The 5 Most Ridiculous March Madness Ads

The NCAA tournament is all about opportunity. For the players, it's one last chance to make a grab for glory before fading into post collegiate obscurity. For the office chatch, it's an excuse to recite meaningless statistics he overheard at Bennigan's the night before. And for the advertising world, it's a weeks-long excuse to bombard basketball fans with insanely out-of-touch commercials that, judging from last weekend's offerings, are produced by 95-year-old schizophrenics. Behold: the five strangest commercials that you are likely to see when you tune into the NCAA Tournament tonight.


1. Michael Jordan and Kevin Bacon Play a Flirtatious Game of One-on-One in Heaven


For some reason Michael Jordan and Kevin Bacon are in heaven together.

In heaven people communicate by making funny, sexually playful faces at each other.

The sexual tension is so thick, you can cut it with a knife.

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What Hanes Was Thinking:

"The two best spokesmodels for our latest campaign are probably a poorly aging, vaguely tranny-ish Kevin Bacon, and a poorly aging, slightly bloated Michael Jordan. Getting Jordan makes sense because spectators like to be reminded that the athletes they're watching will one day be unattractive shadows of their former selves, willing to do anything to turn a quick buck. And, of course, getting Kevin Bacon makes sense because"¦ um, we're involved in a high stakes game of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" and need to connect the chick from Footloose to somebody in Space Jam."

2. Agent Erin E-Surance Plays Basketball Against Giant Robots in Space

For some reason, E-Surance's creatively named mascot, Erin E-Surance, is playing a game of basketball in space against a bunch of giant robots.

The robots are totally fucking her up.

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Erin talks to her coach, who has just arrived from the year 1973.

He reminds her that robots are susceptible to sick crossovers

"¦and getting farted on.

The robot is so ashamed that his head falls off. Erin takes her coach from behind.


What E-Surance Was Thinking:

"Let's take our consistently unintelligible E-Surance ad campaign to the hardwood in order to slake March Madness fans' insatiable thirst for Japanese-style anime. Despite the fact that she's a cartoon, fans will find Erin and her pink hair sexually attractive in a Gwen Stefani kind of way. Because if there's one thing that gets fans of the Men's NCAA tournament fired up to buy some auto insurance, it's striped retro bell-bottoms, pink hair and women's basketball."

3. Hip, Youthful CBS Nightly News Promos Use Basketball Lingo to Reach the Kids

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"Katie Couric scores a slam dunk shot!!!!!"

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What CBS Was Thinking:

"Most of the people who watch our channel are old enough to maintain a healthy fear of the Inernet, and those Flomax ads aren't paying the bills like they used to. How do we ingratiate ourselves to the audience of young males who are temporarily watching the NCAA tournament on our channel? How about by infusing CBS Evening News promos with forced attempts at sports lingo? The kids won't think it's condescending. Kids nowadays don't know what big words like 'condescending' mean. They only understand terms like 'slam dunk!' Maybe we can get Katie to dangle something shiny in front of the camera at the beginning of the broadcast."

4. Lowe's Thinks Basketball Fans Are Crazy, Gene Hackman Wishes His Career Was in a Better Place


Hey, look! It's a college basketball fan. Just like you!

Man, you guys are fucking crazy.

Look at this lady. She's off her rocker. Remind you of anyone? (Hint: It's you!)

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So come to Lowe's. We've got the supplies you need to paint all of the dogs in your neighborhood the color of your favorite team, you crazy bastard!


What Lowe's Was Thinking:

College basketball fans like to think of themselves as vaguely pathetic lunatics. As an added bonus, let's get Gene Hackman to narrate. He'll read his lines with the lack of enthusiasm you would expect from a guy who is basically delivering his career's eulogy. It'll be great! While he's droning on about paint, the subtext will very clearly be: "Jesus, Gene, paint commercials? Has it really come to this? You were in French Connection for Chrissake."

5. Dick Vitale Eats DiGiorno Pizza, Has a Terrifying Psychotic Episode


Dick Vitale eats some DiGiorno pizza, which is laced with a psychotropic. Everything around him goes hazy.

When he wakes up he is dressed up as an offensive caricature of a black guy.

A bunch of real black guys are rightly offended and come after him.

Fortunately, because he has an afro wig on, he's able to jump really high. How high, you ask? Into outer space!


What Digiorno Was Thinking:

College basketball fans will tolerate two hours of Vitale rambling about how Coach K's ejaculate cures cancer, so it stands to reason that they won't mind 30 seconds of him spewing incoherent bullshit about pizza. Actually, let's take this baby high concept. Here's what I'm envisioning: a bite of DiGiorno pizza sends Dick on a terrifying hallucinogenic odyssey. His psychotic episode consists of him flying through the air and dunking the ball while wearing a light-brown Afro. You know, because black guys all have Afros, and they're also good at basketball. Note: remember to ask Dick if he's opposed to blackface.

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