More Than Just Steak ‘Em Up: Best and Worst Phillies Commercials of 2013

From Erik Kratz's turkey bacon to creepy paper salesmen, this is what we'll be seeing in between pitches.

Phillies fans have a lot of options when following the team. The media sources come in flavors ranging from official to broadsheet to tabloid to TV station to various blogs to whimsical. But, thanks to an exclusive TV contract, when we watch the Phillies, we all watch the same channel.

This means we all see the same commercials.

As the Phillies rumbled into relevance in the last decade plus, several local ads have become beloved parts of the Phillies fan experience. Sure, the Not Just Pizza rap and Steak ‘Em Up Wassup parody don’t have the same place in a Phillies fan’s heart as Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, but surely they are there somewhere. What’s more beloved: Hunter Pence’s 94 runs batted in as a Phillie or his using Liscio’s rolls to paddle down the Schuylkill?

The Phillies opened their season Monday night with a 7-5 loss to the Braves, giving fans an adequate preview of this season, perhaps. But it also showcased this season’s commercials for the first time. Here are some of the best and worst.

Erik Kratz for Godshall’s Quality Meats

This is instantly one of the greatest Phillies athlete commercials in some time, and perhaps ever. Kratz, who went to Christopher Dock High School in Lansdale, has played just 53 games for the Phillies as a fill-in for Carlos Ruiz. He’s played well, but this has to be the lowest games-to-endorsements ratio ever, or at least since the Juan “Pepe” Sanchez did a car commercial during the 2001 Sixers’ run.

Furthermore, this commercial is awesome. It’s no Cool World, but it’s a pretty great for an ad that appears to be filmed in someone’s nice suburban kitchen. And Kratz is great in it! The Floyd Kratz working as senior VP of Godshall’s Quality Meats has to be a just a happy coincidence. This commercial is too good to have chosen Erik Kratz as its star for any reason but his perfect fit for the role. As Phillies scribe Dennis Deitch put on Twitter: “The man had to sell his line to an animated character! He’s the Bob Hoskins of the Phillies!” That animated character is, of course, a turkey dressed as a pig in a vain attempt to not get eaten. Upbeat!

But wait, there’s more! If you spot the Godshall’s Quality Meats ad during the game, take a photo with your camera phone and post it to Facebook or Twitter, you can win free turkey bacon! This is not just a great ad, it’s a great promotion, and… wait, there are more?

Do umpires govern the everyday lives of professional baseball players, too, like when they’re eating breakfast? Honestly, I see how that works. If an umpire yelled at me every time I was about to eat something unhealthful, I’d give up eventually.

There is actually one more.

This is just a general “Philadelphia fans are awesome” ad, but it also has to be the first commercial where a pro athlete has ever saved a vase from falling onto the floor. (Correction: I was wrong! Union goalie Zack MacMath did it, too.) A+ to all of these ads. I hope they air all season.

Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud PSAs

These are not new ads—this one was uploaded to YouTube a year ago and the campaign is a couple years old—but if they’re going go be airing all season we should get ready for them. This isn’t my favorite in the series—that’d be the one where the cops bust up a dude’s insurance fraud scam instantaneously—but I do enjoy this one a lot. This woman shouldn’t have committed insurance fraud. But maybe she should be a little more tactful when revealing it to her potential employer?

And maybe this company could be a little more understandable about an ex-con returning to the workforce. If she can’t get employed here, you just know she’s going to turn back to a life of crime. Help stop the endless cycle, fictional company in this PSA!

Ryan Howard Subway Spot

Nothing really of note in this one, so here’s just a GIF of Howard saying “This is big” in that ad.

W.B. Mason and the Buyright kids

W.B. Mason is a weird company in its advertising. It pretty much exclusively advertises on baseball games in Boston, New York and Philadelphia, and since it doesn’t have retail stores—it’s a real-life Dunder Mifflin, a mid-size Northeast paper company—the ads are aimed at … office managers and such?

Anyway, I want to know more about Masonville. There, apparently, children set up coffee stands instead of lemonade stands, and they also sell prepackaged drinks instead of making it themselves. The two doofuses from Bean Brain Coffee (W.B. Mason commercial veterans!) appear again and fail to sell their coffee to children. Looks like we’ll never see them again!

Herr’s Chips

I want to work at Herr’s and get to grill in my cubicle. I like how this ad just ends with soothing nature sounds instead of a last-minute quip or something. It’s a nice break from usual, faster-paced commercials.

Car Commercials

There were about 500. None were any good.