Report: Celebrity SB Ads Work Best When Multiple Stars Are Involved

The Super Bowl celebrity trend is accelerating, as a growing number of brands bet their hefty Super Bowl ad buys on groups of stars.  

That’s a good thing – provided they play it right – according to a System1 Group analysis of 2023 Super Bowl ads.  



The company tests consumers’ emotional responses throughout an ad and assigns a score of 1.0 to 5.9 Stars.   

“Last year’s best celebrity Super Bowl ads all did two fundamental things well,” said Jon Evans, Chief Customer Officer at System1. “They featured several stars together doing what they’re known for, within storylines that fit the brands. That’s the formula marketers need to follow, and we expect to see even more ads with multiple celebrities in this year’s ads.” 

For example, John Travolta brought his singing skills to a Grease-inspired ad for T-Mobile, while Serena Williams and other famous sports figures brought their athletic abilities to the fairway for a CaddyShack-themed spot from Michelob. Popcorners had Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul reprise their roles as Breaking Bad’s Walter and Jesse. 

And Bud Light brought authenticity and humor to a commercial featuring real-life husband and wife Miles and Keleigh Teller dancing to TikTok’s catchy “Hold Music” trend. And Paramount+ brought lots of beloved characters together on Stallone Mountain for a humorous storyline that showcased all of their programming.  

Those spots were the public’s favorite celebrity Super Bowl ads, according to System 1’s analysis.  

By contrast, Squarespace’s ad featuring multiple versions of actor Adam Driver scored just Star. High levels of neutrality among the audience suggest the storyline didn’t connect him clearly to the brand or adequately entertain viewers. 

“Celebrity alone isn’t enough to move audiences,” said Evans. “If you could swap stars with no difficulty, the ad is not making distinctive enough use of a famous face.” 

Because many Super Bowl celebrity ads are one-time events, Evans says, brands lack the lever of consistency. T-Mobile benefited from using Braff and Faizon in other ads leading up to the Big Game spot. 

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