We had a brief period without them. Remember? DVR’s were called TiVo and skipping commercials felt like the FBI was going show up at our house. But they are back, it seems that no matter how hard we try to avoid them the more they are put in our face. In modern times it feels like a pleasant surprise to see a commercial that isn’t terrible. But there was a golden age, back before even illegal streams played their own commercials, back when watching the commercials was a sign of respect. before the DVR, before the choose your own ad experience, even before Flo, when commercials were good. And I remember them, I remember them all, because I watched a LOT of TV. And I LOVED commercials. So here is my Top 10 list, and let me be the first to admit, there is no grading scale I can explain here. Just a list of commercials that have always stuck with me, and I feel like you should see them too.
It’s a Thing of Beauty – Cars.com
Something about this guys’ reaction has always struck me as perfect. The way his eyes roll back and he says “it’s a thing of beauty!” will forever be etched into my brain. That tagline has been used amongst family every time we see something truly ugly since it aired 20 years ago. The cut back after when he is nervously talking on the phone is just so perfect as well. We’ve all been there.
Doesn’t that make every ad, a Tide ad? – Tide
Obviously the Superbowl is a great source of material for this article, but when one commercial, steals all the other commercials, and makes it better, doesn’t that commercial suddenly become the best commercial of it’s kind? By ripping off famous commercials and then converting them to a Tide Ad, it had me sitting through every commercial, for the rest of the Superbowl, waiting for David Harbour’s smiling mug to jump into the middle of it. Absolutely brilliant design, very funny, and an absolute power move by tide to get us to stop talking about eating the dang pods. In my opinion, this is the best ad ever created.
I Need a Gyro – Arby’s
Take one of the best 30 seconds of music ever created on this earth. Take one of the smoothest voices to ever grace commercials, and comically remix the song to absolute perfection. The first time he says GYRO, it just shocks you. The second time he says it sends you in to gut busting laughter. The final time is just the cherry on top where you get to sing a long with him. I NEED A GYRO. (Oh and that gyro meat slow-mo do be lookin’ real good.)
Such a Perfect Day – Playstation
Ain’t No Sunshine – Dante’s Inferno
Two video game ads that fall into the same category for me. Take an older song that is an absolute banger and set it to video game stuff. It works, here’s why: Us gamers spend a lot of our time playing games and not learning about old music. Take a song like “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers and there is a great chance we are hearing for the first time. It’s not insanely popular so we aren’t hearing it on 96.1 when we accidently have that radio station on (because I assure you it would never be on by choice). But it is undeniably a great song. Set your ad to a song that might stick with someone for the rest of their life, and you just might make someone’s top 10 list. I bought Dante’s Inferno because of this ad. One of the few examples of an ad DIRECTLY working on me.
Riding the Dog like a Horse – E-Trade
All the E-Trade baby commercials are top notch, there is just something about a talking baby that grabs your attention for much longer than it should. Aww yeah, that’s the good stuff. But the part where he throws his head back and complains about the dog has stuck with me my whole LIFE. You see what I am trying to do here? I am trying to get all of you, to understand my extremely obscure references. So next time when I look at my dog and say, “you know I wanted a bird” we are all on the same page.
We Had a Baby -Geico
Had to dust off a classic for you guys. Googling this commercial took… some effort. But my Dad and I will always remember Mr. Wehadababyitsaboy and this infamous call. I was absolutely stunned at the end of the commercial because I assumed it was for dial down the center or some other phone advertisement. I shouldn’t have been surprised it was coming from the GOAT marketing team at Geico.
Taste like Mango Chutney – Geico
Speaking of the GOAT, I think of all the famous ads they have done over the years, this one is the most underrated. We could honestly do a top 10 list of just Geico commercials, they are still killing it with other ads like RATT problem, The Gecko, hump day, the list goes on. But I don’t care what anyone says, taste like mango chutney and burnt hair is one of the most graphically awful and simultaneously hilarious things ever said.
We All See It – Progressive
This commercial with Dr. Rick is just amazing. Of course, if you don’t find it funny… I’ve got bad news. I think it just highlights all the perfect things that older parents do that younger people are embarrassed by. If they had just added a part where my Mom complains to the waiter about her extremely specific request regarding her food not being met perfectly for no reason other than just to “express her disappointment” it would have gotten all the major talking points. But of course stealing the show, is the Dad who is trying to do better but can’t help but point out the blue hair, and as a result spews it out even louder BLLUUUEEE!
Game Starting Now – Monday Night Football
It’s a radio commercial and nonetheless, it is pure perfection. “On My Lucky Couch!”
I’ve become a gimmicky blog writer who posts Youtube links to radio ads that aired quite literally over a decade ago. And you love it.
Chicken Parm You Taste so Good – Nationwide
One of the GOAT jingles and one of the GOAT advertisement athletes. Peyton Manning has SO many commercials that are absolutely hilarious. It made him so easy to root for during his playing days, and I can’t quite figure out why more athletes don’t go down this route. But it’s easy to see Peyton did it best. He’s like… the Tom Brady of commercials.
I am so certain that everyone will be blowing me up about the ones I forgot. And that’s what makes commercials so great. 30 second skits that have a chance to stick in my skull till the day I die, or fade away into the ether forever. I will say this, for all except one commercial, I knew exactly what product was being marketed before looking them up on Youtube, and I have a positive feeling regarding all these companies when I think about them. Maybe it works? Maybe I am crazy? Maybe its Maybelline. (I CANT STOP)