February 13, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Super Bowl

While the Patriots and the Panthers were evenly matched at the Super Bowl, the ads…not so much. Now for some Monday-morning quarterbacking about the best and worst spots.


FEDEX Two officemates are understandably suspicious of their coworker Jenkins, who’s clearly an alien with a white-collar-guy mask. This dryly comic gag makes you look forward to Sigourney Weaver in Alien 5: Shipping and Receiving.

H&R BLOCK Willie Nelson uses a talking-doll replica of himself to make light of his tax-dodging antics, while Don Zimmer pokes fun at his rhino charge at Pedro Martinez. (”Willie, should I give this kid a shellackin’?”)

CHEVROLET Seeing kids sucking on soap after witnessing the profanity-inducing power of the new SSR was a retro kick. It also foreshadowed America’s reaction to Janet Jackson’s half-time flash: Holy s — -, indeed.

MONSTER Even in the middle of a Super Bowl party, the artful montage of people happily prepping for work (scored to Blue Man Group’s version of ”I Feel Love”) got us excited for Monday.

TRUTH In a mock ad for ”Shards o’ Glass Freeze Pops,” Truth provides yet another pointed, incisive jab at the tobacco industry…though we’re still confused: What makes an ”issue” ad? MoveOn.org’s anti-Bush spot was deemed unairable by CBS, but the cigarettes-are-bad spot is okay. Get Truth on that one!


PEPSI What’s less rock & roll than the soda giant’s jokey assertion that Pepsi swayed a young Jimi Hendrix from accordion to guitar? If Hendrix’s estate continues to sell his music to foolish ads like this, it should at least make sure it scores a spot for something the guitarist would actually use…like a spin-proof grave.

PIZZA HUT Who doesn’t love the Muppets? Well, in this case — when our favorite characters are relegated to playing shrill sidekicks to Jessica Simpson — we don’t.

GILLETTE In a comically overstated pastiche of Muhammad Ali footage, black-and-white glamour shots of freshly shaved models, and a breathless voice-over saying ”It’s like having an angel by your side,” the razor company shows us what would happen if a cologne ad mated with a PSA for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

EXPEDIA.COM Here, a travel shopper has a bizarre, upsetting fantasy about being body-painted by clowns; this spot may do for Cirque du Soleil what Bad Santa did for department-store St. Nicks. Unfortunately, it may also do the same for Expedia.

CHARMIN ULTRA A quarterback lovingly strokes the toilet paper hanging out of his center’s pants, and then a coach chases a guy in a bear suit. This commercial is what you’d get if you let Mr. Whipple direct fetish videos.

You May Like