With the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers set to face off in the 2024 Super Bowl, another conversation now begins in earnest about the TV commercials that will run during one of the most-watched television events of the year. And while some of the usual suspects will once again advertise on-air to the more than 110 million viewers watching the game in the U.S., other regulars will be noticeably absent.

As professors who study marketing and business ethics, we’re keenly interested in Super Bowl advertising. So we looked at the roster of advertisers in search of trends.

The most interesting thing we found may be who’s not advertising. Gone are the Big Four automakers – Ford, General Motors, Chrysler parent Stellantis and Toyota – which have chosen to dedicate their ad dollars to more tightly targeted marketing campaigns. Only Kia and BMW are stepping up to promote their new electric vehicles, while Volkswagen has advertising lined up to celebrate its 75th anniversary in the U.S.

Also missing this year will be GoDaddy, whose Super Bowl ads have generated buzz over the years. Its management has indicated that the company is exploring other marketing options that create more engagement for their target markets.

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