Scorecard: Super Bowl QSR Spots


There may have been a scant two QSR ads in Super Bowl 58 spots, the highest rated Super Bowl in history, but those two commercials combined enough star power and humor to stand their own among this year’s beer and snack companies.

Coming in at #2 on the USA Today Ad Meter, the de facto gauge of voting viewers’ favorite Super Bowl commercials, is Dunkin’, with “The DunKings,” starring Ben Affleck, with cameos by Matt Damon, Tom Brady, Jack Harlow, Jennifer Lopez and Fat Joe.

The :30 spot, which ran twice on the game itself, already has over 4 million YouTube views as of publication and is actually a sequel to last year’s big game effort.

After a teaser running the last few weeks, we now see the hapless Affleck embarking on the previously hinted boy band collaboration. The DunKings arrive at  JLo’s studio with their slamming new track, only to be dissed by both her and Big Joe in the booth.



The ad also serves as the launch for Affleck’s new “DunKings Iced Coffee,” a limited time addition to the menu.

According to findings, the ad had a likeability score: of 657 (3% above norm) but came in as only the 31st most-liked ad. (Apparently those surveyed didn’t participate in the USA Today Ad Meter vote.) The two spots garnered 42.7 million in overall TV impressions, according to

“Ben and JLo will always grab attention from the jump, but it was the GOAT T12 cameo on keys and Matt Damon's refreshing self-awareness that really took the outlandishness of it all to a memorable level,” Josh Paialii, head of creative at The Many, told QSR Insider. “It didn't take the brand too seriously while dropping a whole new product on the world, so you know it will drive next-day store visits. It's an ad that drives participation with the brand immediately and gives Dunkin fans something to do other than talk about the ad so... yeah, bravo, Dunkin.”

The spot’s popularity extends beyond Bennifer and may be part of what made it so popular, according to another source that regularly analyzes ads. “Considering how these spots performed, Popeyes used one popular celeb (Ken Jeong), whereas Dunkin' opted for multiple celebs -- JLo, Affleck, Matt Damon, Tom Brady to name a few -- that have various popularity with audiences and could have impacted the reception.”

Then there was Popeye’s first Super Bowl spot (to air during the game. The chain previously released an online execution with “Popeye’s Meme Kid” Dieunerst Collin last year). With the addition (and intense promotion of) wings to its permanent menu in Dec. 2023, the spot depicts comedian Ken Jeong awaking from his cryogenic freeze, only to joyfully discover Popeye’s Wings are here to stay. He goes on to discover what else has changed since he was frozen in 1972:  scooters, Goldendoodles, fanny packs, self-driving cars and drones, etc.

While the spot, which relies heavily on Ken Jeong’s self-deprecating humor, only came in 27th on the USA Today Ad Meter, it rated much higher per’s audience, with a likeability score of 712, 11% above norm, making it the 9th most-liked ad. TV impressions were comparable to Dunkin’ at 40 million

“For fans who think the Popeye’s idea didn’t land, my gut is it may have worked better if it were a new product or one of their signature products,” Jenifer Harmon, restaurant practice lead at St. John, told QSR Insider. “As created, it felt like they were late to the party with just ‘another wing.’ The celebrity aspect was great, but the spot didn’t leave room for them to lean into their sandwich success or their Southern batter.”

Besides humor, both spots hinged heavily on celebrity.

“It seems we have reached Peak Celebrity,” said Undnyable’s co-creative director Steve Williams. “As in, celebrities on celebrities on celebrities - some of whom just had to lean into frame for a half-beat to get their check. If you blinked you might have missed Fat Joe's cameo in that Dunkin’ ad. He could have left the private jet idling just off set given how brief his bit was. …I wonder if next year's Super Bowl brands will back off celebrities because it's no longer special.”

Still, “we're a celebrity obsessed culture -- so I don't think the non-ad-professional is as critical of celebs being used as a creative or strategic crutch,” added Paialii.  “And it's probably easier to justify a 7-to-8-figure spend to the board when someone splashy is attached. But when it's done right, it's done really right.”

Commenting on the low number of QSR ads, which appears to be a trend that’s continuing since pre-COVID, “We are seeing some major shifts in Super Bowl ad categories," Peter Daboll, chief of strategy and insights at, told QSR Insider. “ As there has been pricing pressure on consumers in the past year. home indulgence can be perceived as more attractive alternatives to going out -- and marketers are capitalizing on that spending shift."


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