- The Worst Commercial

January 30, 2000 | :30

The self-confessed "worst ad on the Super Bowl" wasn't.

Typewriter script against eye-catching yellow background -- with "Chopsticks" plinking away -- pulls viewers’ attention and builds a little suspense even in a crowded viewing party, all without a “Cat Herders”-sized budget.

The spot, created internally, echoed the intentional-amateur approach seen in the same year's spot “Nephew,” not to mention the pseudo-anti-advertising DNA of E-Trade's "Wasting $2 Million." But it was hardly the only Super Bowl ad to use an all-text visual, even if the circumstances varied: See also Shearson Lehman Hutton's "Program Trading" in 1988, Diet Coke's "Crack the Code" in 1991, Sprint's "Why Go Back" in 1992 and T-Mobile's "Kill Your Contract" from 2014.

The product offered by remained a little vague -- “highly personalized emails on topics you ask for” -- but the company said 700,000 people signed up to check it out in the week following its appearance in the Super Bowl.

Despite ad support for those newsletters from marketers including Home Depot and Kimberly-Clark, the business didn’t meet expectations in 2000, leading to a new CEO in January 2001 and a sale to Cross Media Marketing that July. The URL advertised in 2000 eventually went dark.

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