Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review Results
By Tim Calkins and Derek D. Rucker
The Super Bowl remains the most expensive, the most watched, and the most important marketing event of the year.
For the 20th year, students at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management gathered to review the advertising. The focus: business impact. Will the ads succeed in building the brand and the business?
Using ADPLAN, a framework created by Kellogg faculty, students evaluated each spot. Their ratings were used to generate overall grades for each brand: A, B, C, D and F. Brands that ran more than one spot like T-Mobile received an overall grade for their total Super Bowl effort.
Overall, the 2024 Super Bowl featured some remarkable advertising. Below are the grades from the panel for some of the spots, along with some of our own observations.
Strong Spots: Grade A
These spots didn’t necessarily make everyone’s top list, but we share our thoughts on why they earned an A with our panel.
Weaker SpotsA few brands fell short this year. Here are our thoughts on a few of them.
Bass Pro Shops
Discount retailer Temu takes the prize for most annoying Super Bowl advertiser. The brand’s spot wasn’t a catastrophic failure: branding was solid, and the benefit was clear: cheap stuff.
That said, it lacked the luster of a Super Bowl spot. To make matters worse, the company ran the same ad three times. On the Super Bowl, this is not a winning approach. The amplification can turn into “Why did they run that terrible ad three times!” instead of something more positive.
Other Interesting SpotsThere were many other spots on the Super Bowl. Here are a few notable ones.
Foundation to Combat Anti-SemitismOne of the more anticipated spots was for the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism. People in the industry wondered: how would this fit into the Super Bowl environment? Would the spot polarize?
The ad worked well. In a deft move, the creative focused on all forms of hate and racism. This elevated the message to one with universal appeal.
Pringles, State Farm, Dunkin and BMW
Quite a few advertisers this year focused on things only tangentially related to the actual product. State Farm’s spot was about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s inability to correctly pronounce its slogan. Pringles focused on the character on its package. BMW’s spot was about Christopher Walken. Dunkin's was a joke about last year’s Super Bowl spot.
The result? Mediocre Super Bowl ads, according to the Kellogg panel. While the ads were memorable, there weren't any clear benefits.
OverallIt was a great year for Super Bowl advertising, and no spots received an F from the Kellogg panel. Advertisers are being careful, and this is good.
With record viewership, 2025 should set a new high for pricing. There is no sign that the Super Bowl is losing its place as marketing’s biggest event.