EDO scored the performance of every celebrity who appeared in a national Super Bowl LVII ad based on the measure of incremental online engagement for the celebrity immediately following the airing. Each airing is indexed to the median-performing in-game Super Bowl ad celebrity (Engagement Index = 100) to easily compare the relative impact of each ad on online engagement with the celebrity. The data included in this analysis is preliminary and subject to slight adjustments based on EDO’s final Super Bowl analysis.
Don’t forget to check out EDO’s ranking of all Super Bowl LVII ads and top-performing trends in this year’s Big Game.
In Hollywood, actors don’t often show up in multiple movies in the same year, but in the Super Bowl? Anything is possible. We found ourselves doing double – and sometimes triple-takes as we saw certain celebs showing up multiple times during the Big Game.
Serena Williams not only inspired us in a Rémy Martin ad, but she was also a professional golfer alongside Brian Cox in a co-branded Netflix and Michelob Ultra ad. Pete Davidson wasn’t just in a Hellmann’s refrigerator with Jon Hamm and Brie Larson, he made his way into the trailer for the next Transformers movie voicing the Autobot Mirage.
Even Adam Driver starred in “65,” a sci-fi take on crash landing on a planet full of dinosaurs and creating multiple versions of himself, much like Squarespace is a website that creates websites. And not to be outdone, Ben Affleck pulled off the hat-trick. He showed up (briefly) in the #1 spot of the night for Warner Bros. Discovery’s “The Flash,” then a little bit more with his longtime pal Matt Damon in the trailer for Amazon Studios’ “Air,” and finally, with his wife Jennifer Lopez in a Dunkin’ ad.
This year’s Super Bowl saw the entertainment industry go far beyond the straightforward promotions of their upcoming tentpole releases and align themselves with a celebrity and non-entertainment brand to boost the profiles of everyone involved.
Netflix teamed up with Will Ferrell and GM to drive through a handful of Netflix’s recent hits. All unnamed but visually and auditorily familiar, it allowed Ferrell to lead with his brand of humor while GM and Netflix were essentially passengers in his Super Bowl ad.
Netflix also aligned itself with Serena Williams and Brian Cox in an ad very reminiscent of Caddyshack and featuring Michelob Ultra. In a trend that was pervasive throughout the night, the ad ended with a QR code on a limited edition can of Michelob Ultra, leading viewers to the first episode of a Netflix docuseries, “Full Swing.”
Disney also got in on the co-branding trend with their upcoming release of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” The ad featured Ant-Man, portrayed by Paul Rudd, seamlessly tying together the role of a superhero and responsible adult by drinking Heineken Zero, Heineken’s non-alcoholic offering, before heading off to save the world.
The only ads with more family than Fast X were the ones that featured celebrity family members. Miles Teller and his wife Keleigh Sperry made the most of the long wait times by dancing to old music with Bud Lights in hand. Bradley Cooper’s mother roasted him as a T-Mobile representative. And in a Dunkin’ ad, Jennifer Lopez found out where Ben Affleck goes when he says he’s going to work.
We even saw real-life besties Zack Braff and Donald Faison teaming with John Travolta to deliver a rendition of Summer Nights. By downplaying the celebrity and dialing up the family, these spots humanize the stars and the brands, driving significant engagement.
As usual, we saw brands leading more into humor than seriousness with their celebrity partnerships. Although dramatic standouts like Serena’s Rémy Martin ad or Nick Jonas’s partnership with Dexcom did occur, they were outnumbered by ads like Danny “Downy” McBride’s ad for Downy Unstopables or Melissa McCarthy’s Booking.com ad.’’
Comedy, in general, tends to be more of a Super Bowl staple, and leaving an engaging audience with something fun to discuss around the water cooler the following day seems like smart brand play. But brands with resonant messages are often able to leave Super Bowl viewers deep in thought with ads like Carmella Riley‘s, who starred in a “What’s VMS” ad raising awareness about menopause.
In her first live performance in seven years, Rihanna took to an elevated stage for the Apple Music halftime show and gave the Super Bowl LVII audience a performance worth the wait. But viewers did not just sit idly by as Rihanna’s half-time performance continued. Her online engagement spiked, and not just because of her name, but speculation as to whether or not she was pregnant.
This spike is indicative of the power celebrity casting can have for the right brand. To a certain extent, the Super Bowl audience expects participating brands to pull out all the stops. Seeing Rihanna for the first time on stage in a long, long time did just that. And fans seeking her out will forever associate her with where they first saw her when the speculation began. Imagine if the first time they saw Rihanna was associated with a product or service consumers weren’t expecting to see her aligned with. As people’s curiosity got the better of them, searched and shared the ad amongst their networks, the brand too would have ridden the wave of celebrity engagement.