The Good and The Bad of 2024 Super Bowl Ads

Family watching sports on television

Every year, companies invest significantly into Super Bowl advertisements to reach the broadcast’s millions of viewers. Historically, these advertisements have been rife with harmful tropes and stereotypes. Our #NotBuyingIt campaign, which was launched over a decade ago, was created to specifically call out the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of women in these advertisements. What do we think about this year’s commercials?

In 2024 Super Bowl advertisements, we saw #MediaWeLike with increased representation of women compared to previous years. This year, women accounted for 43.1% of characters in Super Bowl commercials. Women comprised just 37% of commercial characters in 2023 and 40% in 2022. We also saw #MediaWeLike in the quality of representation across multiple advertisements, such as the 50+ representation in “Dina & Mita” by Doritos and the VEOZAH commercial about hot flashes.

In particular, Dove’s “Hard Knocks” was a highlight of the night for us. The video depicts girl athletes taking falls or stumbles, and shares that these “knocks” aren’t what is impacting girl’s participation in sports. Instead, the ad calls attention to body image: “45% of girls are quitting sports – and low body confidence is the #1 reason why.” The message to #KeepHerConfident is one we certainly get behind. “Hard Knocks” is also notable as one of the few Super Bowl commercials this year directed by a woman, Lucy Bridger.

The commercials that didn’t quite score a touchdown include Skechers, Volkswagen, and Kawasaki. The first two included brief objectifying scenes/blocking. The Skechers ad featured Mr. T doing pull-ups while two women framed him, acting as accessories in the scene. The Volkswagen commercial included a camera shot of a woman’s bikini clad-torso with her head out of frame. Alternatively, Kawasaki’s ad featured zero women. 

It’s disappointing to see poor representation and, in Kawasaki’s case, lack of representation persist in Super Bowl advertisements. Women hold enormous buying power in the United States economy, advertisers are starting to recognize that. And in 2025, we hope that brands take note from the #MediaWeLike.

Take Action! Help us bring attention to representation in advertising year-round. Use #MediaWeLike, when an ad gets it right, and #NotBuyingIt, when it doesn’t.