Super Bowl fans (of commercials) speak out

Budweiser’s “What ARE you doing?” commercial ranks first with Times online readers.

BY JERRY DAVICH Times Features Writer

Budweiser’s “What are YOU doing?” spot was the favorite Super Bowl ad in a poll of Times readers. (

The Budweiser “creatives” should be so proud.

Budweiser’s blitz of Super Bowl commercials scored big with local fans captivated more by the game’s ultra-hyped 30-second ad spots than its anti-climatic 34-7 outcome.

More than 30 percent of the online readers responding to The Times’ Super Bowl XXXV commercial poll voted Budweiser’s “What ARE you doing?” commercial as their favorite. And nearly 20 percent voted for Bud’s “alien undercover as a dog” spot as their second favorite commercial of the 57 that ran during the game.

Both spots poked fun at Budweiser’s own hugely popular “Whassup?!” ads that debuted during last year’s game.

In The Times readers’ most popular ad, a trio of yuppie high-brows scream “What ARE you doing?” to each other over the phone, obviously imitating Budweiser’s “Whassup?!” guys (now national celebrities), as they watch in disbelief.

The three Wall Street dweebs all seem to be holding imported bottles of Heinekens.

See the results of the Times reader poll for favorite ad, or watch some of the best ads of the Super Bowl at

The readers’ second-favorite spot is another Bud commercial that continues the “Whassup?!” craze by beaming a dog aboard an alien spaceship. Once aboard, the dog unzips his skin to reveal that he’s an alien also.

When asked what he learned about Earth, the dog-slash-alien replies “Whassuuuppp?!”

A scientist back on Earth overhears the wayward transmission and says: “We are not alone.”

Oddly, Budweiser’s most heavily-touted commercial featuring Cedric, a smooth-talking bachelor who sprays Bud Light all over his hot date, didn’t rank in Times readers’ top 10 favorite commercials, though a few noted its humor.

A total of 364 votes were gathered after the Super Bowl ended, with about a fourth of them voting for the handful of dot-com ads that played during the game. The readers’ most popular dot-com commercial, from E-Trade, showed a tearful monkey riding horseback through a ghost town of defunct (albeit fictional) dot-com companies.

A ragged and worn sock puppet, the dot-com darling from last year’s game, lands at the monkey’s feet, prompting a tear to roll down the monkey’s face. Tag line: “Invest wisely.”

Last year’s Super Bowl of commercials was dot-com heavy, though quite a few hit the dirt in 2000.

The third-highest rated spot was Pepsi’s tongue-in-cheek nod to Bob Dole’s infamous Viagra commercials. In the spot, Dole, while walking along the beach, notes how his “little blue friend” helps him feel young and virile again.

Like most online readers, Juanita Jarecki gathered around her TV set with friends, printed out The Times’ voting score sheets and handed pencils out to everyone to rank their favorite ads.

“It’s a tradition every year to watch the game together,”

the Dyer woman said. “Overall, most of the commercials were disappointing. Some were rather abstract. The one with the dog was the favorite for the group.”

Jarecki was referring to yet another Budweiser commercial featuring “Otto the dog,” a once-thin mutt who ate everything in sight from his owner’s refrigerator after the man emptied it to stock Bud Light.

“It was fun for all, even the kids,” Jarecki said.

Jerry Davich can be reached at or at (219)762-4334.

How readers voted


# of votes

Vote %

Budweiser: What are YOU doing?



Budweiser: Alien undercover



Pepsi: Bob Dole on the beach



E-Trade: Crying monkey


9.3% Running of the squirrels



Schwab: Sarah Ferguson



E-Trade: Matrix bank robbery



Visa: Super vaccuum



Pepsi: Computer strikes back


3.3% Smiling corpse



Total votes: 364