Commercial breaks are traditionally the bit between TV shows where viewers can go spend a dime or have a cup of tea – or, more often in the days of catch-up TV, grab the remote and press “forward quick”. ‘.
But, a few decades ago, they did so at their peril, because standing out sometimes meant missing out on a selection of sales pitches so iconic they were now part of our daily lives and marked an entire era. .
And the ’90s were no exception, delivering classic ad campaigns that few of us would forget – no matter how hard we tried in some cases. Here are 15 examples of ads we loved and hated in equal parts…
Read more:The forgotten 80s show hosted by Noel Edmunds that saw a contestant plunge to his death during a senseless stunt
Guinness – Dancing Man
These moves made every dancing dad in the country suddenly feel like John Travolta. How many ended up spending the night in A&E after turning around? You can get more TV news and other story updates by subscribing to our newsletters here.
Tango – Orange man
As the old saying goes, ‘It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye’ and this (admittedly hilarious) advert was quickly taken off the air after sparking a joyous slapping craze in the pitches country games.
A later version simply saw the bald orange man plant lip smacks on an unsuspecting person instead – rather than just, uh, smack them on the head.
Pot Noodle – Too Gorgeous
Cardiff comedy genius Peter Baynham’s ad campaign saw ‘Terry de Ponty’ repeatedly insist that the popular pot snack was ‘too gorgeous’ and in no way ‘faffy food’. It quickly became a cult among students.
SafestyleUK – BOGOF
“You buy one, you get one free – I SAY, YOU BUY ONE, YOU GET ONE FREE!” the Safestyle window guy was screaming in those weirdly menacing commercials, knocking over PVC frames while dressed like a Victorian town crier.
Once seen, it cannot be invisible.
Levi’s – Flat Eric
Take a sock puppet, squelchy French techno… and voila – you’re left with a hugely successful jeans ad campaign and a number one hit single.
Renault Clio-Nicole? Dad!
The effortless Gallic charm and ultra-chic Estelle Skornik has strangely seen plenty of teenagers suddenly wanting to drive Renault Clios.
Forget it guys, she was never going to end up being your girlfriend.
Boddingtons – Melanie Sykes
Think about it, there was a time when no one knew who Mel Sykes was.
Since then, she’s had a modeling career, notoriety in men’s magazines, stardom on prime-time TV, and becoming a tabloid staple — and all because she leaned into the window of an ice cream van and asked, “Would you like a Flake in it, my love?” in a northern accent.
Trebor – Mr Sweet
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel’s 1974 classic was used for the soundtrack to this rather disturbing acid trip of a commercial about a man with a head like your grandmother’s sofa cushions walking down a whitewashed street. lime.
The stuff of nightmares.
BT – ‘It’s good to talk’
The late Cockney geezer Bob Hoskins shrugged off the tough man image that made him a star in gangster movies like The Long Good Friday to engage in late night pillow talk with his wife at- above the wind tunnel.
At a time when you could just Facetime the one you love on your mobile, it all now feels so sweetly nostalgic.
Levi’s – Spaceman
A stunning hit, Babylon Zoo catapulted to the top of the charts with the song from this jeans commercial. However, once everyone got to hear more than the chorus, they realized the track wasn’t exactly great.
Club – ‘If you like a lot of chocolate…’
“If you like a lot of chocolate on your cookie, join our club,” read that annoying ear verse of a jingle, leading many people to deduce that the last thing they would want was to be a member of a club where something so sonically obnoxious could be allowed.
Guinness – Surfer
Pretentious? Oh yes. But this visually stunning black-and-white ad featuring giant wild horses emerging from crashing ocean waves really raised the bar when it came to whipping things up on TV.
Crunchie – I’m so excited
The Pointer Sisters may not have had chocolate-covered honeycomb bars in mind when they wrote this song in 1982, but it certainly helped move A LOT of Crunchies for Cadbury.
Wine Gums – Hoots Mon!
National stereotypes aside, this Scotsman who frolics in his kilt singing “Hoots mon! There’s jooce loose aboot this hoose” – while surrounded by dancing bagpipes and a cuddly Loch Ness Monster – was actually quite funny .
Basing it on the ultra-catchy 1958 hit Lord Rockingham XI was also an inspired decision.
By saving the most unforgivable until the end, this super boring campaign left a different taste in your mouth than an evening spent drinking the beer it was trying to sell.