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Some of the Most Memorable Ad Campaigns of All Time

Some of the Most Memorable Ad Campaigns of All Time

Once upon a time, the whole world was once glued to a device called the boob tube. We were all at that moment when dinner time has ended and everyone is seated in the living room and waiting for their favorite television show to begin.


But before the show would begin, we are first treated to a variety of small video clips of actors, live or animated, promoting various items that were being sold either in that nearby convenience store near you or that huge supermarket a couple of blocks away from your home.


Yes, this was a wonderful time when television commercials were very popular and downright controversial at the same time.


Okay, ads and commercials still exist and while the television is no longer the lovable boob tube as we remembered back when we were kids, those flat-screen LCD television sets still continue to showcase popular commercial ads. Even on the Internet, popular video streaming websites such as Youtube and Vimeo are also putting up advertisements for their paid users. However, while everyone nowadays has the power to create an ad, there are only a few who can create a notoriously good ad.


Yes, we are talking about the most sensational, the most popular, and the most controversial ad campaigns to ever run on television or even on the Internet. So if you’re feeling nostalgic and you want to reminisce with us on the good old days or you just want to have some fun and remember how everyone went crazy because of these ads, then feel free to tag along and enjoy these notoriously good ad campaigns of all time!


Wendy’s Where’s the Beef? Campaign


If you were already a kid in 1984, then you’d probably come across Wendy’s Where’s the Beef? Ad campaign. Practically hailed as one of the best ads of its time, this ad campaign changed the pop culture, but most importantly, an election.

Nike’s Just Do It Ad Campaign


Some call it an advertisement, some call it a slogan, but Nike’s Just Do It campaign literally touched the lives of millions of people. The impression came upon athletes the strongest, with Michael Jordan leading the fray. It became the battle phrase of every person who wanted to challenge the impossible. JDI. Just Do It.

Dos Equis The Most Interesting Man in the World Campaign


Yes, there is such an ad campaign. And yes, we are talking about the meme.


For those who are well-versed in the arts of the Internet and memes, Dos Equis’ The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign was borne out of the alcoholic drink’s need to create a catchy character that could market their products. Who would’ve known that this elderly gentleman whose “blood smells like cologne, his hands feel like rich, brown suede” would be the subject of one of the most immortal Internet memes of all time?


And for those who are interested in who this gentleman is, his name is Jonathan Goldsmith. And yes, he doesn’t always appear in ad campaigns, but when he does, it’s a big one!


Budweiser’s Whassup? Campaign


Of course, who couldn’t forget about Budweiser’s Whassup ad campaign? What started out as a small video of friends talking and relaxing while drinking their favorite beer and calling out to their buddies through slurred speech is now the official callsign for people who are too drunk to recognize who the other person is! It also became a catchphrase for so many television shows and films.


Kay Jeweler’s Every Kiss Begins With a Kay campaign


So what’s the successful recipe for a popular ad campaign? First, the slogan needs to be catchy. Second, the slogan must be something where it is easy to put the product in between. That is the case with Kay Jewelers. They playfully added the right letters to make the slogan more catchy and more memorable.


Always Like a Girl Ad Campaign


For a guy, there is probably nothing worse than to be called “like a woman” by his peers. Of course, the notion is deeply ingrained because our mostly patriarchal society, which is Always, a brand that is known to cater to and empower women, decided that the best thing to create an ad campaign is to make it controversial enough for everyone to notice it.


Dolce & Gabbana’s 2005 “Love is Love” Campaign


If shown today, Dolce & Gabbana’s “Love is Love” ad campaign wouldn’t bother everyone too much because right now, there is now a growing trend of acceptance towards the LGBTQ community.


But when this commercial came out in 2005, it sparked so much controversy that the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) was called out by dozens of complaints from people who believed that the campaign was far too much. Dolce & Gabbana, however, did not flinch as the company believed that this campaign was in support of the LGBTQ community who have been hiding in the shadows of society for years. This was truly a bold move of its time!

Gilette’s The Best A Man Can Be ad campaign


If Always’ campaign is about spreading awareness towards women’s rights, Gilette’s campaign, on the other hand, remains wanting up until this day. Its ad campaign was struck hard by blows coming from personalities convinced that Gilette’s The Best a Man Can Be is spreading toxic masculinity


John Lewis Christmas Ad campaign


A staple during the holiday season, everyone is always often excited to find out what the John Lewis Christmas ad campaign will be.


Got Milk? Campaign


Around 25 years ago, one of the most popular advertisement slogans was born. The phrase “Got Milk?” was so popular that every known personality associated with any milk brand has been seen either uttering these words on the television or just posing over some wall poster with the famous line in front or behind them.


The Butterfingers Commercials with the Simpsons


What are the two most popular brands during the 1980s? When it comes to snacks and chocolate, it’s Butterfingers. And when it comes to animated sitcoms, it’s The Simpsons. When you fuse those two together, you get a collection of some of the funniest, catchiest, and most memorable commercials ever made for the television screen.


The Michael Jackson Pepsi Commercial


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Ah yes, the Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial. The Choice of the New Generation. That slogan hit so hard that everyone who wanted to be as cool and hip as the King of Pop is lining up in soda shops for a bottle of Pepsi. The commercial was so good that it boosted Pepsi’s sales at the time.


Funny enough though, many years later after its success, one small breakfast cereal company was able to use the trademark slogan thanks to a very small trademark lapse.


Alkatseltzers Plop Plop Fizz Fizz Commercial of 1976


Let’s go back to an earlier time when the radio was one of the best places to advertise a product. The ultimate challenge when it comes to radio advertising is that you need to come up with a catchy jingle. Alkaseltzers obviously has an answer for that.


The jingle became so popular that Alka-Seltzer decided to continue using the same jingle when television commercials started becoming popular. Even until now, the product still recommends itself with the words “Plop Plop Fizz Fizz, oh what a release it is!”


Quaker Oats Life Cereal “Mikey Likes It” Commercial


Apart from a catchy slogan and a great jingle, another ingredient for creating an awesome commercial comes in the form of cute kids. This Life cereal commercial became very popular thanks to a cute 3-year old kid named John Gilchrist and his actual two older brothers.


Funny enough though, when asked about the shooting of that commercial after many years, John Gilchrist doesn’t remember much about it.


Taco Bell “Yo Quiero!” Chihuahua ad campaign


Finally, you have an ad campaign that sent a lot of Latin Americans angry over a poor Chihuahua. Taco Bell decided that the best way to win the “burger wars” that it was currently waging against the other top fast-food brands was to get a sombrero-wearing Hispanic chihuahua to advertise the brand. This did not go well with Latin Americans and animal rights activists though.




Some people say that the age of controversial ad campaigns is over. The truth is exactly the opposite. Because of free information, people are now able to create unique and viral advertising campaigns all on their own.


Forget the huge, multi-billion marketing companies that offer the expertise of a veteran advertising campaign. Nowadays, it’s possible for small-time businesses to catch up with the big boys because information now runs free on the Internet.


It’s all thanks to social media and video sharing platforms that there is now more creativity than ever compared to a decade ago. Of course, the old advertising campaigns will still be there, safely tucked away inside the confined spaces of the Internet superhighway, always and ready to be viewed by people who want to reminisce those wonderful and crazy times.

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