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March Madness 2024 - basketballs
Apr 16, 2024

Best ads of March Madness 2024

Dayna Lang
Author Dayna Lang

March Madness is back and bigger than ever and this year the ultimate college basketball showdown was just as big for advertisers as it was for the players. 

This year the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Connecticut Huskies took top prizes for women’s and men’s NCAA basketball respectively. Throughout the tournament’s two-week dribbling marathon we saw plenty of advertising winners too. With fun humor on board, advertisers went all out to get college basketball fans out of their seats and into their stores, restaurants, and dealerships. The best campaigns this year also understood the importance of context and created related content to target the sports fans in the audience. 

Sports streaming will boom in the next year too, so 2025 will likely be even bigger. After ESPN, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery launch their new streaming platform, college basketball will be able to reach its largest audience yet. Advertisers would be wise to take note and get their sneakers ready to race for next year’s ad slots. 

Four fan-favorite ads from March Madness 2024

Take a look at some of the best ads from March Madness this year.

Nissan – It’s Madness Season: Fitness

This fun, mascot-filled ad easily captures the attention of college basketball fans with catchy music and references to workout culture. Also, who doesn’t want to drive their car through a gym? Nissan’s ad works because it references its context and talks directly to its target customers, reaching them on their level, and their turf. 

Wendy’s – Get Hype

Wendy’s taps into the hype of March Madness with this ad. Not only are they showing full support for the mayhem of March Madness, but they encourage fans to extend their excitement to Dollar Dave’s Single Cheeseburgers. This ad is funny, vibrant, and just short enough, so it doesn’t lose its audience’s attention. 

Capital One – That’s What March Is For

The eighties music references make this ad a comedic experience audiences can’t help but watch all the way through. Not only is this ad full of sports icons, but it also features the one and only Samuel L. Jackson. Some might think combining sports figures, celebrities, and satirical lyrics in one ad is too much, but we think it’s the perfect combination. 

GEICO – Cavemanalyst 

While we can’t link the whole series here, we’ll settle for one of our favorites. This series of ads is hilariously clever and positions GEICO’s caveman character as a sports analyst, cleverly throwing in some of the insurance company’s best-selling points. These ads are funny, engaging, and reference their context to better target their audience. 

Something all of these ads do well is make clever references to sports and basketball. By embracing the spirit of sport, these ads effectively engage with their target audience. They also all make good use of humor, making them enjoyable to watch and the audience less likely to change the channel. 

Looking for more basketball content? Be sure to check out the Most Viewed Video Ads: March Madness 2022 and The best ads of the NBA Finals 2023.


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