I’m not sure why this didn’t come to my brain during the Super Bowl ad crush, but recently I’ve been thinking of my favorite TV advertisements or ad campaigns.
Originally, I wasn’t about to rank these…but after careful consideration, these are my favorites. Some of these are well-known across the country. Others may be of regional interest.
And my apologies. The YouTube embed feature simply isn’t working for some strange reason.
10. Keystone and Keystone Light: Bitter Beer Face (late 1980s)
In many cases, beer ads are silly or sexy. If you don’t remember the Keystone ads (or are too young to remember them), they exuded silliness.
They also exuded effectiveness in my case. If I remember correctly, and that’s a bit debatable partially because of Keystone, the ad campaign came out my (first) freshman year of college. I don’t remember whether I suffered from Bitter Beer Face as a result of the cheap concoction.
9. Budweiser: The Lizards (1990s)
This started with frogs going “Bud…wise…errrrrr” and developed into the jealous lizards — and one well-placed, if totally unintelligible, ferret.
8. Budweiser: Spuds Mackenzie (mid-1980s)
For a couple years, Spuds Mackenzie was the face of Bud. I still have no idea how the dog got so much run, but I’m sure profits spiked as a result.
7. Dodge Ram: God Created A Farmer (2013 Super Bowl)
To me, this is one of the most powerful uses of still photos and voice I have ever seen. The use of Paul Harvey’s voice lent an eerie yet apropros gravity to the 2-minute ad.
6. Wendy’s: Fashion Show (mid-1980s)
Wendy’s was struggling at the time, well behind McDonald’s and Burger King, but it came up with some good ads. This was one of them. Is next…
5. Godfather’s Pizza: The Studney Twins (late 1980s)
Somebody wrote this ad was mildly racist. I’m not sure if I see this. What I do remember is Godfather’s came up with some weird, funny stuff in the ’80s. I loved the Studney Twins (and the Charles on Economics ads featuring Ben Stein, which I’ve had trouble finding). My parents did not.
4. E-Trade Baby (2009-2013)
One good reason to watch the Super Bowl the last few years was, well, the Super Bowl itself. Another was the E-Trade commercials featuring the talking baby. Best of the best, though, was the one talking about the “milkaholic Lindsay.”
3. AT&T: It’s Not Complicated (2012-current)
Pick any one of these ads and they are super funny. On one side, you have the kids being kids….but they are juxtaposed against this super-serious guy who apparently has lost all his childhood joy. The one issue I had is I was so engrossed with that interplay that I didn’t pay attention to who the ad was for.
2. Nike: Gotta Be The Shoes (late 1980s, 1990s)
Nike has been responsible for awesome commercial campaign after awesome commercial campaign. The pairing of Michael Jordan and Spike Lee was a total classic.
1. Nike: Bo Knows (1990s)
Bo knew football and baseball. He may not have been all that comfortable dealing with the media or ad reps behind the scenes, but he definitely knew how to pitch products. Between this and the Bo Diddley ads…absolutely priceless. And my favorite.
List off your favorites.