Students Get Exclusive Opportunity to Rate Big Game Ads

Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations
Generative AI illustration by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College.

February 6, 2024 — It's the biggest game of the year, with a broadcast showcasing some of the year's most prominent commercials. The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and Marist students are poised not only to gather with their friends to take in the game between Kansas City and San Francisco, but also to watch those famous ads with a critical eye, each commanding an average of $7 million for a 30-second slot on CBS.

In a first-time collaboration with USA TODAY, Marist students have been invited to participate in the national news outlet’s annual Ad Meter, where they will evaluate and select their most preferred and least preferred commercials. Over the past week, many Marist students have been gearing up to view the advertisements through USA TODAY's platform ahead of the game. The excitement is building.

“I am thrilled to get to view Super Bowl ads early, because they are always my favorite part of the game broadcast,” said Lana Tomchuk '26, business administration and marketing major and Vice President of Marist’s chapter of the American Marketing Association. “Also, getting to share this opportunity with AMA's members is super exciting!”

"I'm excited to preview the Super Bowl commercials ahead of game day and hear different opinions from peers during the viewing event," said Kelly DeFinis '25, a fashion merchandising major with a promotion concentration and an account representative at North Road Communications. "Analyzing ads and rating them for USA TODAY's Ad Meter extends my learning experience beyond the classroom."

Image of rotunda building with "USA Today Ad Meter" logo.

The work of Marist students will be featured in USA TODAY in the days following the game. It’s an initiative that presents a unique opportunity for students to contribute their voice to the initiative. Many of them are pursuing a path in marketing or sports communication at Marist, though not all.

“This feels like such a great opportunity for all interested students, but those in my Issues in Sports Media class in particular,” said Dr. Zach Arth, Assistant Director of the Center for Sports Communication. “We already spend so much time in class discussing the Super Bowl, advertiser interest in sports, the litany of ads that are seen during a sports broadcast or on social media, that this just feels like such a natural fit and opportunity for them.”

“This is a unique chance to see how these ads impact viewers when watched outside versus during the excitement of the big game,” said Dr. Muzi Liu, Assistant Professor of Marketing. “I believe this is an exclusive opportunity for our students to be at the forefront of advertising analysis and debate.”

This is the 36th year that USA TODAY's Ad Meter will rate the Super Bowl ads. Ad Meter has become the recognized national voice on determining which Super Bowl ads were most popular, and which missed the mark.

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