Television advertisements are an indelible part of our collective memory. Who doesn’t remember that jingle that always sparks your hunger for a particular food? How about that revolutionary advert for Apple that geeks still talk about? Or – wassuuup – that funny one that people can’t stop quoting at parties everywhere?
While everyone has a favorite, there are definitely significant commercials that changed the nature of advertising – for better or worse. The following new and old ads are ones that created copycats, inspired people, touched our hearts and simply freaked us out.
Japan – Gin no Sara Sushi (2010)
This is one of the newest and most original commercials we’ve seen in a while – and it is so ‘out there’ that is does this country, known for many bizarre traditions and fetishes, proud. Two seemingly random people meet on a bridge and find themselves attracted to one another, just like sushi to rice – and then take this attraction to a literal extreme. What is most impressive is that this is entirely safe for prime time consumption.
USA – FedEx (1981)
This ad from the early 1980’s features John Moschitta, who at one time held the world record as the fastest speaker ever. This advert captured the spirit of FedEx, which was still a relatively new business, and still needed to cement its identity as a fast and reliable worldwide courier. In an age when digital manipulation runs rampant, it is almost novel and innovative to watch this again and see a natural talent in action.
UK – Hamlet Cigars (1986)
Sometimes an ad doesn’t have anything to do with what it’s selling. This is one of the best examples of this strategy, which simply shows a man who is unsuccessfully trying to get his picture taken at a photo booth. Satisfaction only comes when he starts to puff on his Hamlet Cigar, which is always reliable. This is a singular, simple and straightforward message that you will clearly remember when walking through the aisles of a tobacco shop.
France – McDonalds (2010)
The French have always spearheaded cultural change and acceptance, but a McDonald’s commercial was probably one of the last places we expected to see this. Here, a father and son are eating at McDonalds, the father clearly ignorant of his son’s life as he talks about being a ‘ladies man’. But what this ad also tells us is that McDonalds is a safe place for people of all generations to connect. Much like the living room in your own home. While the sexuality aspect is on the forefront, there is an undercurrent that connects with people of all ages and lifestyles.
USA – Wendy’s (1984)
Ask anyone in the advertising business about which ads they may remember the most, and Wendy’s ‘Where’s the Beef’ campaign will certainly be on their short list. One of the first ads to actually comment on the quality of products by their competitors, this one stuck it to Mickey D’s and Burger King for what this old lady thought came up short on the meat department. In fact, this ad became so famous that this catchphrase is still used for a variety of situations.
What commercials from around the world do you remember? We’ll keep posting more, but feel free to direct your fellow readers to your favorite ads in the comments!View Comments