Cannes Lions ad festival may not roar so loudly this year

Not just any macaroni & cheese, mind you, but new Gourmet Mac 'n Five Cheese. The five cheeses: fontina, bleu, Gruyère, white cheddar and Parmesan. It's tossed with bacon and penne pasta and served with grilled chicken breast. The dish, which hits menus this month, came from a 58-year-old retired Los Angeles Police Department SWAT officer. It won a $25,000 prize from Friday's, via a Food Network competition. The real consumer hook: value. The new $5.99 mac meal replaces the chain's $7.99 Southwest Mac 'N Cheese.

Tell us about the Super Bowl ads

With the Super Bowl about three weeks away (Feb. 1), the Ad Team is wondering what tone those big-budget commercials will take as the nation wrangles with its worst economic crisis in decades. After the Sept. 11 attacks, many ads took on a somber tone. We're now wondering what folks will expect — and want to see — in the ads this year.

We'd like you to tell us what you think.

Should this year's commercials be subdued to fit the economy? Or should the ads give viewers a day off from the drumbeat of bad news with fun, glitz and humor? Comment below or e-mail Laura Petrecca at lpetrecca@usatoday.com.

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