Super Bowl Ads 2024: How celebrity and creator star power is reshaping campaigns

The news: The Super Bowl commercial battleground is witnessing an unprecedented trend: an influx of stars crowding the 30-second ad space—and an extension of these expensive advertisements into omnichannel marketing campaigns.

Star attractions: For this Sunday’s Big Game, brands are cramming multiple celebrities into their 30-second spots, giving the highly anticipated commercials more star power than ever, per industry insights and Ad Age data.

  • It’s a big bet that turning the screen into a constellation of famous faces, from enduring icons like Arnold Schwarzenegger to current sensations like Lionel Messi and Taylor Swift (who just might be in attendance in a Chiefs jersey), will leave a lasting imprint.
  • Celebrity-packed commercials are not just a bid for immediate attention; they represent a strategic move to resonate with a diverse demographic.
  • This approach aligns with the findings of a January Ad Age-Harris Poll, which reveal a stark generational divide: 53% of Gen Z respondents favor star-studded ads, yet only 41% of the general populace prefer celebrity endorsements. This highlights a crucial pivot in marketing strategies, aiming to captivate younger audiences who are increasingly shaping market trends.
  • The escalating use of celebrities in Super Bowl ads is a double-edged sword. Celebrity-heavy Super Bowl ads, while attention-grabbing, risk overshadowing the brand, warns System1 Group. The company’s research highlights a troubling trend: About 20% of Super Bowl ad viewers walk away unable to recall the advertised brand, indicating a substantial waste of resources.
  • Successful ads must balance star power with storytelling to foster a lasting audience connection and stand out from other brands vying for attention.

Influencer impact: Moreover, brands are getting social media influencers in on the campaign action to make a splash with younger, digitally inclined audiences.

  • Ferrara’s NERDS brand has innovatively teased its ad, featuring Addison Rae, to maximize exposure and engage its target of Gen Z consumers. Leveraging Rae's massive TikTok and Instagram followings (a combined 118 million), the ad teaser achieved over 459,000 engagements and 605.5 million impressions in its first week, per Sprout Social. This approach taps into her broad social media reach, magnifying the ad's digital presence and appealing to wide audience segments.
  • The increasing involvement of major creators in campaigns underscores the changing nature of marketing, with social media playing a pivotal role in shaping consumer opinions and behaviors.
  • The blending of traditional advertising with influencer collaborations marks a new era of integrated marketing communications. It's a way to address the fragmented media landscape, where capturing attention spans requires both traditional and digital touchpoints. Brands are not just buying ad time; they're buying into cultural moments and conversations where the ROI extends beyond immediate sales to long-term brand equity and relevance.

The final word: With digital natives increasingly becoming the intended audience for Big Game commercials, it's clear that the future of Super Bowl advertising lies not just in the playbooks of ad agencies but in the nuanced fusion of star power and influencer capital.

First Published on Feb 6, 2024