Michelle Kung
April 23, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman bickering with American Express pitchman Jerry Seinfeld over tuna fish and Broadway musicals! The pair costar in two online shorts, or ”webisodes” (americanexpress.com/jerry), touting the credit card company. BMW pioneered the branded mini-movie with its 2001 ads directed by Ang Lee and Guy Ritchie (who cast his Material Girl missus as an obnoxious pop star). Now advertisers like DKNY and Visa are recruiting A-listers — Grammy winner Pharrell Williams makes his acting debut in Visa’s The Ecology of Love — for Web shorts.

”It’s the future of advertising,” says Film Movement’s Larry Meistrich, who will distribute the Visa minifilm.

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