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Online Trends

Published February 1st 2024

The Most Talked-About Super Bowl Ads of the Last 5 Years

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Every year, the American football championship game, or Super Bowl, generates one of the biggest conversations online. With over 115 million people tuning in, it’s safe to say it’s one of the biggest nights in sports every year. 

With an opportunity to get in front of millions of consumers, it’s a no-brainer that brands (that can afford it) want to get a piece of the action. Here’s a stat that will blow you away: In 2023, a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl was sold at a record-high price of $7 million, compared to $6.5 million in 2022.

We used our social insights platform, Consumer Research, to analyze public conversations about the ads played during the last five Super Bowls to determine the most talked-about Super Bowl ad on social media. 

Note on our methodology: The data around each Super Bowl was gathered from public posts on X (formerly Twitter) between 6.30 pm EST to 10.15 pm EST on the respective Sunday of each Super Bowl year.

Among other data points, we analyzed:

  • Peaks in conversation
  • Volumes of brand mentions
  • Sentiment in conversation
  • Celebrities driving the conversation

What metric determined the winner? We used the volume of mentions to define the most talked-about brands and their ads.

The Super Bowl 2020’s winner: Google

Google, “Loretta”

With 121k mentions, Google’s “Loretta” won the 2020 Super Bowl’s most talked-about-ad status, accounting for 13.14% of the entire brand conversation.

The ad featured the real-life story of an older man using his Google Assistant to remember his late wife. Google's Loretta ad was effective because it used storytelling to create an emotional connection between the viewer and the product. As Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel."

Read more about our 2020 Super Bowl analysis.

The 2021 Super Bowl’s winner: Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew, “Major Melon Bottle Count”

The soft drink brand, Mountain Dew, gathered 315,814 mentions for their ad promoting their watermelon-flavored Major Melon drink and scored the title of the most mentioned brand during the 2021 Super Bowl game.

Mountain Dew’s ad also got the best reception among this year’s ads, with 95.49% of its sentiment-categorized online conversation being positive.

The ad’s success was perhaps defined by a combination of celebrity endorsement (John Cena) and an invitation to participate in the contest for a chance to win $1 million. 

Read more about our 2021 Super Bowl analysis.

The 2022 Super Bowl’s winner: Coinbase

With more than 79k mentions during the game, Coinbase’s ad was mentioned on social more than any other ad during the 2022 Super Bowl.

This ad simply featured a floating QR code that was reminiscent of an old screensaver. Whether due to the familiar design looking back in time or amusement behind spending so much money on a jumping QR code, Coinbase's mentions accounted for an impressive 14% of all brand-related conversations. 

Read more about our 2022 Super Bowl analysis.

The 2023 Super Bowl’s winner: Tubi

Tubi, “Interface Interruption”

During the Super Bowl 2023, Tubi, the streaming service, stole the spotlight with its 15-second ad, “Interface Interruption.” The commercial, starring FOX broadcasters Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, pranked the viewers by simulating an on-screen disruption as if someone sat on the TV remote. The screen then shifted to someone scrolling through Tubi's app as if they were switching channels.

As the commercial ran live, it was reported to cause chaos in many group settings, from people yelling at others in the room to stop “messing” with the remote to violent outbursts in some households.

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While some viewers thought the commercial went too far, the majority had a good laugh, calling the ad clever

Overall, Tuby’s Super Bowl ad gathered the most mentions during Super Bowl LVII (39k), and it also scored Tubi five Cannes Lions Awards

Tubi also reported a 38% growth in total viewing time, driving a 25% increase in ad revenue. Talk about a success story!

Read more about our 2023 Super Bowl analysis.

The 2024 Super Bowl’s winner: Temu

Temu, “Shop like a billionaire”

During Super Bowl 2024, the online marketplace brand Temu drew a lot of attention by running not one, but six ads in total. 

Considering the high cost of $7 million for a 30-second Super Bowl ad spot in 2024, it made viewers wonder just how much Temu had invested, and what the potential impact on sales they might get in return.

Temu’s strategic decision to air multiple ads and running the "Shop like a billionaire" ad several times during the game paid off, leading to over 33k mentions.

Read more about our 2024 Super Bowl analysis.

Super Bowl 2020-2024: The most-talked-about Super Bowl ad 

So, which of the last five years’ worth of Super Bowl ads triumphed in getting the most people talking during the game?

Despite reportedly spending over $21m (plus an additional $15m in promos and giveaways), Temu’s ad replaced Tubi as the brand with the lowest number of mentions among the top five most discussed Super Bowl ads in the last five years.

The 2021 Mountain Dew’s ad remains the most talked-about Super Bowl ad online.

Looking at the last five years of Super Bowl ads, we saw brands use tactics like

  • Celebrity endorsements
  • Influencer marketing 
  • Storytelling and building emotional connections with viewers
  • Making cultural and generational references that resurfaced positive memories 
  • Building engagement through contests and incentives
  • Cracking well-thought-out jokes

There are of course many factors that influence the success of an ad, and anticipation in the lead up to the event is a big one. According to survey research from Cint, the most anticipated ad this year is from Anheuser Busch. Meanwhile, the brand most associated with the big game is Bud Light.

What do you think is going to set brands apart during next year’s game? 

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