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AMA 2024 Superbowl Smackdown Delivers: Recap

Thursday, February 15, 2024, marketers came in droves to the biggest event of the year for the AMA Philadelphia chapter held this year at Conshohocken Brewery in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to relive the Super Bowl magic once again. 

Everyone loves watching the Super Bowl. But marketers love dissecting the commercials even more than the game. Advertisers spend millions for a 30-second spot. However, not every ad aligns with the brand and overall marketing message. 

Smackdown Jeopardy

Analyzing how well the top five-million-dollar ad spots worked was our challenge. How effectively did the Super Bowl ad fit into the existing brand and marketing strategy for each company? Ads were categorized, discussed by C-suite marketers from top companies in the Philly area, and then put to an audience vote to determine who is the true marketing champion.

How it works:

  • 12 Super Bowl ads were chosen ahead of time – two ads from each of six industry categories, such as automotive, snack foods, or online services.
  • Each ad was played on overhead screens for everyone to view.
  • Panelists commented and evaluated each ad and audience members had a chance to rebut or ask questions.
  • Everyone voted and then the winners were tallied.

Marketing professionals engaged in lively discussions with each other and top-tier panelists primed for debate, from millennials to gen-Xers to boomers representing companies from a wide range of industries, including college students from Temple University and St. Joseph’s College.

Deb Silverman, the Executive Vice President of Brand Strategy at Inizio Evoke
Deb Silverman, an Executive Vice President of Brand Strategy, Inizio Evoke 

Expert panelists:

Deb Silverman, an Executive Vice President of Brand Strategy, Inizio Evoke 

Deb Silverman has 25 years of experience as a brand strategist in advertising, with more than half of it focusing on health and wellness. She brings a unique 360-degree perspective, having detoured onto the client side for four years, working as a Consumer Marketing Director at AstraZeneca.

Headshot of Brian Cavallucci
Brian Cavallucci, Associate Director, Advertising at Subaru

Brian Cavallucci, Associate Director, Advertising at Subaru

Brian Cavalucci has 20-plus years of experience in the automotive industry, with a broad-based background in all areas of marketing, sales, training, customer service, community service, public relations, and public speaking.

Headshot of Christopher Johnsosn
Chris Johnson, Global Head of Marketing at AstraZeneca

Chris Johnson, Global Head of Marketing at AstraZeneca

Chris Johnson describes himself as a passionate healthcare marketing executive with a track record of delivering business growth on new and mature products. He has twenty years of experience spanning consumer, OTC, and pharmaceutical products. He takes a customer-focused approach to marketing with a strong grounding in business analytics and strategy combined with executional expertise.

photo of Jim Thompson
Moderator – Jim Thompson Professor at Temple University Fox School of Business and Former Global President & CEO at Ipsos ASI


Jim Thompson, Professor at Temple University Fox School of Business and Former Global President & CEO at Ipsos ASI

Professor Thompson retired from a successful career in marketing. Today he shares his expertise and experience in the global economy to the next generation of marketers at Temple University through our own Philly AMA Board of Directors.

Biggest Takeaways from Latest Superbowl Smackdown

Marketers came, they saw, they conquered, unpacking brand recognition, celeb positioning, marketing to message, and more. But don’t take our word for it.

“I was impressed with the active participation”

As the MC, I was impressed with the active participation of both the panelists and the audience. This year’s panel of experts was terrific. Chris, Brian, and Deb provided insight into how Super Bowl ads come to fruition and shared fun backstories from their respective experiences. 

The audience was really engaged and freely offered their opinions. The combination of their comments building on those of the panelists added depth to the discussions. 

It was great to have both marketing professionals and students from St. Joe’s and Temple participate in the discussion. 

-Jim Thompson, Smackdown Moderator, VP, Collegiate Relations & Engagement for AMA Philadelphia, and Professor at Temple University Fox School of Business

“It was phenomenal!”

 This was my second Superbowl Smackdown. It was phenomenal! Great energy, great discussions, great perspectives. It’s fun because…it’s the Super Bowl. You’re reliving some very entertaining spots. 

 And it’s interesting because you get to watch the part of the Super Bowl that you’re most interested in as a marketer. So, you’re watching with people like you who maybe more interested in commercials than sports.

 Every time I come to the AMA, I learn more about the marketing world, about audiences, and approaches to storytelling for marketing. It was interesting to vote and see which one was more impactful and why. And you get to hear the differences of opinion, not everyone agrees. It’s a highly creative field.

-Kevin Hackenberg, Film and Video Producer, GK.Video

“Sales and advertising can educate and help people.”

I found it interesting to hear the diverse perspectives of the panelists, the moderator, and  the audience members. People say that sales convince people to buy things they do not need. When done right, sales and advertising can educate and help people.

I learned that It has become typical to use celebrity representatives for Super Bowl ads. These ads are more effective when they catch one’s attention and give actual useful information about the product.

Sometimes ads can just be humorous and fun to forward brand awareness.

-Marie Scarpulla, AMA MarCom Team & Real Estate and Travel Blogger

“I appreciated what the different generations in the room had to offer”

I learned when spending millions on the biggest advertising spot of the year, you want brand recognition to come first. You need to catch them within the first few seconds and make it memorable. Focus on what your product does and how it benefits the consumer. Simplify that message to make it easy to consume. 

The panelists had well-founded opinions and perspectives on the commercials. They spoke from experience. “If this idea did come across my desk,” one of them said, “it would have fallen flat.” It was fantastic to hear the perspective of the people in the room who are helping bring these commercials to life.

I appreciated what different generations in the room had to offer with different ads and how they perceived them. Within the room, multiple perspectives from gen-Z to baby boomers were presented, and countered, balancing each other out. 

-Calvin O’Neal, Integrated Marketing Expert

Looking for more marketing insights for the coming year? 

Join us for Bridging the Multigenerational Gap, facilitated by Jenna Armato, certified leadership coach and trainer, and AMA Philadelphia Executive Director. She explores the distinctive perspectives and drivers of each generation.

Discover how embracing these differences can drive positive impacts on communication, collaboration, productivity, and results.


Did you go to the Superbowl Smackdown? Please fill out this short survey to help AMA Philadelphia create even more great events!


Lynda Dell is the AMA Philadelphia Marcom blog editor and content strategist who is a web copywriter for B2B, health brands, ed publishing, and learning markets to become a sought-after online resource driving sales and growth. When not writing and developing content, you can find her exploring Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, NJ, going on nature hikes, and bingeing on personal development podcasts.