XR Extreme Reach Launches Diversity Analysis Report On Super Bowl XVIII Ads

The word FORWARD repeated hundreds of times to create a pattern forming a curve.

Research shows this year’s ads skew more male and more youthful –  but more inclusive for hearing impaired.

NEW YORK, NY FEBRUARY 12, 2024 — XR Extreme Reach, a global technology platform powering the creative economy, today announced its annual analysis of in-game advertising during the 2024 Super Bowl for trends in age and diversity compared to overall advertising benchmarks.

For more than a decade, XR continues to play a critical role during the biggest game of the year as it delivered more than 80% of ads on Super Bowl Sunday. Teams across the company responsible for Talent & Rights, Clearance, Quality Control, Traffic, and Delivery help bring a large majority of Super Bowl ads across television and digital screens to ensure the creative seen by millions, airs perfectly.

Through XR’s use of proprietary AI and machine learning, XR analyzed 47 in-game advertisements to share the latest trends in the biggest advertising platform of the year as it relates to gender expression, age, skin tone and accessibility. The data is benchmarked against the population and is derived through AI assisted technology the company uses to measure advertising globally.

Among the findings: 

Gender Expression: People with a masculine gender expression were featured more than feminine and non-conforming. In previous reports, XR found Super Bowl ads featured more female cast members than the industry as a whole. However, that number has never been close to reflecting the actual population of the United States and the same holds true this year:

  • 59% Masculine (2022 XR ad analysis: 64.1% // US male population: 49.5%)
  • 41% Feminine (2022 XR ad analysis: 35.9% // US female population: 50.5%)
  • 0.6% Non-conforming

Age: Despite content that caters to older generations, ad creative featured more young adults with over 86% under the age of 40. Advertisers continue to feature more youthful people in their ads, with the majority of talent falling into the 20-39 age range, doubling the percent of the actual US population. However in-game ads do a much better job representing adults 40+ with over 33%, compared to less than 14% depicted in TV and video ads across the industry. 

  • 59% Masculine (2022 XR ad analysis: 64.1% // US male population: 49.5%)
  • Age 0-19: 35 ppl (10.5%)
  • Age 20-39: 186 ppl (55.9%)
  • Age 40-59: 77 ppl (23.1%)
  • Age 60+: 35 ppl (10.5%) 

Skin Tone: In recent years Super Bowl ads featured more people of color compared to the industry average. This year XR used the Monk Skin Tone Scale as it is a more inclusive 10-tone scale explicitly designed to represent a broader range of communities. People with lighter skin tones represented nearly 60% of all featured talent, double those that fell into the Medium skin tone scale. 

  • Light Skin: 189 (57.7%)
  • Medium Skin: 92 (28.0%)
  • Dark Skin: 47 (14.3%)

Accessibility: All but one in-game ad included Closed Captioning (99.9%), which is promising since only 33% of TV and video ads typically include captions. This presents an opportunity for Marketers to better reach and engage with a valuable group of consumers, as 11 million people in the U.S. alone are hard of hearing or functionally deaf. 

“Our annual analysis of in-game advertising during this year’s Super Bowl unlocks important insights that shape the creative landscape,” says Jo Kinsella, Global President of SourceXR. “XR believes in the power of these data-driven insights to better guide advertisers along their journey towards more inclusive and impactful advertising. The benchmarks and analysis we provide empower marketers to make well-informed decisions and better align with their DE&I goals in addition to a whole goldmine of creative driven metrics,” added Kinsella. 

“This type of data is important for the industry as it provides a clear picture on where the gaps are in representation of racial and gender diversity as well as differences in abilities as compared to the US population and helps marketers widen their aperture through the use of data to create more inclusive content,” says Sheryl Daija, founder and CEO of BRIDGE, a non-profit trade group that helps companies operationalize inclusion as a business practice for growth.  

XR’s analysis of in-game Super Bowl ads is just one example of the creative intelligence made possible by its end-to-end technology platform. XR enables clients to gain rich insights across all aspects of omnichannel campaigns so teams can make smarter decisions and deliver increased creative ROI. 

To access this year’s Super Bowl Diversity Analysis Report, please visit www.xr.global.


About XR Extreme Reach

XR Extreme Reach (XR) is a global technology platform powering the creative economy. Its unified platform moves creative and productions forward, simplifying fragmentation and delivering global insights that drive increased business value. XR operates in 130 countries and 45 languages, serving the top global advertisers and enabling over $100 billion in video ad spend around the world. More than half a billion creative brand assets are managed in XR’s enterprise platform.