How much money was wasted on Super Bowl ads in 2024?

With advertisers paying $7 million per 30 seconds, Super Bowl ads are among the most expensive branding opportunities available.

But do they work?

If you watched the game on Sunday, take the quiz below. Write down your answers on a piece of paper. The point isn’t whether you remembered the ad. The point is, do you remember the point of the ad — the company that advertised and the brand proposition they were promoting?

Answers at the end. This list ignores local ads, public-service ads, and movie and TV promos.

  1. A bunch of people respond to Christopher Walken by doing Christopher Walken impressions. What company sponsored the ad, and for what product?
  2. Aubrey Plaza says she is excited in various settings, but acts bored. What is the name of the product?
  3. Aliens invade earth but can’t get our attention because everyone is staring at their phones. What is the service that solves the problem?
  4. A round candy appears all around the world. What brand?
  5. A man with poor vision uses a phone feature to take better photos. What brand of phone?
  6. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Tom Brady fail to impress Jennifer Lopez by performing a rap act as “DunKings.” Does this ad make you more likely to go to Dunkin?
  7. Babies play pickleball. What is the brand name of the service being advertised?
  8. A new brand of soft drink will replace existing sodas. What is the brand name?
  9. A child in Ghana dreams about football. What is the NFL promoting with this?
  10. A new betting service is available to anyone except Tom Brady. What is the name of the betting service?
  11. A tax filing software company will enter you in a million-dollar sweepstakes if you file your taxes with them. What is the name of the company?
  12. Cardi B raps about lip gloss. What is the brand name of the cosmetic?
  13. Extraterrestrials land and Jeff Goldblum and the military meet them. What does he help them with and what is the URL of the service he tells them about?
  14. After France delivers the Statue of Liberty to America, America gives them a cheese board as a thank-you gift. What is the name of the shopping site?
  15. A Dad helps his talented figure-skating daughter perform on a backyard rink for disabled relatives. What product is being advertised (type of product and brand name).
  16. A train crashes into a Super Bowl party to deliver refreshment. What brand of beverage is it?
  17. A car company delivers iconic products, starting 1949. What car company?
  18. Two hispanic aunties go to extreme lengths to rescue a snack food bag from another shopper. What is the exact name of the snack?
  19. Beyoncé undertakes amazing stunts, including performing in space, but fails to crash the internet. What is being advertised?
  20. A tech company shows how AI can help with everything from search to coding. What tech company, and what is the name of the AI enhancement?
  21. Anthony Hopkins discusses acting philosophy and then performs as a sports mascot. What is being advertised, including the brand name?
  22. Jason Momoa and two actors from Scrubs perform a dance routine outside Momoa’s house. What is being advertised, including the brand name?
  23. A farmer grows couch potatoes who watch TV all day. What is being advertised?
  24. Arnold Schwarzenegger does promos for an insurance company but can’t properly pronounce their slogan. What insurance company?
  25. A huge gummy animal gyrates to the song “Flashdance . . . What a feeling.” What is being advertised, including the brand name?
  26. A horse and wagon delivers beer to a bar in a snowstorm. And there’s a dog. What brand of beer?
  27. Pre-adolescent girls stumble when performing, after which we hear a message about body positivity. What is the name of the advertiser?
  28. People cosplay Tina Fey on various kinds of vacation. What is being advertised?
  29. A generic lemon-lime soda hassles a rapper, then his body springs leaks. What is being advertised, including the brand name?
  30. Michael Cera presents an ad concept for a product, implying that he invented it. What is the product?
  31. Football players flock like birds flying through the air. What is being advertised?
  32. A famous soccer player performs amazing feats with a soccer ball while waiting for a beverage to be ready on tap. What is the name of the beverage?
  33. The actor Ken Jeong is released from cryogenic freezing to discover modern miracles, including what food? Specify the brand name.
  34. Warm and loving families pilot a boat around a lake. Who is selling the boat?
  35. A man becomes famous for looking uncannily like a snack food mascot. What is the snack food?
  36. A large, fluffy cat becomes a famous spokesperson for a condiment. What is it, including the brand name?
  37. Menopausal women are ecstatic to be free of hot flashes. What is the name of the product that helps them?
  38. People forget obvious things because they’ve deleted information from their brains to make room for knowing something — including Jennifer Aniston forgetting who David Schwimmer is. What is the service that they are supposed to remember, including the brand name and what it does?
  39. An online service trashes social media. What is the name of the online service?
  40. Famous football players who didn’t win the Super Bowl have their exhalations put into a food product (along with those of Oscar loser Scarlett Johannson). What is the product?
  41. A woman saves an Old West town from killer robots. What is the name of the service she represents?
  42. A company evokes a long history of scientists including Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein to celebrate 175 years of innovation. What is the name of the company?
  43. A genie grants amazing wishes, most of which happen in a bar. What is the name of the product?
  44. Judge Judy rules on whether Gina Torres, of “Suits,” overspent on cosmetics. What is the brand name of the cosmetics?
  45. A couple of comic actors representing local investigators go through various absurd scenarios to learn about notable characteristics of towns and neighborhoods. What service is being sold, including the brand name?
  46. A motorized product makes everyone that comes in contact with, including animals, grow a mullet. What is the name of the product?
  47. Mr T. insists on misspelling the name a brand of shoes. What brand of shoes?
  48. People in a living room overreact to news about new features of a well-known candy. What brand of candy?
  49. Famous events are determined by the way people decide to eat a cookie. What cookie?
  50. Patrick Stewart and a bunch of football players, weirdos, and mascots perform outlandish acts to scale a mountain. What is being advertised?
  51. An animated woman turns everything she touches into cool-looking cheap merchandise. What is the name of the service she represents?
  52. As various drivers drive a pickup truck recklessly, people in the passenger seat grab the handle above the door and scream in terror. What is the make and model of the truck?
  53. A passenger badly in need of treatment on a plane is not helped by a doll, posing as a doctor, that distributes ice cream. What is the brand name of the ice cream?
  54. Rob Gronkowski misses a field goal kick. What is being advertised, including the brand name?


Tally your score. Count one point for each answer you don’t get completely right, including the brand name.

  1. BMW electric vehicle.
  2. Mountain Dew Baja Blast
  3. Squarespace web hosting
  4. Lindt.
  5. Google Pixel
  6. Score one point if the ad won’t make you more likely to go to Dunkin
  7. E*Trade financial services and retirement planning
  8. Poppi
  9. NFL’s international training program.
  10. BetMGM
  11. Turbotax
  12. NYX
  13. Finding a place to rent; apartments.com
  14. Etsy
  15. Kia electric car (EV9)
  16. Coors Light
  17. Volkswagen
  18. Doritos Dinamita
  19. Verizon interent service
  20. Microsoft Copilot
  21. Stōk cold brew coffee
  22. T-Mobile wireless internet
  23. PlutoTV
  24. State Farm.
  25. Nerds Gummy Clusters.
  26. Budweiser
  27. Dove.
  28. booking.com.
  29. Starry Lemon-Lime Soda
  30. CeraVe skin cream.
  31. YouTube NFL Sunday Ticket
  32. Michelob Ultra
  33. Popeyes chicken wings
  34. Bass Pros Shops
  35. Pringles
  36. Hellman’s mayonnaise
  37. Veozah, a pharmaceutical
  38. Uber Eats, which delivers all sorts of things
  39. Snapchat
  40. M & M’s
  41. CrowdStrike.
  42. Pfizer
  43. Bud Light
  44. e.l.f.
  45. homes.com
  46. Kawasaki Ridge off-road vehicle
  47. Skechers
  48. Reese’s
  49. Oreos
  50. Paramount+ streaming service
  51. Temu
  52. Toyota Tacoma
  53. Drumstick
  54. FanDuel online betting service

Your advertising waste calculation

Multiply the number of answers in which you were unable to identify the brand name by $7 million. For example, if you were able to identify the brand in 14 ads and unable to identify the brand on 40, your total would be $280 million.

If you are a typical viewer and everyone missed the same number of ads as you, the number you calculated is the amount of ad dollars wasted on the Super Bowl.

Share your results in the comments.

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    1. Globally, companies spend over $700 billion annually. Businesses don’t spend money like that on things that don’t work. The question of whether a Super Bowl ad is worthwhile is certainly highly dependent on the ad and company doing the advertising, but taken as a whole, ads do work.

  1. I remembered 10 and forgot 44, so $308M wasted on me. Bonus points for homes.com because I immediately downloaded their app during the game as I’m actively searching for a new home. More bonus points for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as I actually LOL’ed at their funny (and memorable) ad.

  2. The Walken ad I remember because I laughed through the whole thing. The Coors train playing on an old ad campaign made it easier to remember.

  3. The fundamental problem is that ad agencies don’t win sales awards but “creative” awards. The real goal is to be funny and memorable.
    I did a survey 10 years ago. The results and the main point are the same. Very few ads are successful. The best case study I have found is GoDaddy (story in my post). https://theadaptivemarketer.com/2014/02/09/10-marketing-observations-2014-super-bowl-ads/

    This year, Kia had the most “touching” ad, but it was completely irrelevant to the product they were (arguably) trying to sell. I found the Kawasaki and the Hellmans ads effective in linking the humor with the brand and the value they bring.

  4. $252M. I also failed to recognize at least half of the celebrities you name-checked. Guess I’m not the target demographic.
    (I do remember who won the game, though.)