Can Marketers Pick a Big Game Winner? Here’s How They Did
by Tim Edmundson5 min read
- Marketers got it right and picked Kansas City over San Francisco at a near two-to-one clip, with 64% picking the team to win it all.
- Budweiser’s “old school” ad was the top early pick for best ad (16% of the vote), but Squarespace’s Scorsese short, Doritos all-action abuelas, and Oreo’s role in historic twists each with (15%) made it a tight competition in the end.
- With a commanding 83%, humor was the most cited theme for what makes a good Big Game ad.
Marketers know how to pick a winner.
The dust has settled in the Las Vegas desert and Kansas City has claimed a second title in as many years with their overtime win over San Francisco. And who among us knew they’d do it? Marketers, that’s who. Whether it was KC’s football ability, or the Taylor-and-Travis fueled hype that convinced marketers (it’s probably both, if we’re being honest), our survey respondents got it right.
Even with Vegas odds tipping San Francisco as the favorite. Even as that opposing 50+ yard field goal soared through the uprights with just less than two minutes in regulation, they knew Kansas City would pull through. A big congratulations to all the marketers who got it right.
And since we focus more on the advertising side of things here at MNTN Research, we also asked marketers a couple of questions a bit more in their wheelhouse. Let’s dive into some post-game analysis with a closer look at the action in the ad breaks.
How Pre-game Picks for Best Ad Stacked Up to Consensus
Our survey respondents took a similar approach to both their pick for the game and their pick for best ad: they went with the established powerhouse. Budweiser’s Clydesdales took the number one spot for marketers with an eye on the ads in the build up to the game.
As an added bonus to our analysis, we also mapped the most commonly-picked team associated with each ad which can be seen in the chart below. Turns out those marketers who chose Kansas City also have an eye for picking other winners, too.
But how do our survey respondent’s picks stack up with popular consensus? Looking at a wide range of Big Game ad rankings, with the New York Times, Yahoo! Sports, Entertainment Weekly, and The Athletic among them, it appears to be a mixed bag.
Budweiser received a moderate amount of callouts, but not nearly enough to enshrine it at the top of the best-of zeitgeist.
Rounding out the top of our list, Doritos earned accolades and was more often found among the top ads than the King of Beers.
Squarespace turned out to be a polarizing ad experience, earning both A’s and F’s, depending on who you ask. Pretty harsh for a Scorsese-directed film.
And despite its role in some major historic moments, Oreo was mainly a no-show on many best-of lists.
On the other side of our list, Drumstick only garnered a paltry 2% of the vote. But their Dr. Umstick outperformed our respondents’ expectations and found itself on multiple best lists. Never count out an underdog, folks.
Big Game Ads and Comedy, a Winning Combination
Kansas City has Mahomes and Kelce, the best ad breaks have Humor and Heart. That’s according to marketers who picked those two Big Game ad themes.
There’s a reason the majority of Big Game ads go for laughs. Two out of every three consumers surveyed by market research firm CINT determine how much they like a commercial by how funny it is.
More evidence: A previous Peeks poll, which asked marketers to name their favorite ad of all time, was dominated by the comedic category. In that survey, funny ads accounted for 41% of total answers and ran away with the number one spot for the most common theme. Inspiring (16%) came in a distant second, with a somewhat surprising theme of functional (13%) coming in third.
We see a similar breakout for this year’s Big Game-focused question. Comedy at the top, with emotion-driven, heartwarming ads claiming the second spot. Weird and mysterious had a rather good showing, coming in at third — perhaps influenced by that Coinbase bouncing QR code which turned heads in 2022.
Marketers Know a Winner When They See One
Whether it was crowning Kansas City before a ball was passed in anger, or having an eye for what makes a great ad, marketers had a pretty good Big Game this year. And so too did Connected TV, with Paramount+ expected to post record numbers for streaming viewership.
2024 is primed to be a big sports year for CTV — the Olympics will be streamed in its entirety on Peacock — so there will be plenty more opportunities to pick winners coming up. Watch this space for a chance to do just that, along with any and all stats and stories that make headlines.
Congrats again to Kansas City and to everyone who predicted their win, and please enjoy basking in the glow of knowing you got it right.
Subscribe to the MNTN Research Weekly
Sign up to receive a weekly feed of curated research, sent straight to your inbox.