The Most Effective Celebrity Endorsements For Super Bowl 2018


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The Price Tag You Are Forgetting For Super Bowl's Enormous Costs

We are gearing up to that time of year when football is on everyone's minds - and more so... one game in general.  The Super Bowl! And all that advertising that goes with it.  Our agency's attention is not typically focused entirely on the ball play however, but on the high priced commercials in what is appropriately deemed the most expensive night on TV. In 2017 brands paid the highest ad price in Super Bowl history at $5 million for a 30-second ad.  And in return, reached an estimated 111.9 million audience, the third largest ever. And this year it's even more expensive!  

But keep in mind, this price tag is only the amount paid for that precious :30 seconds on air.  And many brands actually ran :60 ads or bought two ads. $10 million plus! It does not include the costs of creating the commercial itself. Or the millions paid for celebrity endorsement appearances. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the effectiveness of commercials from 32 brands who utilized celebrity endorsements during Super Bowl 2018.

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The Celebrity Ad Component Cost

With celebrity endorsements for ads ranging anywhere between $750,000 - $15+ million and production of the average commercial costing anywhere from $500,000 to $1 Million, some brands can be  assumed to have spent up to $15 to $20 million on their Super Bowl commercials for the 2018 game. And on the note of #TimesUp and #MeToo, there were only 12 female celebrities who appeared in ads, compared to 41 male celebrities.

With a close fourth quarter, and a Hail Mary pass from Tom Brady that didn't connect, Super Bowl 52 came to a close with a big win for underdog Philly Eagles. And some big wins for some brands...  Check out the celebrity driven ads below, and let us know which one is your favorite - and which was a total bomb.

Automotive Celebrity Endorsement Ads

Jeep - Jeff Goldblum

Capitalizing on their product placement and co-promotion of Jurassic world:  Fallen Kingdom which is in theaters June 22, Jeep brought in actor Jeff Goldblum who plays millionaire Ian Malcolm in the film, for a race against a T-Rex. The spot was thrilling and teased the film, the partnership and... the fact that it was all in Goldblum's mind as it dialed back into the car dealership.  
Super Bowl Ad 


Kia  - Emerson Fittipaldi and Steven Tyler

For the 9th year in a row, Kia bought a Super Bowl commercial. A 15-second teaser includes Formula One and Indianapolis 500 champion Emerson Fittipaldi getting ready for a race.  The full spot reveals that mystery competitor to be Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler.   In it, Tyler rediscovers his youth as he drives a Kia Tinger.   Last year the brand featured Melissa McCarthy as an environmentalist who attempts to save the world.

Lexus - Chadwick Boseman & Black Panther

Just like Jeep, Lexus has capitalized on its product placement and co-promotion of Marvel's Black Panther for its Lexus LC  We told you product placement works!

Toyota - Olympics

While not a Hollywood celebrity, Toyota is running two 60-second spots featuring their new global Olympics sponsorship - and the athletes who are, or are about to become, celebrities.  In the Paralympic spot, 8 time winning gold medalist Lauren Woolstencroft is shown - who fought the odds to win. It's extremely moving.  And with the the 'when we are free to move, anything is possible"... I'd say they hit it dead on.

Celebrity Social Media Webinar by Hollywood Branded

Beer Ads

Michelob Ultra - Chris Pratt

With not one, but TWO Super Bowl Ads, Michelob Ultra is bringing Chris Pratt on as the face of their brand in their effort to expand upon the way fitness is experienced by all.  The first ad is cut as both a minute and a :30 second ad, and has Chris Pratt hearing the news that he's the new endorser, and training to appear in the ad - working out by doing curls with a beer. 

Ultra will run a 60-second sequel later in the game, "I Like Beer," that stars Pratt alongside pro golfer Brooks Koepka, pro surfer Kelly Slater and marathon runner Shalane Flanagan. Ultra reps say this is the first time Pratt has appeared in a TV commercial for any brand.

Stella Artois - Matt Damon

Leveraging Matt Damon's Water.Org charity, and the actor himself, Stella Artois promoted the purchase of their limited-edition Stella Artois Chalice, viewers of the commercial can help over 5 million people have water.


Beverage Celebrity Endorsement Ads

Diet Coke - Gillian Jacobs (Community, Love), Karan Soni (Deadpool)

Celebrating it's new look of slim-shaped cans and new flavors including feisty cherry, blood orange, ginger lime and twisted mango, Diet Coke has purchased its first Super Bowl ad since 1997 and brought on board known millennial actors to help get their message out that's it's OK to just do you... and have a Diet Coke because you can.


Pepsi - Cindy Crawford

In the "This Is Pepsi" spot the brand is bringing Cindy Crawford back from her 1992 iconic Super Bowl ad where she wore a white tank top and jean shorts - causing teenage and twenty-something male hearts to drop all over the world.  In this spot, she is joined by her son Presley Gerber along with others, including Brittany Spears, Kyrie Irving, Jeff Gordon, a visit from Michael Jackson, and bringing us back to the future, the movie came of the DeLorean. The brand is taking a retro approach possibly in the hopes of helping people forget the Kendall Jenner botch of 2017.  And of course - they also sponsored the halftime show, gaining the opportunity to leverage Justin Timberlake.

Mountain Dew - Morgan Freeman

PepsiCo brought its Mountain Dew and Doritos brands together in back-to-back Super Bowl spots. The two 30-second ads, one promoting the lemon-lime flavored Mountain Dew Ice and the other for spicy Doritos Blaze, star Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage, respectively.  In the two back to back spots, Doritos and Mountain Dew throw down in a lip-sync battle airing in the first half of the game. Peter Dinklage reps Doritos with Busta Rhymes in his corner, and Morgan Freeman pairs with Missy Elliot on team Mountain Dew.

PepsiCo teased the ad with a :15 commercial with Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage facing off... and then led back to back spots with Peter Dinklage getting Dorito Blaze hot, and Morgan Freeman bringing in the cold in an epic lip sync face off.

The brand added another teaser with Missy Elliott for Mountain Dew and Busta Ryhymes for Doritos as a Super Bowl stunt to promote both brands, along with a second trailer showing Freeman, Dinklage, Elliot and Rhymes practicing tongue twisters.

Persil ProClean - Peter Hermann

Persil ProClean - Peter Hermann

Returning for its third Super Bowl ad, Persil ProClean has cast Peter Hermann in the role of the "Professional".  Both of their previous ads also starred Peter Hermann, and showed how a brand not well known to anyone could compete with some of the biggest advertisers during game day.

Tide - David Harbour and Terry Bradshaw

This spot utilized celeb endorser David Harbour to the max, with an interesting little tease at the end asking if all the ads following could in fact be for Tide - since everyone is typically wearing clean clothes. The four teaser ads included Terry Bradshaw as well - bridging 2017's game day spots.

product placement guide

Food Celebrity Endorsement Ads

Avocados From Mexico - Chris Elliott

Returning for the fourth year, Avocados From Mexico has brought on comedian Chris Elliott to star in both their teaser and and the Super Bowl spot.   

Doritos Blaze - Peter Dinklage PLUS

Check out the campaign listed under Beverages for Mountain Dew and Morgan Freeman.

Jack & The Box - Martha Stewart

Jack & The Box partnered with Martha Stewart to promote their new Asian Fried Chicken Sandwich, after Martha called the fast food giant out for not having gourmet sandwiches.  One of them loses their nose in the process.

Teaser Ad 


M&M's - Danny Devito, Vanessa Williams & Todrick Hall

M&M's has consistently used celebrities in their campaigns - most famously for their "You're Not You If Your Hungry" campaigns for Snickers.  Danny DeVito joins their newest Super Bowl commercial, which is M&M's teased pre- Super Bowl.  This is DeVito's first ever Super Bowl debut, besides his claymation appearance in Lipton Brisk's "Puppet Revolt" back in 2002.  In the spot, we see the red M&M who wishes he was human right as he picks up a magic penny - and that people would stop trying to eat him!  In an instant he is turned into Danny DeVito.   He is joined by another celebrity... YouTube star Todrick Hall who DeVito's character approaches on the street to ask if he wants to eat him.  Vanessa Williams voices the brown M&M who accompanies him on his journey.  And when he drops his lucky penny... havoc ensues.

Pringles - Bill Hadler

Kellogg's Pringles brand line has brought on Bill Hadler, former "Saturday Night Live" star where he helps show the idea of how stacking the potato crisp flavors create really unique flavor combinations.  This is Pringle's first Super Bowl commercial, and it faces Doritos head on. Brought on to direct the commercial is Hadler's former colleague, Rhys Thomas, who worked with him to direct and produce shorts for SNL.  The spot debuted on YouTube prior to the Super Bowl TV airing.

Skittles - David Schwimmer

The spot that didn't appear in the Super Bowl, but was teased mercilessly by Skittles showcased David Schwimmer as the star of it's secret Super Bowl ad, which they said would be shown to a single teenage fan from Los Angeles.  So we are including it here!

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Footwear Celebrity Endorsement Ads

Sketchers -Howie Long
Howie Long helps show how Sketchers is like first class travel for your feet.
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Professional Service Industry Celebrity Endorsement Ads

Quicken's Rocket Mortgage - Keegan-Michael Key and Big Sean

From haircuts to online dating, Keegan-Michael Key joins Quicken's Rocket Mortgage app to break down the complexity of what is being said to become simple, ending on how Rocket Mortgage makes loans simple. Detroit's Big Sean jumps in on one scene to help explain a teen's music choices to his dad.

Squarespace - Kevin Reeves 

Last year Squarespace featured John Malkovich appearing in his design studio chatting on the phone to someone who already owns "" and bargaining to get it for himself.  This year the brand has turned to Kevin Reeves, who is shown as an avid Squarespace user, where he hosts his motorycle company's website - Arch Motorcycle.  


WIX - YouTube stars Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal will appear in the spot.

In a last minute add-on, Wix chose to air a commerical featuring not the A-list stars of 2017 (Jason Statham and Gal Gadot) but instead YouTube stars Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal.

how your product placement program works


NFL - Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.
Who doesn't want to see two me dancing to the Dirty Dancing movie's iconic theme?  Well... millions got to see Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. do so, joined by Landon Collins, Brett Jones, John Jerry, Chad Wheeler, D.J. Fluker.
Winter Olympics
Throughout the Super Bowl, four spots aired providing short stories of how athletes were raised, and made it to the gold.  Featured athletes included alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, figure skater Nathan Chen, snowboarder Chloe Kim and skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

Tech and Telecom Celebrity Endorsement Ads 

Alexa - Jeff Bezos, Cardi B and Gordon Ramsay

In the ad, Alexa has lost her voice and celebrities and others chime in with their own voice to respond to the requester's ask.  Celebrities include music artist Cardi B, actress Rebel Wilson, actor Anthony Hopkins, chef Gordon Ramsay and Amazon head Jeff Bezos.  Cleverly, Amazon made some extra efforts to make sure none of the Alexa's listening in as the Super Bowl played, were able to respond to all of the "Alexa" commands given in the ad.

Groupon - Tiffany Haddish

This is the second year Groupon is debuting Super Bowl commercials, after its' 2011 Tibet commercial starring Timothy Hutton.  In it, the commercial opened like a pledge drive to help the people of Tibet, but it quickly turned to Hutton promoting a discount for Tibetan food. There was some harsh criticism of the company making light of the Tibetian people.  In 2011 they also aired spots starring Cuba Gooding Jr.  around saving the whales, and Elizabeth Hurley and rainforest causes.

In this spot, "Girls Trip's" Tiffany Haddish stars - the partnership likely sparked after  Jimmy Kimmel Live! on air interview where Haddish joked about having purchased a Groupon during her filming of Girls Trip, and taking Will and Jada Pinket Smith on a swamp tour in Louisana.  For authenticity, the company says she is among the top 1% of Groupon buyers out there.   

Monster Products - Iggy Azalea

In their first Super Bowl debut, Monster will showcase their new wireless AirlLinks Elements earphones with music artist Iggy Azalea.


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T-Mobile  - Kerry Washington

T-Mobile brought in Kerry Washington to voice their Little Ones ad.

Verizon - Justin Timberlake

Not only playing during the Pepsi Half Time Show, Justin Timberlake was brought on by Verizon to voice their "Remember" ad thank you for first responders. 

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Tourism Celebrity Endorsement Ads 

Tourism Australia - Chris Hemsworth, Danny McBride, Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman

With numerous trailers teased before the big day, Tourism Australia tried to catch everyone by surprise with a fake movie being teased for a new generation of Crocodile Dundee.  The spot included a slew of Australian celebrities including Chris Hemsworth, Danny McBride, Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman, and others.  The internet started guessing this was a ruse after the Chris Hemsworth ad dropped, and then it was all but confirmed with the following releases.  Realize this is a minute long - which means TWO Super Bowl ads were bought - for over $10 million.  Check out the website too.




Super Bowl Ad Extended

Turkish Airlines - Dr. Oz Mehmet

Turkish Airlines has been taking celebrity partnerships to new heights.  Starting back with Batman vs Superman, and then on to Wonder Woman, the airline has been partnering for not only product placement, but big massive celebrity endorsement deals to promote the movie partnerships.  Now, Turkish Airlines has brought on Dr. Oz to talk about the new heights mankind is heading to.

Universal City - Peyton Manning

In the ad, Peyton Manning goes to Universal Studios, and  coaches families on how to get the most out of Universal's locations in Orlando and Hollywood. This is the first time in 8 years the thee park has advertised in the Super Bowl.

So What Brand Uses Celebrity Endorsements Best?

Which of these brands do you think best leveraged the dollars paid for a celebrity endorsement? And do you think these were effective celebrity endorsements? Worth it or not - you can be the judge!  We want to know what you think!

And if you have interest in seeing what brands did in the past, check out our blogs:

Celebrity endorsements are more effective than you may think! Check out these blogs on celebrity endorsement deals for brands:

And they're not the only tactic you can incorporate in your entertainment marketing mix. Hollywood Branded's Influencer Marketing & Brand Partnerships report is an in-depth report for brands and their agencies. This report is chock full of statistics, graphs, analytics, insights and over 300 bite sized direct influencer suggestions for brands to make campaigns run better.  Get it now!!

Hollywood Branded Influencer Marketing Survey