While making my way through the Great Random Comic Book Pile, I've been struck a number of times by the ads that fill these things. Often these inserts take the form of a comic book, and sometimes (like when reading Rob Liefeld) seeing good art can be a refreshing change of pace.
But it's always a bit strange to see characters you're used to knowing in a super-hero context suddenly step a bit out of their usual role to endorse a product and talk directly to you. I can just barely swallow Spider-Man using Hostess Twinkies to capture The Vulture (which is more than I can say for the Twinkies themselves), but sometimes it goes a bit too far, like in this Silver Surfer-themed ad:
See, he's a surfer, so they have him endorsing a jet ski because both usually are found on water, see, only in this case he's taking it into space just like when he's Heralding for Galactus! Which makes you wonder why the kid on the back is wearing a life jacket, of course, and oooh look something shiny! Ads like these are like staring into the sun, you have to look quick and then look away before they blind you.
My biggest question, though, isn't what good a foam-filled nylon vest is going to do to Little Bobby when Galactus comes looking for his errant herald, it's what in the hell the winner of the contest is going to do with 1,000 Silver Surfer watches. Is the assumption here that once you win a jet ski, you'll have thousands of people wanting to be your friend, and by giving each of them a watch you can tell who's loyal and who's to be eliminated before the planet gets eaten? Or do they honestly think that your average comic-book-reading kid has a thousand friends to his name? If so, they've clearly misunderstood their target audience.
I also can't wait to see the scene at the local beach/water park/lake resort when Happy Harvey the Jet Ski Winner shows up on his personal water craft emblazoned with a giant Silver Surfer logo. I'd estimate the TTCWI (Time To Complete Watery Immersion) at under 3.5 seconds as the local aqua-bullies pummel him mercilessly before taking his Crocs and throwing him in the drink.