Linear TV, New Soft Drinks, Foreign Auto Brands, and Nostalgia Reigned Supreme at Super Bowl LVIII

According to ESPN, Super Bowl LVIII averaged around 123.4 million viewers. While the 49ers and the Chiefs went to battle on the turf, advertisers were chomping at the bit to ensure that all eyeballs were on their advertisements. 

Every year, advertisers pay top dollar to feature their ads during the Super Bowl because they know they will reach a large audience. It’s an essential part of the annual pastime for consumers to decide which Super Bowl ad tickles their fancy the most. Yet, even more than large audience engagement, the event assures that the ads catch users’ attention. An iconic, uninterrupted ad spot for viewers — what more could advertisers ask for? 

There were many wins at the Super Bowl — the Kansas City Chiefs, Usher, and the Beyhive. But the real question is, who took the advertising crown? According to AdImpact’s viewership data and day-after advertising analysis, certain categories remained popular, such as beer and sports betting commercials remaining popular. 

Here’s what the stats say: 

The Viewership Breakdown of the Most Streamed Super Bowl of All-Time

Super Bowl LVIII broke TV rating records by becoming the most-watched program in US television history, at least officially. Therefore, it is the most streamed Super Bowl ever. That’s a staggering fact. Still, our CTV-obsessed professionals may be wondering what medium consumers watched the game. 

AdImpact’s data revealed that most viewers watched the game on linear TV (59%), and 14% watched on YouTube TV. Linear TV remains king of the castle in terms of Super Bowl viewership, but will that change as the TV industry evolves? 

We already know that a Disney standalone ESPN streaming service will hit the streets in 2025. Alongside watching their favorite sports, the streaming service will feature an immersive experience for sports fans, offering e-commerce and features like integrated betting and fantasy sports. With a locked and loaded plan to build an audience and keep them, I’m sure all our CTV geeks will be looking to see if ESPN’s new streaming service will dominate viewership for that year’s Super Bowl. 

The Top Performing Ads of the Night

Commercials for the 2024 Super Bowl commanded higher rates than those for last year’s game, ranging from $6.5 million to $7 million per 30-second spot broadcast on TV channel CBS. With ad spend budgets on the line and only a few chances to ensure all viewers remembered your ad, brands were scrambling to score a last-minute field goal to reach that top-10 spot. 

There’s no room to waste ad spend, especially with the spine-tingling ad recession that plagued the industry at the beginning of 2023. Even more, some industry experts predicted ad spend growth deceleration starting this year

All brands fought valiantly to the bitter end, but only a few could score their way to the top. According to TV outcomes company EDO, here are the Top 10 ads that drove the highest consumer engagement: 

  1. Deadpool & Wolverine (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures), Coming Together:15, generated +2,243% as much engagement as the median-performing Super Bowl LVIII in-game ad. 
  2. Wicked: Part One (Universal Pictures), Afraid:60, +2,008%
  3. Volkswagen, An American Love Story:60, +1,594%
  4. Poppi, The Future of Soda is Now:60, +1,561%
  5. Temu, Billionaire:30, +1,342%
  6. Twisters (Universal Pictures), Chase It:30, +1,125%
  7. Temu, Billionaire:30 +1,041%
  8. He Gets Us, He Washed Feet:60, +942%
  9. Robert F. Kennedy for President, Kennedy:30, +891%
  10. Shogun (Hulu), Epic Event Promo:30, +639%

Biggest Ad Trends 

EDO also provided an analysis of some of the night’s biggest trends. New soft drinks, foreign auto brands, and nostalgia took center stage in the Big Game. International automakers seized the opportunity left by the absence of U.S. conglomerates, with Volkswagen leading in engagement with a nostalgia-driven ad. 

Despite criticism, online retailer Temu’s repetitive ad proved effective, securing top spots. Poppi emerged as a standout among soft drink brands, while alcohol ads dwindled after last year’s heavy investment. Nostalgia-driven TV reunions, including cast reunions from beloved shows, resonated with audiences, notably boosting engagement for brands like Mountain Dew Baja Blast.