To celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show, we’ve put together a blooming beautiful list of the best songs about flowers, featuring ‘Sunflower’ by Post Malone and Swae Lee and ‘All in the Golden Afternoo’ from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. Discover the entire list here at Audio Network.
THE BEST ADVERTISEMENTS OF ALL TIME
- 11 Aug 21
What’s the first advert you remember when you were a kid? Which ones have become catchphrases you use every day? We bet that ‘does what it says on the tin’ is in there, but maybe you didn’t even realise it came from an ad? The best ones not only effectively sell you something, but also cement a brand identity or personality into your mind – whether it’s through the script, the jingle, or iconic imagery.
We’ve picked some of the best adverts of all time, as well as looking at the best ads from the last thirty years.
- The Various Types of Media Advertising
- Print Advertising
- Internet Advertising
- Radio Advertising
- Television Advertising
- The Best Advertisements of all Time
- Read More about Advertising
The Various types of Media Advertising
- Print Advertising
- Internet Advertising
- Radio Advertising
- Television Advertising
Before modern technology revolutionised the advertising industry, print advertising was the prime way of getting the word out about a product, store or service.
Print advertising can be traced back as far as the 1600s – essentially, it’s been around ever since the birth of the newspaper. And although there are various ways that one can advertise their goods, print ads are still ubiquitous; walk down your local street, and you’ll spot print ads on billboards, on public transport, at bus shelters and in magazines and newspapers.
Internet advertising is now considered the future of the marketing industry, and the way advertisers choose to create hype is becoming more and more creative as technology continues to develop.
From social media influencer ads to pop-up ads, YouTube ads to email ads, there are so many ways a brand can promote its goods and services using the internet. And the best part is that you can easily access people in all four corners of the world.
Radio commercials are an effective form of advertising as they all but force you to listen. We mean, who has the energy to switch stations every time there's an ad break? Certainly not us. Naturally, they work best on auditory learners.
According to records accessed by The Drum, the first paid radio commercial was developed by New York radio station WEAF for AT&T. Since then, radio advertising has been a successful way of, quite literally, getting the word out about the brand you’re advertising.
Television advertising is our favourite kind of advertising as it requires a brand to make an effort. And if you think about it, there’s a good chance a television commercial will stick with you forever – we will be sure to remember Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ ad and the Cadbury ‘Gorilla’ ad all the way into our old age.
Below, we take a look at the best television advertisements to have graced small screens.
The Best Advertisements of all Time
When were the first TV ads? UK TV advertising began on 22nd September 1955, when ITV, the first UK commercial channel, launched. The first commercial was for Gibbs SR toothpaste. The US had the jump on us, though, when New York station WNBT aired the first paid television ad on July 1st 1941, before a baseball game. The ad, for Bulova watches, cost the company between $4 and $9.
TV advertising has changed immeasurably since then, with huge increases in budget and complexity, creativity and representation.
So, which have risen to the very top? Here's our complete list.
- Beats Studio Buds – Sha’Carri Richardson and Kanye West
- Klarna – ‘The Four Quarter-Sized Cowboys’
- Starbucks – ‘Every Name’s a Story’ (2020)
- Nike – ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ (2020)
- B&Q – ‘Build a Life' (2020)
- Expedia – ‘Let’s Take a Trip’ (2020)
- Ikea – ‘The Hare’ (2020)
- Old Spice – ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ (2010)
- Chanel – ‘Coco Mademoiselle, the film with Keira Knightley’ (2011)
- Melbourne Metro Train – ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ (2012)
- John Lewis – ‘The Bear and The Hare’ (2013)
- Under Armour – ‘I Will What I Want’ (2014)
- John Lewis – ‘Monty’s Christmas’ (2014)
- McDonald’s – ‘Clouds’ (2015)
- Adidas Originals – ‘Your Future is Not Mine’ (2016)
- Kenzo – ‘Kenzo World’ (2017)
- Amazon – ‘Can You Feel It’ (2018)
- Pepsi – ‘More Than OK' (2019)
- Honda – ‘The Cog’ (2003)
- Sony Bravia – ‘Balls’ (2005)
- Skoda – ‘Baking of’ (2007)
- Cadbury – ‘Gorilla’ (2007)
- Compare the Market (2009 – Present)
- Tango – ‘Orange Man’ (1991)
- Guinness – ‘Surfer' (1999)
- Jaffa Cakes – ‘Full Moon’ (1999)
- Budweiser – ‘Whassup’ (1999)
- Walker’s Crisps – ‘Welcome Home’ (1995)
- Nescafe – The Gold Blend Couple (1987-1993)
- Cadbury – Milk Tray Man (1972)
Best advertisements 2021
1. Beats Studio Buds – Sha’Carri Richardson and Kanye West
There are two public figures dominating summer 2021: American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson and rapper/designer Kanye West; hence, Beats recruited both to help them advertise their new wireless earbuds. As Richardson prepares to race, Kanye’s brand new track ‘No Man Left Behind’ plays, which features the refrain “He’s done miracles on me.” The ad’s slogan ‘Live Your Truth’ then appears on screen.
By placing Sha'Carri Richardson in the ad, Beats makes a statement; ultimately, the brand is suggesting they stand behind the athlete as she receives backlash for her failed drug test that prohibited her from taking part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. (FYI, she smoked cannabis – a drug that’s legal in many states in the US). Additionally, the brand’s ties with Kanye West can also be viewed as controversial, considering the rapper often makes contentious statements. So arguably, there are no better ambassadors for Beats’ ‘Live Your Truth’ message.
2. Klarna – ‘The Four Quarter-Sized Cowboys’
For the Super Bowl LV, Klarna recruited Maya Rudolph to play four quarter-sized cowboys. The four Rudolphs ride into an old-world, wild western town on the back of their horses and a pair of glittery pink cowboy boots instantly catch their eye. Each of the miniature Mayas proceeds to whip out their phones to make a separate payment, advertising Klarna’s payment instalment service.
At the beginning of the ad – as the four cowboys make their dramatic entrance into the town – the foursome sing Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’. How fitting. If you’re in the market for some country-pop music, head on over to our country-pop playlist.
Best advertisements 2020
3. Starbucks – ‘Every Name’s a Story’ (2020)
The coffee giants and their creative agency partner, Iris, were announced as the winners of Channel 4’s annual Diversity in Advertising Award, which aimed to encourage more nuanced portrayals of LGBT+ experiences. This ad cleverly used the brand’s practice of putting the names onto its cups and powerfully shows the experiences of James, who is transitioning, as he finally gets to use the name he’s chosen for himself.
The brand said, ‘At Starbucks, writing your name on a cup and calling it out is a symbol of our warm welcome. It’s a small gesture, but it’s symbolic of what we believe in: recognition and acceptance, whoever you are, or want to be. We welcome everyone.’
The #whatsyourname campaign was inspired by real-life experiences and also aimed to tackle the lack of representation in advertising – 0.3% of TV ads feature a transgender person, but the community is estimated to make up 1% of the population.
4. Nike – ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ (2020)
There were many ads focusing on the challenges presented by the pandemic, and helping each other to overcome them; Nike’s spot used the unifying power of sport, but also our collective strength as a society when we come together. It’s one of the year’s great sports ads, but the expert editing, in particular, made it just a great ad, full stop.
5. B&Q – ‘Build a Life' (2020)
If you weren’t baking banana bread, or getting fit with Joe Wicks during 2020, you were probably embarking on some DIY.
All those niggly jobs around the house? No excuse not to get them done now, was there? Suddenly need an office space? Time to get the hammer out. Sick of the sight of the same four walls? Paint them and put up some new shelves. Or maybe this was the year that you’d finally sort out the garden?
The ad features home videos taken over the years by 69 families around the UK; they show how our homes have changed over time, but also showcase the other things that happen at home – birthdays, celebrations, even everyday catch-ups.
Game of Thrones Rory McCann reminds you that ‘you don’t buy a life, you build one’, to the strains of inspirational music (by The Cinematic Orchestra).
6. Expedia – ‘Let’s Take a Trip’ (2020)
A gorgeous stop-motion film showed a couple recreating travel and the best aspects of trips, using only the stuff in their house. Yes, you can still go on a road trip or hike up a mountain, you just might have to do it via the medium of books, cushions and sheets.
It was a clever way of tapping into everyone’s desire for escape, whilst the strapline, ‘Imagine the places we’ll go. Together’, gives much-needed optimism and reassures you that Expedia will be there to help you take that longed-for trip.
7. Ikea – ‘The Hare’ (2020)
Ikea’s ‘Silence the Critics’ was one of our favourite recent Christmas ads. Created by agency Mother, this ad promotes the benefits of de-stressing and getting a good night’s sleep, both of which have been major concerns for nearly everyone over the last year. Our hoodie-sporting hare stays up late, hanging out with the lads and then burrows down a YouTube hole, watching boxing hare vids, before flaking out on the sofa and waking up totally knackered.
Our tortoise, meanwhile, has had a very sensible early night, and woken up as raring to go as a tortoise can be – he’s well set up for his marathon run.
A really fun, quirky bit of brand positioning, we’re giving extra points for the kebab shop being called ‘Aesop’s Kebabs’, a fun nod to the Aesop’s Fable that the ad’s based on.
Best advertisements 2010s
8. Old Spice – ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ (2010)
Old Spice kicked off the 2010s with a commercial best described as a modern classic. Entitled ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’, the advert puts actor and footballer Isaiah Amir Mustafa centre stage – he is the subject of the female gaze.
Not only does the ad do a great job of persuading both men and women to purchase Old Spice, but it also entertains; trying to watch the ad with a straight face is nothing short of impossible! And what happens when you’re entertained by a commercial? You remember it! We guess that explains why the image of a half-naked Mustafa is ingrained into our minds.
Best advertisements 2011
9. Chanel – ‘Coco Mademoiselle, the film with Keira Knightley’ (2011)
If there’s a brand with cash to spend on advertising, it’s Chanel. And every once in a while, the luxury label draws together the finest talents in the world to produce a blockbuster of a commercial. Our favourite example? The Keira Knightley Coco Mademoiselle ad.
As Joss Stone’s soulful cover of James Brown’s ‘It’s A Man’s Man’s World’ plays, Keira Knightley is filmed applying her Chanel perfume zooming across Paris on a motorbike. Unsurprisingly, it’s directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright, who worked with Knightley on 2007 movie Atonement.
Best advertisements 2012
10. Melbourne Metro Train – ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ (2012)
Like the Darwin Awards set to a tune you’ll be singing for days (recorded by Tangerine Kitty), enacted by characters who are so damn cute: this quirky little animation by McCann has been viewed over 217 million times on YouTube, making it the world’s most shared public service announcement. There were also radio ads to spread the message; they were so successful, stations started playing the song for free.
When it comes to the actual point of the ad – stopping people from doing very dangerous things on train tracks, the ad’s admission that, ‘They might not rhyme, but they’re possibly the dumbest ways to die’ is the perfect example of humour getting the message across. Proving its success, Metro Trains found a 21% reduction in train station incidents – you can’t say fairer than that.
Best advertisements 2013
11. John Lewis – ‘The Bear and The Hare’ (2013)
Every Brit knows that John Lewis takes the crown for best Christmas ad year after year, but everyone has their favourite. The John Lewis Christmas ad we treasure the most is ‘The Bear and The Hare’ commercial released in November 2013.
The heart-warming animation tells the story of a bear who's disappointed he can’t celebrate Christmas with the other animals as the festive time of year coincides with his period of hibernation. But this year, his friend the hare buys him an alarm clock for Christmas that wakes him up on Christmas Day.
The two animals reunite under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning as all of the animals are busy opening their presents, and the words, ‘Give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget,’ appear on screen. And all of the action is soundtracked by Lily Allen’s cover of Keane’s emotional ballad ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. We’re not crying, you are.
Best advertisements 2014
12. Under Armour – ‘I Will What I Want’ (2014)
Sportswear brand Under Armour are challengers to Nike and Adidas, and with this campaign were hoping to lure female customers away from brands such as Lululemon. Their first ad featured Misty Copeland, the first Black woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre’s history. It’s a powerful and empowering ad about determination in the face of knock-backs, self-belief and achieving your goals.
Other women in the campaign included Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, tennis player Sloane Stephens and soccer player Kelley O’Hara.
13. John Lewis – ‘Monty’s Christmas’ (2014)
As previously mentioned, the John Lewis ads have become a talking point every year (does Christmas actually start with your first viewing of that year’s JL ad?) – not to mention their knack of popularising slightly fey takes on pop classics on their soundtracks.
In the 2014 ad, lovelorn Monty the Penguin is given a penguin lady friend on Christmas morning by his best friend Sam. It may not be very likely that you’ve got a pet Gentoo penguin but 1) they are adorable and 2) this is adorable. Tom Odell’s soundtrack is lovely too.
We challenge you not to be a bit weepy by the end as Monty’s little wings flap up and down with joy.
Best advertisements 2015
14. McDonald’s – ‘Clouds’ (2015)
In 2015, McDonald’s proved that ads don't need to be elaborate and lengthy to be effective. How? By releasing their short but sweet ‘Clouds’ commercial. The beautifully animated ad tells the story of a sad, lonely thundercloud who scares away the birds with his noisy thunder and dour appearance. But when a neighbouring cloud spots the thundercloud is feeling down, they offer the thundercloud an iced McCafe drink which instantly turns the thundercloud white. A narrator closes the ad by stating ‘McCafe makes any day better’.
Bar the incredible Pixar-esque visuals of the ad, the standout element of the commercial is the wholesome music that plays throughout. If you’re currently looking for a song to soundtrack your animated project, check out our Animation playlist.
Best advertisements 2016
15. Adidas Originals – ‘Your Future is Not Mine’ (2016)
Adidas Originals has a history of conveying important notions within their ads, and 2016’s ‘Your Future is Not Mine’ is one of their most powerful commercials to date. The commercial’s fundamental purpose is to inform the younger generations that their future is in their own hands.
Daisy Hamel-Buffa – frontwoman of R&B punk band Daisy – is the woman behind the original track that plays throughout the Adidas Originals ad. The atmospheric beat of the song strengthens the message of the ad, asks those being targeted to think on it.
Best advertisements 2015
16. Kenzo – ‘Kenzo World’ (2017)
The Kenzo World ad is impossible to forget, and it’s all thanks to one multifaceted talent – Margaret Qualley. Yes, that girl from Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Dressed in a glam outfit, Qualley’s character leaves a party setting to shed some tears and be at one with her thoughts. Suddenly, she looks straight at the viewer and breaks into absurd contemporary dance. Visually, it’s a lot, but it’s certainly hard to take your eyes off of her. The message? The Kenzo woman is concurrently elegant and disruptive, emotional and fierce, playful and switched on; and that the Kenzo woman wears Kenzo World perfume.
Best advertisements 2018
17. Amazon – ‘Can You Feel It’ (2018)
For the 2018 festive period, Amazon released a cheerful commercial led by the Jackson 5 hit ‘Can You Feel It’. The fun-loving, minute-and-a-half long ad focuses on Amazon boxes in different locations opening their Amazon smiles to sing along to the infectious track.
Inspired? Why not browse and sample tracks from our soul-jazz playlist – perhaps one of our tracks will spark a brilliant idea.
Best advertisements 2019
18. Pepsi – ‘More Than OK' (2019)
Everyone knows that Pepsi is the dark horse of the soft drinks industry, including Pepsi! For their Super Bowl 53 commercial, the beverage brand recruited actor Steve Carrell and rapper Cardi B to point out that Pepsi is a more than ok alternative to Coca-Cola. It’s fast-paced, it’s quirky, it’s set in an old-school American diner and it’s soundtracked by Cardi B’s reggaeton-inspired hit ‘I Like It’ (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin) – what’s not to love?!
Want to read more about Super Bowl ads? Work our way through our list of The Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time.
Best advertisements 2000s
Which ads were the stand-outs in the noughties? It was a decade that saw advertising move on from the blockbuster-influenced 90s to more quirky, conceptual ideas. Plus, many harnessed the growing power of online, bursting out of the TV and going viral.
19. Honda – ‘The Cog’ (2003)
The full ad for the Honda Accord is a mesmerising two minutes and shows a Heath-Robinson-style chain reaction in a gallery, made up of car parts.
It took an astonishing seven months to make and reputedly cost £1 million. ‘Isn’t it nice when things just… work?’ asks the voiceover, kind of undermining the effort it took to produce this.
20. Sony Bravia – ‘Balls’ (2005)
Another ad that eschewed CGI in favour of the real thing, Sony Bravia’s LCD TVs (strapline: ‘Colour like no other’) were advertised with a quarter of a million multi-coloured balls bouncing through the streets of San Francisco to ‘connect with people emotionally’.
The joyous exuberance of the balls making their way through the streets is contrasted with the laid-back soundtrack: Jose Gonzales’ cover of The Knife’s hit ‘Heartbeats’. Go behind the scenes to see how it was done in this video (including the challenge of actually sourcing that quantity of bouncy balls in the first place).
21. Skoda – ‘Baking of’ (2007)
Taking the Great British Bake Off’s showstopper round to ludicrous lengths is the Skoda Fabia, another brilliant creative by Fallon. It apparently cost half a million pounds to make, and took four days, involving a collective of master bakers, icers… and a bricklayer.
No one said making a full-size car out of baked goods (our favourite bit is the jelly lights) was easy. Adding on Julie Andrews’ ‘My Favourite Things’ is just the cherry on the top (sorry) for this whimsical ad. ‘Full of lovely things’ indeed.
22. Cadbury – ‘Gorilla’ (2007)
Proving that you don’t need a huge budget to make an ad that everyone talks about was Cadbury’s ‘Gorilla’, created by Fallon, which generated over 10 million YouTube views and spawned numerous spoofs. After years of illustrating Cadbury’s by pouring out glasses of milk, this certainly marked a departure: a man in a gorilla suit, playing the drums to Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ against a (brand) purple background.
As another famous advertising animal would no doubt declare: ‘Simples!’ (And no, the man in the suit isn’t actually Phil Collins.)
In 2015, it was voted the public’s favourite ad of all time, according to polls run by Marketing, celebrating the ad breaks 60th anniversary. Marketers, however, went for Guinness’s ‘Surfer’.
Marketing's editor Rachel Barnes said, ‘British people love surreal humour and every element of the Cadbury Gorilla oozes with it. Nothing about it makes sense, but it’s a magical piece of advertising that took the TV-viewing public by surprise.’
Phil Rumbol, the former Cadbury’s marketing boss behind the ad, added, ‘I think its enduring appeal lies in the fact it’s not telling people a message, it evokes a feeling - and it’s, therefore, something people enjoy over and over, which proves the impact of emotion, rather than product-led, ads.’
23. Compare the Market (2009 – Present)
It all started with a slightly desperate aristocratic Russian meerkat who was trying to tell us not to mix up his meerkat comparison site with the confusingly similar-sounding Compare the Market.com. And how far Aleksandr Orlov, long-suffering assistant/sidekick Sergei and cuteness overload, baby Oleg, have come since their debut in 2009.
Aleksandr’s got such a backstory that he ended up with a bestselling “autobiography” (A Simples Life) and has come up so far in the world that he now regularly hangs out poolside with A-list chums such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nicole Kidman. Plus, of course, there’s Aleksandr’s chirpy ‘Simples!’ catchphrase – which has even made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. Of course, we were going to include the meerkats as one of our best ads of all time.
The best advertisements of 1990s
24. Tango – ‘Orange Man’ (1991)
Proving Rachel Barnes’ point about surreal humour is the Tango ‘Orange Man’ ad. Ridiculous, trippy and, ultimately, controversial (it kick-started a craze for kids around the country slapping each other around the face in playgrounds) the Tango ad was unlike anything you’d ever seen.
Usually, soft drinks ads involve the product being poured over giant ice cubes in a glass, demonstrating a satisfying fizz, with expensive production values.
At the time, Coke ads ruled the drinks roost, and as Trevor Robinson OBE told the Guardian, the big trend was, ‘cause and effect advertising, i.e. you come into contact with the product and somehow it changes your life for the better.’ He and copywriter Al Young were bored of all that, so when Tango came along with a brief of ‘write whatever you want, just make Tango famous’, their original idea was a bit of a joke.
‘We said how brilliant it would be if you had a drink, and something shocking happened, but so quickly that nobody else saw it. We also had the idea that it was only when commentators rewound the film that you could see what had happened.’
They amended an original kick up the bum from the Tango genie to a Morecambe and Wise-style slap round the chops to appease the BACC – and roped in iconic jazz performer Gil Scott Heron to deliver the ‘You know when you’ve been Tango’d’ end line, because of his deep voice.
Kids perforating each other’s ear-drums while happy slapping each other eventually got the ad banned; version two involved the Tango drinker being given a big kiss instead. Proving it was a concept with legs as well as arms, the ads ran from 1991-97.
25. Guinness – ‘Surfer' (1999)
Ad agency AMV BBDO was tasked with revamping Guinness’s image. At the tail end of the 90s, it was seen as an old man’s drink – after all, what hipster has the time to hang around at the bar for the drink’s iconic ‘three parts’ pour? But creatives Tom Carty and Walter Campbell were adamant that, ‘the expectation of the Guinness during the pour was core to the Guinness experience.’ Walter observed his Guinness-drinking friends, ‘would engage, looking at the pint being poured. I’d see how their imagination was firing at the thought of it.’
The two found a shot of a Hawaiian surfer looking out to sea, which kick-started their idea of a surfer waiting patiently for the perfect wave, together with a painting from 1893 by Walter Crane called ‘Neptune’s Horses’. They found their surfer star, believe it or not, sleeping under a palm tree in Hawaii, after which the team, led by director Jonathan Glazer, spent eight days filming in the waves which, according to the director felt, ‘like filming an avalanche’.
There were then a further three days of shooting Lipizzaner horses jumping over fences, which proved almost as challenging. The finishing touch? A soundtrack that sounds like the blood pounding inside the surfer’s head. Enter Leftfield’s ‘Phat Planet’.
The ad is the perfect synthesis of creative ideas, stunning visuals, a slightly surreal script referencing Moby Dick, that unrelenting soundtrack (but with an intriguing section where the sound drops out completely) and an enduring tagline: ‘Here’s to waiting’. And of course the black and white is a subliminal nod to the drink. It was an ad that won a slew of awards, including two British D&AD Gold awards, the only double gold for 40 years.
26. Jaffa Cakes – ‘Full Moon’ (1999)
It can’t be just us who persists in saying, ‘Full moon. Half moon. TOTAL ECLIPSE’ in a slight accent when eating a Jaffa Cake (or any circular biscuit, tbh). If you’d like to go for full authenticity next time you try it, the actress playing the primary school teacher was Croatian.
27. Budweiser – ‘Whassup’ (1999)
So iconic they brought it back in 2020 to encourage people to check in on their friends during lockdown, this was an ad that launched a one-word greeting worldwide. The original ad ran from 1999-2002, and ushered in a wave of viral ad hits. It was based on a short film – True – in which a group of African American men phone each other while watching sport and it became a cultural phenomenon.
For a while there, you couldn’t really greet anyone without – either ironically or seriously – shouting, ‘WHASSSSSUUUUUUUP’ at them; surely a sign of absolutely massive success in ad terms.
28. Walker’s Crisps – ‘Welcome Home’ (1995)
Can it really be 25 years since Gary Lineker started nicking Walker’s crisps off people and refusing to share them? Yes, it really can. Now you feel old, don’t you?
The ad riffed on Lineker’s ‘nice guy’ image in a largely black and white ad where the footballer is delightedly greeted by all and sundry as he returns to his hometown of Leicester (which is also home to the Walker’s factory.)
Everybody loves him! He’s lovely! Until, that is, a packet of Walker’s crosses his line of vision, then there’s definitely, ‘no more mister nice guy.’
Best advertisements pre-1990s
29. Nescafe – The Gold Blend Couple (1987-1993)
AKA possibly the slowest love story ever told? Why was the entire nation gripped by these 45-second instalments of Tony and Sharon (Anthony Head and Sharon Maughan) as they endured cliffhanger after cliffhanger in their attempts at both passion and drinking instant coffee?
Well, at the time, there were only four TV channels in the UK, which could partly explain it.
One of the most famous examples of serialised advertising, the ads ran between 1987 and 1993. They may have been like the lowest-budget ever soap opera, but they did the business, not only increasing sales by over 50% in the UK, but also spawning tie-in products including a novelization (Love Over Gold) and two music CDs.
30. Cadbury – Milk Tray Man (1972)
Characters come and go in the world of advertising, but some stay in our hearts and minds forever – one of those characters is the Cadbury Milk Tray Man. Inspired by Ian Fleming’s spy hero, James Bond, the Milk Tray Man is a daring, risk-taking figure who goes to great lengths to provide women with a Cadbury’s Milk Tray box. The ads end with the slogan ‘All because the lady loves Cadbury’s Milk Tray’.
Aside from the main character, one thing we’ve always loved about Cadbury’s Milk Tray ads is the spy genre inspired soundtracks that heighten the theatrics of the commercial. Check out our detective/spy playlist for similar tracks.
Read more about advertising!
Can’t get enough of all things advertising? Find out whether subliminal advertising really works, or see which are the best sports ads ever – or read all about the most sexist ads in television history. None of these tickle your fancy? How about our article exploring classical music in commercials.
Alternatively, read about our podcast advertising tips and get our expert view on music for advertising. Whether you’re looking for classical or something with plenty of energy, our catalogue has it all.
This page was originally published 17/02/2021 and updated 11/08/2021
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