Super Bowl commercials: Grading the best and worst of the 2024 game's ads

What worked? What didn't? We're sizing up all the ads from the Super Bowl, right here.

(Via UberEats)
(Via UberEats)

Super Bowl Sunday! It’s here at last, the national holiday when we’re forced to sit through football in order to watch so many beloved ads ... and Taylor Swift appearances, of course. For the twelfth straight year, Yahoo Sports’ Liz Roscher and Jay Busbee are here to escort you through the dizzying array of celebrity cameos, awkward jokes and heartstring-tugs of this year’s waves of ads, updating live as they air.

As always, we grade ads on a completely subjective, utterly biased, totally nonscientific basis, and all grades are final. Feel free to contribute your own takes below. Now ... on with the ads!

[For full Super Bowl coverage, check out Yahoo Sports NFL]

Grade: A

YouTube, “Migration”

The world has been waiting for football players to act like their mascots, and now that it's happened, it's better than anyone could have hoped for. (A)

M&Ms, “The M&Ms Almost Champions Ring of Comfort”

OK, this is a good Super Bowl ad! Solid concept, recognizable guest stars, everybody's having fun. More of this, less of the somber piano-driven ones, please. (A)

Dove, “Hard Knocks: A Dove Big Game Film”

Another critic-proof message ad. Keep playing sports as long as you want, girls. The spills and falls only make you stronger. (A)

Bet MGM, “Tom Has Won Enough”

This commercial will remind you that not only has Tom Brady won a lot of Super Bowls and made a lot of money, he's also charming and funny on camera. Not just as himself, but as Tim Birdie, seven-time pool champion. Brady has the best line reading with "Why is my babysitter here?" while Vince Vaughn's presence is practically white noise. Why does Brady want to become a broadcaster? He should just do this forever. (A)

Mountain Dew Baja Blast, “Having a Blast”

Aubrey Plaza is hilarious and amazing and the coolest cool girl there ever was, but Nick Offerman immediately steals the spotlight from her, especially when he shouts "I TOO AM HAVING A BLAST!!" from the back of a computer generated dragon. (A)

E*TRADE, “Picklebabies”

Those E*TRADE babies are typically insufferable bordering on obnoxious, but this time out they're genuinely hilarious, spending half the ad dunking on pickleball as "tennis for babies, but for adults." Preach, E*TRADE baby. Preach. (A)

Dunkin, "Dunkings"

Matt Damon steals the ad, no small feat when Ben Affleck, Tom Brady and JLo are also in it. Brilliant and goofy. (A)

Etsy, “Gift Mode”

Any ad that starts out "Aw, crap" is coming strong out of the gate. This one carries the momentum all the way through. Enjoy the cheese, Frenchies! (A)

e.l.f. Cosmetics, “In e.l.f. We Trust”

Amid an evening of football and ads trying to be funny or slick, this e.l.f. Cosmetics ad is like a cotton candy fever dream. There's Judge Judy, celebrated drag Queen Heidi N. Closet, and two of the stars of popular streaming rerun "Suits." Just hire John Waters to be Judge Judy's sassy security guard sidekick and "Judge Beauty" would claim the title of streaming darling from "Suits" in a heartbeat. (A)

PlutoTV, “Couch Potato Farms”

Absolutely brilliant. Depressing as hell for what it says about our nation and our future, but a perfectly executed concept. Settle in on that comfy couch, fellow Americans. (A)

Uber Eats, “Don’t Forget Uber Eats”

Genuinely hilarious concept, executed in a genuinely funny and memorable way. Sometimes a commercial does what it's supposed to do! (A)

Drumstick, “Doctor on the Plane”

This is going to be one of those polarizing ads, one where half the people at your Super Bowl party are laughing at it and half are saying "I don't get it." Which means it's a good one. More weird, less cutesy. (A)

SToK Cold Brew, “Unleash the Dragon”

That Anthony Hopkins continues act is pretty impressive at 86. But that he manages to have a sense of humor about himself? Who thought that 30+ years after watching Hopkins wear that Hannibal Lecter mask we'd be watching him put on a dragon head in a coffee commercial and be delighted? (A)

Grade: B

"Wicked" (Trailer)

If you're one of the millions upon millions of people who have been waiting more than 20 years for this beloved Tony-winning musical to become a movie, you were in heaven watching the trailer for Part I. But if you're confused because you've never heard of "Wicked," there's plenty of time to get on board. The movie, which has already been delayed several times, doesn't come out for nine months! (B)

Kawasaki, “Mullets”

The only thing in this ad that doesn't work is the computer generated mullet growth, which looks like it belongs on a Nintendo GameCube. But everything else is genius. It's smart to lean into the inherent humor of these vehicles. They're useful, but when you break it down, it's an adult driving a tiny pick-up truck. Imagine the money Kawasaki could make if they stuck some Barbie stickers on there and advertised them as Grown-Up Power Wheels. (B)

Michelob Ultra, “Superior Beach”

Leo Messi torments an entire wave of extras, who must have been told to use caution around the GOAT at the risk of their lives. And hey, who was that friendly fella commenting on the soccer proceedings? Seems familiar. (B)

Bass Pro Shops, “Making Memories on the Water”

Sometimes, you don't need to get fancy, just show people hanging out on the water and you're good to go. And at just $5 a day, who wouldn't want a boat? Wait, that's not EVERY day, right ... ? (B)

Reese’s Caramel Cups, “Yes!”

Once you spot the grandma making out with a random young guy in the background of this commercial, it's the only thing you'll be able to see or think about. (B)

TurboTax “Super Bowl File”

We respect TurboTax’s need to advertise its services to the year’s largest audience. However, we feel like we speak for the majority of that audience when we say that we absolutely do not want to think about taxes on Super Bowl Sunday. (B)

CrowdStrike, “The Future”

If you don't already know what Crowdstrike is, this ad isn't for you. Don't sweat it. Just enjoy the weird cyberpunk-Western vibe and wait for the next beer ad. (B)

Google Pixel, “Javier in Frame”

A critic-proof ad, even if the big heart-tugging kicker line was teed up right from the start. Stop trying to make us feel things, corporate America! More ads with wanton violence! (B)

Paramount+, “Sir Patrick Stewart Throws a Hail Arnold”

Paramount+ doesn't skimp on its Super Bowl ads. Not only does this include Sr Patrick Stewart, Drew Barrymore, Jeff Probst, Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, that dude from "Reno 911!", and several animated characters, it's also the rare and expensive two-minute spot, which cost the studio $28 million. And that's before paying all those actors from their stable of stars. When you've got it, flaunt it. (B)

NFL, “Born to Play”

The NFL brings the heat every year with its house ad, and this year — spotlighting a child in Africa with a dream of playing in the league — is no exception. And now you see why the NFL continues to expand the locales where it plays. (B)

Verizon, "Beyonce Breaks The Internet"

Nice concept, but come on ... we all know Beyonce could break the internet five times before lunch. (B)

Pfizer, “Here’s to Science”

Queen music makes everything better. But you can spot from a mile away the ads that will be deemed "controversial" after the game, and this is one of them, just by its mere existence. (B)

Volkswagen, “An American Love Story”

The VW is an American — well, kind of — original, and this ad leans heavily into the nostalgia vibe. Nice disclaimer: “If you are not living in the 70s, 80s or 90s, do not attempt.” (B)

Budweiser, “Old-School Delivery”

Clydesdales, dogs, Budweiser, baseball caps, big mustaches, "The Weight" — this whole ad's one heapin' helpin' of America served warm n' cozy. As with most ads, it falls apart with the tiniest scrutiny, but realism isn't the goal in the Super Bowl, good feelings are. Take it for what it is. (B)

T-Mobile Home Internet, “That T-Mobile Home Internet Feeling”

Jason Momoa sings his autotuned heart out on this one, and you'd expect it to be cringey, but it's not. Momoa gives off a "I'm too cool for literally everything" vibe, but his personality is the complete opposite. He's repeatedly shown he's game for anything, whether it's singing, dancing, or being doused with water while ethereal "Flashdance" star Jennifer Beals looks on in judgment. If Travis Kelce threw half of his commercial work to Momoa, we might actually be a happier, less annoyed society. (B)

United Airlines, “Believing is Everything”

Coach Taylor returns! Kyle Chandler makes every NFL fan want to book a flight to New Orleans for next year's Super Bowl. (Don't worry, there are no change fees, Panthers fans.) (B)

Grade: C

"Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" (Trailer)

The dreaded "Watch the full trailer online" cliffhanger! This one looks good, but nothing much new from what we've already seen in prior ads.

Popeye’s, “The Wait is Over”

Unfrozen Ken Jeong is a solid foundation, but when we're thinking of aspects of American life that have changed significantly over the last 50 years, "labradoodles" aren't at the top of the list. The wings look pretty good, though. (C)

Pringles, “Mr. P”

Every now and then a commercial comes up with a genuinely good idea. In this case, it's a movie about the fake origin story of Pringles. Maybe they could riff on the game Oregon Trail to make it tie in with two different intellectual properties! Imagine "Oregon Trail: The Story of Pringles" shining brightly on a marquee near you. But please, don't cast Chris Pratt. He doesn't look like the Pringles Guy at all. (C)

Starry, “Love Triangle”

This is a vital question: How can it be a love triangle if Ice Spice is dating the Starry Twins? You know what, scratch that. It should remain a mystery. It's better not to wonder why Ice Spice is dating exclusively lemon-lime soda mascots or why the human (?) Sprite mascot exploded with Sprite the drink when he got upset. Just let the chaos wash over you like a cool lemon-lime soda of your choice. (C)

State Farm, “Like a Good Neighbaaa”

The thing about Arnold Schwarzenegger lasting for decades as a pop-culture hero is that each generation thinks it's the first to discover that he's got a funny accent. Nice cameo at the end, though. (C)

Coors Light, “Chill Train”

This ad needed to be all LL Cool J as the Chill Train conductor. We didn't need 60 entire seconds of the train traversing the US landscape, temporarily solving global warming and ruining people's days. Get to the fireworks factory! Or in this case, the LL Cool J suave factory! (C)

TurboTax “Super Bowl File”

We respect TurboTax’s need to advertise its services to the year’s largest audience. However, we feel like we speak for the majority of that audience when we say that we absolutely do not want to think about taxes on Super Bowl Sunday. (C)

Skechers, “Mr. T in Skechers”

The Venn Diagram of "people who dig Skechers" and "people who remember Mr. T" is pretty much a single circle at this point. We're a long way from Clubber Lang and the A-Team, but it's good to see T still pitying fools. (C)

Bud Light, “Easy Night Out”

A tiny bit chaotic, mostly safe and predictable. (Do we still need to still hear "Magic Carpet Ride" in the year 2024?) We totally would wish for a T-Rex, though. (C)

Toyota, “Dareful Handle”

It's an interesting strategy to sell your car exclusively to people who to enjoy terrifying their passengers to the point that they're gripping the ceiling handle for dear life. (C)

Kia, “Perfect 10”

Well, if we graded on emotional manipulation, this would be an A-plus-plus. Stay in touch with your families, friends, so we don't have to get jerked around like this during the freaking Super Bowl by car companies. (C)

Microsoft Copilot, “Your Everyday AI Companion”

An ad for how AI can "help" you make "your" dreams come "true." Sure. It's definitely that easy. Did AI write this ad? (C)

DoorDash, “All the Ads”

So apparently as part of the “all the ads” prize, you can win a 30-pound tub of mayonnaise and a saddle for one of the Budweiser clydesdales. Who exactly needs or wants those things? That is a question DoorDash didn’t ask themselves before giving the green light on this ad campaign. (C)

Grade: D

Lindt, “Life is a Ball”

You know what the kids love? Perry Como. And the only thing they love more than that is eating chocolate while listening to Perry Como. Not every commercial can be for the 50-and-under set. (D)

Temu, "Shop Like a Billionaire"

Do not adjust your set. This commercial looks like an ad for a bad mobile game in which the scenes depicted do not reflect actual gameplay. And if you've ever shopped with Temu, you know the experience can be kind of similar: item depicted may not reflect the actual item purchased. (D)

Oreo, “The Twist of an Oreo Could Change Everything”

This year's theme appears to be "alternate realities," like with this trying-too-hard Oreo ad, where people apparently twist their Oreos to make decisions, like flipping coins. Madness. Just pry 'em apart and double-stack 'em like normal people. (D), “Tina Fey Books Whoever She Wants to Be”

Can anyone explain what "book whoever you want to be" means? We shouldn't be overly hung up on realism in commercials, but a company should at least try to make sense when it creates a tagline. At least this ad gave Tina Fey a chance to throw some of her former "30 Rock" co-stars a little acting work, if either could consider "former 30 Rock cast member and real life friend of Tina Fey" acting work instead of just their lives. None of this applies to Glenn Close though. She's a treasure. (D)

Grade: F

BMW, “Talkin’ Like Walken”

A commercial for everyone who doesn't think there are enough bad impressions on SNL. 60 seconds of mostly questionable Christopher Walken impressions that are supposed to make you want to buy a car? These ad creators may have strayed too far from the light of God on this one. (F)

Nerds, “The Union”

Do not think about this commercial too hard. Just don't. You'll regret it if you do. (F)

Squarespace, “Hello Down There”

Stick to movies, Marty. (F)

Hellman’s Mayonnaise, “Mayo Cat”

This feels like Hellmann's ad execs went with the first suggestion that was thrown out at the pitch meeting. And if that suggestion was "What if there was a cat, and Kate McKinnon was there but did nothing?" then Hellman's nailed it. (F)

Snapchat, "Not Social Media"

Fun fact: Snapchat is a social media platform. The commercial says it's not, but it is. Keep your head on a swivel and don't believe the disinformation. (F)

Doritos Dinamita, “Dina & Mita”

Haven't we, as a culture, moved past the "older people look like they're doing crazy things because stunt doubles" trend? The Six Flags Old Guy was a long, long time ago. And come on, Doritos. You got Jenna Ortega to be in this commercial just to have her wander around a grocery store looking for her grandmothers? What an awful use of resources. (F)

No Grade

He Gets Us

He Gets Us aired an ad during last year's Super Bowl, and we'll say now exactly what that we said then: No way we're touching that one. You're on your own to assess it. (N/A)

Thanks for joining us for another year! See you in 2025!