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45 Great TV Ads 1974 – 2018

Some of the best TV ads of the last 40 years from Bell’s Whisky “The Reader”,
 2018, to Smash Martians, 1974. 
Compiled by Will Brown of eyeconomy.co.uk 2018

eyeconomy.co.uk’s TOP 10:

Guinness – Surfer

1999. Surfers, tick-follow-tock, big wave, and wild-eyed horses. AMV BBDO, London 

Sony Bravia – Balls

2005. Thousands of balls bouncing along the streets of San Francisco to the music ‘Heartbeats’ by Jose Gonzalez. Fallon, London

Cadbury – Gorilla

2007. A gorilla on the drums suddenly blasts into Phil Collins’ ‘In the air tonight’. Fallon, London

Lego – Kipper

1981. Pieces of Lego turn into animals and objects that try to dominate each other. TBWA, London

Smash Martians

Martians laugh at human beings’ primitive skills in potato-cooking. BMP DDB ad agency

Unison Bear

2003. Single big bear is no match for an army of ants

Guinness – Dancing Man

1994. Man dances around a glass of Guinness as he waits for it to be poured. Arks ad agency

Kit Kat – Pandas

1989. Photographer takes a break from his camera and misses the perfect shot. JWT, London

Boddington’s – Melanie Sykes Icecream

1996. Runner in a desert served a pint of beer with a flake in it. BBH

Heineken “Majorca”

1985. Reverse of Eliza Doolittle (Pygmalion) as a Sloane Ranger tries to learn cockney. Lowe Howard-Spink


(click on the red text to view ad on Youtube)


Bell’s Whisky: The Reader
2018. Illiterate father learns to read in order to read his son’s book. King James (advertising agency), Cape Town

Smart Fortwo – Offroad
2017. Cheeky, little car, offroad. Comes into its own onroad / parking etc. BBDO, Berlin

Back to the Start: Chipotle
2012. Farmer returns to sustainable methods. Nexus Creative Artists Agency, LosAngeles

Canal+ Bear
2012. A passionate bear directs a film after watching endless films as a bear rug. BETc Euro RSCG.

Old Spice: The man your man could smell like
2010. Old Spice guy – now a cultural phenomenon. Wieden + Kennedy, Portland

Compare the Meerkat – comparethemarket.com
2009. First appearance on television of Aleksandr Orlov, the anthropomorphic Russian meerkat. VCCP, London

Cadbury – Eyebrows
2009. Two children, moving eyebrows, and a balloon (with music ‘Don’t Stop the Rock’ by Freestyle). Fallon, London.

Audi Q5 ‘Unbox the Box’
2009. A two-dimensional character within a cardboard box turns the box into a car. BBH.

Anchor – Great Escape
2009. Based on the last scene in The Great Escape, this animation sees a cow playing the role of Steve McQueen. CHI & Partners

Drench – Brains
2008. Thunderbird character dances to Snap’s very unThunderbirdish ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’. CHI & Partners

Cadbury – Trucks
2008. Baggage-handling trucks racing on a runway. Fallon, London

Nike – Take it to the next level
2008. The ad follows the career of a footballer from obscure beginnings to success. Directed by Guy Rictchie. 72 and Sunny ad agency

Audi – Vorsprung durch technik
2008. Various cars driving in choreograph through tunnel. Lowe Roche Untitled Films

Sony Bravia – Bunnies (Play-doh)
2007. Hundreds of play-doh bunnies run along streets in New York. Fallon, London

Skoda Cake
2007. The ad follows the making of a cake (in the shape of a car) to music from The Sound of Music. Fallon, London

Audi Ryhtym of Lines
2007. Ribbons of lines form into the shape of a car. BBH

Sony Bravia – Paint
2006. High-rise housing blocks splashed from top to bottom in paint. Fallon, London

Citroen – Transformers
2006. A car turns into a robot and skates on ice. RSCG, London

Nike – Park Life
2006. Football in the park with Eric Cantona and others. TBWA Simons Palmer

Guinness – The Rhythm of Time Evolution
2005. Evolution of man shown in reverse order: three men drinking in pub to primitive life. AMV BBDO, London

iPod – Shuffle
2005. Black silhouettes of people dancing against a strong, green background

Honda Accord – Cog
2003. A chain of near-impossible mechanical-like events. Wieden + Kennedy

Carlsberg – Nightclub
2002. The perfect nightclub experience. Owens DDB Dublin

John West Salmon – Man Fighting Bear
2000. Man and bear fight over a salmon. Leo Burnett

Budget Rent a Car ‘Jet Propulsion’
2000. Man on jet propeller out of control. Cliff Freeman & Partners ad agency

Guinness – Swimmer
1998. A retired man has to swim across a harbour within the time it takes for a pint of Guinness to be poured. AMV BBDO

Reebok – Slow Rain
1997. Slow motion of rain and basketball in black-and-white

Tabasco ‘Mosquito’
1997. This tabasco is so hot it can fry a mosquito. DDB Needham ad agency

Budweiser – Frogs
1995. Group of frogs croak ‘Bud’, ‘Weis’, and ‘Er’. Goodby, Silverstein and Partners

Heat Electric – Creature Comforts.
1991. Plasticine animals share their everyday thoughts and concerns to mike and camera. Animated by Nick Park (of Wallace and Grommit)

Stella Artois Flower Seller.
1991. Going to cost the flower seller a lot of flowers for a pint of Stella. Based on the film Jean de Florette

‘Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet’ – Baldy Man
1989. The camera in the photobooth is intent on photographing the top of the man’s head. Collett Dickenson Pearce ad agency

British Airways – Face. 
1989. Choreographers come together to create a giant face. Saatchi and Saatchi.

Federal Express ‘Fast talker’
1982. Really fast talking boss. Ally & Gargano

Kio Ora
Cartoon crow characters with catchy music

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45 Great TV commercials / spots 1974 – 2018

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One Comment

  1. Brilliant list, some real classic ones there, the old ones bring back memories and the fact that TV ads can stay in the memory for years is a testiment to their genius. However I can’t believe you’ve missed off the Carling Black Label Mission Impossible squirrel ad from 1989… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY9GBl7UmVs – pure gold!


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