Super Bowl 2020 was the biggest ever in terms of ad spend. Here are the best and worst commercials.

Associated PressKansas City Chiefs’ Damien Williams celebrates a touchdown at Super Bowl 2020.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs prevailed against the San Francisco 49ers after a stunning fourth-quarter turnaround while off the field, dozens of brands descended on people’s screens.
  • It was the largest Super Bowl ever in terms of in-game ad spend, with advertisers spending an estimated $US435 million to showcase their ads.
  • Here are the best and worst Super Bowl commercials of 2019.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Super Bowl 2020 was not just thrilling on the field with the Kansas City Chiefs pulling off a stunning fourth quarter turnaround and triumphing over the the San Francisco 49ers – but also off it.

It was the largest Super Bowl ever in terms of in-game ad spend, with marketers spending an estimated $US435 million, according to analytics firm Kantar.

Facebook and Sabra made their debuts, joining longtime advertisers like Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch. Tide made a comeback, stirring up surprise by bringing Bud Knight back from the dead. Tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, had a big presence. Marketers like Procter & Gamble and Planters made crossover ads.

Here are some other numbers from the Super Bowl, per Kantar:

  • Long-form commercials reigned, with 24 of the 59 spots in the game lasting more than 60 seconds.
  • Anheuser Busch InBev spent the most ($US41 million), followed by Pepsi ($US31 million), Procter & Gamble ($US30 million), and Amazon ($US26 million).
  • Auto manufacturers were the leading category, accounting for an estimated $US77 million of spending and seven and a half minutes of commercial time

Read more:
Here’s the full list of all the Super Bowl commercials that ran this year

Business Insider compiled the best and worst ads of 2020, based on data from Brandwatch, Google, System1, Talkwalker, and Unruly, and our own analysis. Here are the winners, followed by losers, in alphabetical order.

Winner: Amazon


Amazon’s Super Bowl spot starring celebrity couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and imagining what life was like without Alexa, struck a chord.

It was the most-watched Super Bowl commercial as of 10 p.m. on game day, according to Google, and had more than 39,000 mentions online as of 10:15 p.m., according to Brandwatch.

Winner: Google


Google’s tearjerker about its virtual assistant helping a man remember his late wife was the most effective ad, according to Unruly, which measures an ad’s engagement and metrics like favorability and purchase intent.

Nearly half of survey respondents had an intense emotional reaction to “Loretta,” and the ad scored 6.5 out of 10. It also had more than 121,000 online mentions, per Brandwatch, with 10,000 of those mentions coming within two minutes of the ad airing.

Winner: Jeep

Associated PressA scene from Jeep’s 2020 Super Bowl NFL football spot

Jeep’s recreation of “Groundhog Day” featuring Bill Murray got more than 47,000 online mentions, accounting for nearly 6% of the entire conversation around the Super Bowl, according to Talkwalker.

It also received a score of 5.2 stars from System1, which rates ads from 1 to 5.9 stars based on the emotional resonance they garner to predict long-term growth potential for the brand.

Winner: Microsoft


The percentage of spots including women was up 90% from 74% last year, according to Hive Media and Bain.

One was Microsoft’s, with its ad featuring Katie Sowers, the first female – and openly LGBTQ – coach to ever be in the NFL championship game.

The ad got 5.3 stars from System1, which rates ads from 1 to 5.9 stars based on the emotional resonance they get to predict long-term growth potential for the brand. It also elicited intense emotional engagement from 47% of Unruly’s survey audience, obtaining a score of 5.7.

Winner: Olay

Olay/Badger and Winters

Olay’s all-female Super Bowl spot featured successful women asking “Is there enough space in space for women?” and pledged to donate $US1 for every tweet directed @OlaySkin with the hashtag #MakeSpaceforWomen to Women Who Code.

Olay captured nearly 20% of the conversation around the Super Bowl, according to Talkwalker. The hashtag #MakeSpaceForWomen was being used even before the game, but spiked again during the broadcast.

Benjamin Hordell, partner at ad agency DXAgency, called it “the best social integration,” saying that “incentivising the tweet was a nice way to make it happen.”

Loser: Hulu

Hulu/YouTubeTom Brady stars in Hulu’s Super Bowl ad

Hulu may have been trying to stand out in a crowded ad environment, but the company got egg on its face after it ran a Super Bowl ad starring Tom Brady to promote its live sports streaming service just minutes after the service crashed for subscribers before the big game.

Hulu mentions leapt by 2,100% right around kickoff due to customers experiencing connectivity issues, per Brandwatch.

Loser: Planters


The death of Planters mascot Mr. Peanut trended online weeks before the Super Bowl, but the buzz was dampened after the unexpected death of Kobe Bryant.

Ultimately, Planters didn’t get rid of a mascot but gave birth to a new one called “Baby Nut,” and set up a store for his reincarnation. But it didn’t end well, with Twitter suspending three meme accounts launched by Planters, saying they violated Twitter’s spam and platform manipulation policy.

Loser: Procter & Gamble


Procter and Gamble’s ad was a mashup of its brand mascots including Mr. Clean and the Charmin bear.

But the effort ended up being a confusing mess with actress Sofia Vergara trying to stitch together a series of scenes with no story arc.

Loser: Quibi


Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman tried to drum up awareness around their forthcoming mobile streaming platform Quibi with an ad about a bank heist gone awry.

While the ad may have been trying to inform viewers that they can watch episodes on the platform in 10 minutes or less, a lot of people were confused.

USA Today’s Ad Metre, which lets people rank Super Bowl ads online on a scale of 1 to 10, gave Quibi’s “Bank Heist” a rating of 4.4, making it the fourth-worst ad.

Still, it was the eighth-most watched Super Bowl commercial as of 10 p.m. on game day, according to Google – perhaps because people watched it again to figure out what it was.

Loser: Tide


Tide won huge accolades for its 2018 Super Bowl ads arguing that every ad was a Tide ad because technically, any ad with clean clothes could be one.

But the same approach fell flat this year, even though it did stir up some surprise by bringing back Bud Knight from the dead. There was a small spike in the conversation around Tide’s first ad (1,000 mentions), accounting to Brandwatch, but the ad did nothing for Bud Light.

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