2019 was the year the NFL gave the other Super Bowl advertisers a run for their money. With a star-studded commercial, directed by a Hollywood blockbuster director, the NFL not only kicked off its hundredth season celebration in style, but also won the big game advertising sweepstakes, as determined by USA Today’s Ad Meter, and raised the bar on celebrity endorsement to a new level.
The NFL’s two-minute spot included 41 NFL luminaries, including current and past players, coaches, league officials, and a few non-NFL celebrities. All by itself, the NFL ad included more celebrities than the rest of the in-game advertisers combined.
Excluding the NFL’s spot, celebrity usage was down slightly from recent years. E-Poll tracked 38 celebrities in the other 51 qualifying* commercials, which is down from 56 celebrities tracked in the 2018 broadcast, and 43 in 2017. However, celebrities were featured in the top two spots ranked by Ad Meter, and six of the top seven. Overall, just over half of the qualifying spots featured celebrities, about the same as in 2018.
Addressing the ongoing prominence of celebrities on advertising’s biggest day, E-Poll’s President and CEO Gerry Philpott said, “In an event as big as this, celebrities provide instant recognition and identity for a brand. If the creative is strong, it’s a bonus. And if not, the celebrity can lift a commercial above soft creative to remain memorable to its targeted audience. It’s no surprise that so many of the most successful spots featured celebrity endorsers.”
About E-Score Celebrity
E-Score Celebrity is conducted weekly among a representative sample of 1,100 respondents in the U.S., ages 13+. The E-Score encapsulates the relative marketing effectiveness of each individual celebrity in the E-Score Celebrity database and can range from 0 to 100, based on a formula rating each celebrity’s awareness and appeal, as well as positive and negative measures. More than 10,000 celebrities, athletes, politicians and newsmakers are tracked in E-Score Celebrity.
* 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.