Pepsi's Pre-Freak Sneview (1/30/04)

Super Bowl Sunday is just a couple of days away, and you know what that means: Sunday is Mall-To-Yourself Day! That is, unless you happen to be one of the 100 million people who wants to watch the game and/or the commercials. Personally, we're going to pass, because we just can't split our loyalties between geography and operating system preference, and it's really the one day a year the mall is so empty that you can get away with setting up a Slip 'N' Slide on the down escalators. Sure, we might miss the commercials, but the only one we were really looking forward to seeing is the Pepsi-iTunes one-- and now we've seen it.

Yup, faithful viewer Scott Pennington pointed out that a link to a QuickTime version of the entire commercial appeared in the Your Mac Life Forums, so we scoped it out. Our review? Meh. The concept was funnier than the execution. After hearing the Green Day cover of "I Fought the Law," we think we were probably right when we predicted that it'd try really hard to be the Clash's version. We were also a little surprised at how much the ad relies on written text to convey any and all information about the actual song giveaway. Like Butt-head said, if we wanted to read, we'd go to school.

Oh, and Ellen Feiss, if you're out there: no worries about Annie Leith usurping your throne as the reigning queen of the Creepy Cult Following. If that was the best take they could get, we'd love to see the ones they didn't use, because in the final cut she spends half the time with her face practically glued to the teleprompter, and her delivery is wooden, at best. (Then again, maybe that's what they were going for, since there'll be no doubt in anyone's mind that she really is one of the actual kids sued by the RIAA and not an actress.) What's more, her chances for Internet superstardom are practically nil because she didn't even seem to be the least bit doped up. Sheesh, kids these days... no respect for history.

Still, we suppose the ad will reach the audience it's trying to reach (whatever that is). Our lukewarm response was no doubt colored by our foreknowledge of the ad's content and our unshakable allegiance to Ms. Feiss, so you really can't go by what we say. Ever. On any subject.

By the way, there's another reason we're going to skip watching the Super Bowl: if there's any chance whatsoever that Apple will air a surprise ad celebrating the 20th anniversary of the historic 1984 commercial and possibly introducing the company's Next Big Thing™, that chance at least triples if we skip the game. Consider this our good deed for the decade: taking one for the team. (You're welcome.) Slip 'N' Slide, here we come!

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The above scene was taken from the 1/30/04 episode:

January 30, 2004: A QuickTime version of Pepsi's iTunes Super Bowl ad hits the 'net, so start downloading. Meanwhile, Pixar splits from Disney, leaving Michael Eisner holding the bag, and the FBI acknowledges that criminals looking to frustrate the feds should use Macs for their crimes...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4479: Eisner: Running For Cover (1/30/04)   Excuse our lack of focus, but we're a little distracted right now, and for once, it's not by a shiny thing we spotted on the dresser. We were actually trying to move some funds around-- you know, pull together our liquid assets, make our money work for us, all that malarkey...

  • 4480: Selling To Feds And Felons (1/30/04)   Okay, now this is just a crying shame: remember how on the earlier seasons of "The X-Files" agents Mulder and Scully were often seen using Macs, such as the PowerBook that Scully used to compile her field reports about the ghosts of shapeshifting aliens with corrosive snot that haunt the colony of Bigfoot's clones deep beneath Area 51?...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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