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.