"Pantyhose Work For That"

Last season, it was "Red Means Go" as the basis of the Philles ad campaign and it was one of the worst around. This season, the ads are slightly better, but still don't inspire the desired "Goosebumps".

There are the obligatory fan shots and comments, the Harry Kalas audio clips and of course, lots of Ryan Howard. It's all there in the Phillies latest ad campaign built around their "Goosebumps" theme for the 2007 season.

The fact that it's time for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training is reason for some goosebumps on fans bodies, so no matter what the Phillies were to run out there, it's great just to see that tickets are going on sale and baseball is indeed just around the corner.

The Phillies are showing off all six of their commercials on their web site and allowing fans to vote for their favorite. While most are the usual sort of stuff, there is one - entitled "Locker Room" - that stands out. The spot features Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Aaron Rowand and Ryan Howard sitting by their lockers. Rowand looks to borrow some foot powder from Hamels and finds a mysterious and feminine looking cream in the young pitcher's locker. Hamels tries to explain that it helps these bumps that he's got all over his body, which Howard explains are goosebumps and Rollins explains what they are and suggests wearing an extra shirt. Rowand suggests long underwear. Suddenly, the camera pans to manager Charlie Manuel sitting across the room and he says "Pantyhose works for that." With the players in shock, Manuel suggests "That's what I've heard."

While it's not a classic, it's good. It also lends itself to some deep analysis for the conspiracy theorists and amateur psychologists among us.

Is the spot trying to show the division between the young players and their manager? Is it a microcosm for how Maneul's old-school, down-home approach doesn't work with a new breed of young players that are assembled in the Phillies clubhouse?

Are the Phillies trying to make Manuel seem even more likeable than he generally is to get fans on his side? Or, are they throwing him under the advertising bus by exposing him as out of touch? Yes, there's plenty there for deep analysis.

Whatever the analysis, here's hoping that you find something to like in the commercials since we'll be seeing them over and over and yes, over again throughout the season until they make you sick. I hear muting the television and going to the fridge for another beer helps that.

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