl ads go big as cost hits new high 05:49

The Super Bowl isn’t only a championship game for pro football, it’s also the biggest day in advertising, with top brands aiming big-budget commercials at an expected audience of more than 100 million viewers. Many of those companies are releasing their ads early, hoping to generate buzz before the February 11 game.

There’s a lot on the line for businesses, which this year are paying $7 million for 30 seconds of air time during Super Bowl LVIII. A winning commercial can stir interest in a brand, cement customer loyalty and even boost sales. 

“It’s the last tent-pole mass media event at the moment,” Kofi Amoo-Gottfried, chief marketing officer for DoorDash, which has a commercial in this year’s Super Bowl, told CBS MoneyWatch. “It’s the one time you have left where you can have 100 million people-plus paying attention to the same thing.”

Super Bowl LVIII will broadcast live on Sunday, February 11, at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, on CBS and Nickelodeon, as well as on streaming on Paramount+ (CBS and CBS News are owned by Paramount Global.) Here’s how to watch the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl commercials 2024: Playing it safe

Based on what is seen in the commercials released ahead of the game, this year’s crop is avoiding controversy, perhaps due to last year’s backlash against Bud Light over its marketing deal with transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney and the politics of a presidential election year.

“The first Super Bowl spots to be released embrace light humor,” said Northwestern University marketing professor Tim Calkins. “This isn’t a surprise; safety is key when advertising on the Super Bowl so most advertisers will stay far away from controversial topics.”

Here are some of the Super Bowl commercials and teasers already released ahead of the game.

Anheuser-Busch

The beer maker is going for nostalgia with its one-minute long commercial featuring its famous Clydesdale horses. In the spot, a blizzard threatens to stop a delivery of Budweiser, until a team of Clydesdales are hitched to an old-fashioned wagon loaded with kegs. They travel over a snowy road and into a town where a bar is running low on Budweiser, saving the day.

The horses are greeted in town by a Labrador retriever, another nostalgic callback to previous Super Bowl ads that feature both the iconic Clydesdales and a lab.

Budweiser | Super Bowl LVIII Old School Delivery by Budweiser on YouTube

BIC lighter

This humorous ad for what BIC calls “the most borrowed lighter” features Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart and Willie Nelson as they banter about the advantages of using the EZ Reach lighter to light, well, all kinds of things. 

BIC EZ Reach: The Most Borrowed Lighter by BIC Lighters on YouTube

Booking.com

The travel booking site features Tina Fey as she uses body doubles to try out a variety of travel experiences — with the doubles including her former “30 Rock” co-star Jane Krakowski as well as actor Glenn Close.

Tina Fey books whoever she wants to be | Booking.com 2024 Big Game ad by Booking.com on YouTube

BMW

BMW’s 60-second ad for its electric BMW i5 car features actor Christopher Walken going through his as everyone he encounters — from actress Ashley Park of “Emily in Paris” to this year’s half-time performer, Usher — imitates the legendary actor’s unique speaking voice and dance moves. 

The tagline? “There’s only one Christopher Walken. And only one ultimate driving machine.”

“The reality is everyone has a Walken impression. But there’s only one original,” Rich Silverstein, co-chairman of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which created the ad for BMW, noted in a statement.

BMW USA | Christopher Walken in “Talkin Like Walken” by BMW USA on YouTube

DoorDash

DoorDash is making an unusual play this year in the Super Bowl, with its ad dangling a sweepstakes offering one viewer the chance to win everything that is advertised during the championship game. Yes, that includes every car, like the BMW mentioned above, and every non-alcoholic food item, including mayonnaise and Reese’s peanut butter cups.

DoorDash | DoorDash All The Ads – Teaser by DoorDash on YouTube

Drumstick

The classic ice cream brand is marking its Super Bowl debut with a humorous spot about an airline passenger in pain asking if there’s a doctor on the plane. “Dr. Umstick” replies that he’s a doctor, but rather than providing medical help, he comforts the other passengers and flight crew with Drumstick ice cream cones. 

The spot features comedian and actor Eric André.

Drumstick | Doctor on the Plane by Drumstick on YouTube

E*Trade

The E*Trade baby, who made his Super Bowl debut in 2008, is back once again for yet another spot in the big game. This time, the  talking baby has a diminutive friend, with the tiny pair taking on adult competitors in a game of pickleball while talking financial planning instead of smack. 

E*TRADE Baby Commercial – Picklebabies by E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley on YouTube

Etsy

The craft marketplace is advertising its new “gift mode,” a service that helps shoppers find gifts for others. The ad features Americans trying to figure out what to give France as a thank you present in exchange for the Statue of Liberty. 

Gift Mode: Etsy’s 2024 Big Game Commercial by Etsy on YouTube

Lindt chocolate

Lindt chocolate brand is airing its first Super Bowl ad on Sunday with a spot called “Life Is a Ball.” The 30-second spot features a red-foil wrapped Lindt chocolate ball as it bops around people enjoying the chocolate to the peppy tune of Perry Como’s 1957 song “Round and Round.”

Lindt LINDOR Life is a Ball by Lindt Chocolate USA on YouTube

NERDS

The candy brand is making its Super Bowl debut with a spot that teases actor Addison Rae teaching a mystery student some dance moves for their big commercial debut, with her noting, “That was cute!” in a slightly dubious tone. 

This ad also marks NERDS’ manufacturer Ferrara’s first Super Bowl ad. 

Who is Addison Rae coaching? | NERDS Big Game Commercial | 2024 | Teaser (:15) by NERDS Candy on YouTube

Oikos yogurt

The yogurt brand’s ad features famed ’90s comedian Martin Lawrence and NFL Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe as they contemplate what to do about their golf cart, which they drove into a golf course pond. Sharpe suggests a tow truck, which Lawrence — who is eating an Oikos yogurt — scoffs at, showing off his yogurt-fueled super strength as he deals with the situation on his own.

HOLD MY OIKOS by OikosYogurt on YouTube

Oreo 

The Oreo spot imagines people throughout history twisting an Oreo to make big decisions — if the frosting is on the right side of the cookie, they’ll make one choice, but if it’s on the left side, they’ll make another. The spot features a cameo by reality TV star Kris Jenner, who is depicted in the mid-2000s twisting an Oreo to decide whether she and her family will star in a new reality show.

Imagine a world where the twist of an OREO could change everything. Literally everything. by OREO Cookie on YouTube

Paramount+

CBS parent Paramount+ will have a humorous spot featuring “Star Trek” actor Patrick Stewart and other characters from Paramount shows as they scale “a mountain of entertainment.” Look for stars including Drew Barrymore and “Survivor” host Jeff Probst, as well as animated characters such as Peppa Pig.

Paramount+ Super Bowl Spot | Sir Patrick Stewart Throws a Hail Arnold | A Mountain of Entertainment™ by Paramount Plus on YouTube

Pluto TV

The ad-supported streaming service’s Super Bowl commercial imagines farmers growing crops of “couch potatoes” — fields of people in potato costumes who, yes, sit on couches and watch streaming shows. 

Pluto TV Couch Potato Farms by Pluto TV on YouTube

T-Mobile

Actor Jason Momoa tells actors Zach Braff and Donald Faison from the aughts TV comedy “Scrubs” that his watch party is canceled because his cable is out. Cue a “Flashdance”-inspired song-and-dance routine with Braff and Faison praising the advantages of T-Mobile’s home internet. Momoa busts some moves and shows off his pipes.

That T-Mobile Home Internet Feeling | 2024 Big Game Day Commercial | T-Mobile Home Internet by T-Mobile on YouTube

Uber Eats

Uber’s food delivery service Uber Eats will have a star-studded ad featuring Victoria and David Beckham. In a comical teaser for the spot, the power couple poke fun at a viral scene from their Netflix documentary “Beckham” in which the soccer legend calls out his wife as she attempts to describe her privileged life growing up as working class. In the Uber teaser, Victoria describes the upcoming ad as occurring “during the big baseball game,” as her husband chimes in to “correct” her. The tagline: “No matter what you forget, just remember Uber Eats on Super Bowl Sunday.”

DAVID AND VICTORIA BECKHAM FORGET | UBER EATS by Uber Eats on YouTube

A second teaser for Uber Eats features Grammy-nominated musician Jason “Jelly Roll” DeFord, who looks at himself in the mirror, having forgotten his face is covered in tattoos. “They’re everywhere and they’re horrible!” the Nashville singer exclaims.

JELLY ROLL FORGETS | UBER EATS by Uber Eats on YouTube

—With reporting by the Associated Press. 

Aimee Picchi

Aimee Picchi is the associate managing editor for CBS MoneyWatch, where she covers business and personal finance. She previously worked at Bloomberg News and has written for national news outlets including USA Today and Consumer Reports.

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