Celebrity Quotient Continues to Rise for Super Bowl Ads

A scintillating game between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles produced one of the most-watched television broadcasts of the year. As the biggest day on the advertising calendar, this is surely welcome news to the network and all the advertisers that invested in commercials during the game.

In a trend E-Poll has been tracking for seven years, the use of celebrities in the Super Bowl ads continues to rise. This year, we counted 56 different celebrities in 30 unique spots. This is up from 43 celebrities last year, and greatly exceeds the previous high-water mark of 46 tracked during the 2016 game.
According to Gerry Philpott, E-Poll’s President and CEO, “The quality and creativity of Super Bowl commercials improves each year, therefore, the use of well-placed celebrities becomes more critical to stand out on such a large viewing platform.”

Celebrities led the way in the two highest-rated ads of 2018, according to USA Today’s Ad Meter, and four of the top five. Overall, out of 56 qualifying* ads, 53% featured celebrities, a big jump from 39% in 2017. Athletes and musicians returned to the big stage, making up almost 40% of all celebrity appearances.


The number of celebrities in Super Bowl ads has doubled since we started keeping track in 2012, and with the increased cost per spot and competition for viewers’ attention, we see no sign of this trend slowing down any time soon.

* As in previous years, our list includes on-screen appearances during in-game ads, but excludes pre-game/halftime performers, voice-only appearances, and celebrities appearing in ads for movies or TV shows. Also excluded are promotional spots for NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympic Games.

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