Was DoorDash’s ‘promo code’ ad the best Super Bowl commercial? – NBC Chicago
You saw Usher perform at halftime, and watched the entire game from start to overtime — but did you catch the 2024 Super Bowl commercial that offered one lucky viewer a goodie bag full of luxury prizes, including $50,000 towards a home down payment, a 2024 BMW All-Electric i5, and a literal diamond gemstone?
It wasn’t the hilarious Michael Cera CeraVe spot, or the new “DunKing” boy band fronted by Ben Affleck. Instead, one of the biggest talkers of the night came towards the end of the evening, beginning with an extremely long promo code from DoorDash.
“DoorDash’s ad, which came from Wieden+Kennedy Portland and aired in the fourth quarter, at first portrayed the code as pretty simple: DoorDash-all-the-ads-2024-promocode,” an AdAge article reviewing the commercial said. “But it didn’t end there.”
The spot went on to show all the words in the very, very long promo code — dozens and dozens of them — which viewers could enter online at a specific DoorDash website for the chance to win a massive prize from Super Bowl advertisers, including everything from an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world, to more than 700 packs of Reese’s Big Caramel Cup.
According to AdAge, DoorDash formed dozens of partnerships in order to create the sweepstakes, and the advertisers were on board.
“We got no nos,” chief marketing officer of DoorDash Kofi Amoo-Gottfried told AdAge in an interview. “Every single brand we spoke to thought it was fun.”
While a full list of the items can be found here, they include everything from a real Clydesdale saddle, to 288 bags of Peanut Butter M&Ms, to 30 pounds of mayonnaise.
Despite the ad’s popularity across social media, it didn’t make one local list of the “best ads” from the 2024 Super Bowl.
In a release, The Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review claimed the best ad of the big game was one from Google Pixel. The ad followed a blind man as he uses “Guided Frame” — Google’s A.I.-powered accessibility feature for the Pixel camera that uses a combination of audio cues, high-contrast animations and tactile vibrations — to take pictures of the people and places in his life.
“Google Pixel has clearly figured out the formula to success for advertising in the Super Bowl,” Derek Rucker, the Sandy & Morton Goldman professor of entrepreneurial studies in marketing and co-lead of the school’s Ad Review said in a release. “Once again the company was able to demonstrate a new technology that enhances the user experience, while also connecting with viewers in an unexpected, emotional way.”
Other ads that scored high points in Kellog’s review included Dove, CeraVe’s Michael Cera spot, Mountain Dew, Doritos and Dunkin’ Donuts. Ads that scored lower points, the review said, were spots from Temu, Squarespace, Homes.com and “He Gets Us.”
Here’s a rundown of what ad-watchers saw in Super Bowl LVIII.
Kris Jenner “twists on it” with Oreo. The face behind Pringles’ iconic mustache is unveiled to be none other than Chris Pratt. And Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez returned for Dunkin’ cameos, while Ice Spice sips on Starry.
In typical Super Bowl fashion, an array of companies’ adverts were adorned by stars — often with numerous celebrities stuffed in a single spot. T-Mobile, for example, showcased big names like Bradley Cooper, Common, Jennifer Hudson, Laura Dern and “Suits” stars Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams all in one ad for its “Magenta Status” customer appreciation program.
And the “Suits” homecoming didn’t stop there. In another ad stuffed with celebrity cameos — including “Judge Judy” Judy Sheindlin — e.l.f. cosmetics brought together Gina Torres, Rick Hoffman and Sarah Rafferty in a courtroom spoof.
NBC sitcoms had quite a few reunion moments during the game. In an Uber Eats ad, which shows people forgetting things so they remember Uber Eats can deliver a wide variety of items, Jennifer Aniston seemingly forgets she ever worked with her “Friends” co-star David Schwimmer. And in an ad for Mtn Dew Baja Blast, Aubrey Plaza says she can have a ‘Blast’ doing anything — including reuniting with her “Parks and Rec” boss Nick Offerman as they fly on dragons.
Although star power in Super Bowl commercials isn’t new, it did feel especially heightened this year.
“It used to be that you’d have a celebrity pop up that would sort of be the spokesperson of the commercial,” said Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter’s Jessica D. Collins. “Now you’re seeing collaborations of celebrities… all in the same commercial, even (when) they have absolutely nothing to do with each other.”
Some brands can pull this off in a smart way — such as tapping into pop culture moments and inside jokes. But experts say that overdoing celeb cameos can take away from the impact of the ad. Viewers may remember what stars they saw in a commercial but not the brand name, University of Minnesota associate professor of marketing Linli Xu notes.
Cuteness and nostalgia
It wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without some furry friends. Budweiser, for example, brought back familiar characters to its gameday slot — which shows Clydesdales and a Labrador retriever team up to help the beer brand make the delivery. And Hellmann’s featured the “Mayo Cat.”
But the year’s ads weren’t raining dogs and cats, noted Kimberly Whitler, marketing professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
That didn’t stop advertisers from searching for other ways into viewers’ hearts.
“Everything old is new again,” she said, pointing to successful Super Bowl ads or messages from the past making a return, including ETrade’s talking babies.
Some serious moments
Several other ads took more serious tones. Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, for example, ran an ad featuring Martin Luther King Jr.’s speechwriter Dr. Clarence B. Jones.
“He Gets Us” also returned to the Super Bowl this year. The campaign, which is backed by a group of wealthy Christian donors, aired two ads Sunday night.