Like Them Or Not, You Won’t Forget These Commercials!

While we’re waiting for that leadership list in next week’s USA TODAY, let’s review this week’s interesting list. In this edition they chose to focus on memorable commercials, and I must admit that I was somewhat surprised that of the 25 classics they identify, I vividly remember 23 of them. I don’t necessarily approve or enjoy all of the products and/or services they promote nor the companies they were created to represent. However, I do remember the commercials themselves, and many of them are 25 years old. There’s a valuable lesson to be learned here: Give special and constant attention to the image you’re creating in the minds of your current and potential customers.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a commercial. It may very well be the quality of your product and/or service, the appearance of your establishment, the actions of your employees, the way you answer the phone or respond to a question or complaint. All of these things will leave a LONG-LASTING impression on the psyche of those you depend upon for future success. For example, consider how many of these commercials you remember. Now consider whether you enjoyed them or not. Either way, they’re still in your memory. The same holds true with that image you’ve created in the minds of your customers. Let’s hope it’s a pleasant memory.

  1. Life Alert: “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!” (1990)
  2. Apple Macintosh (Buff woman wielding a sledgehammer to sell Macs.) (1984)
  3. Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef? (1984)
  4. Isuzu: Joe “Trust Me” Isuzu (1986 — autos)
  5. Energizer: Energizer Bunny (1989 — batteries)
  6. Bartles & Jaymes: “Thank You for Your Support” (1985 — Gallo wine coolers)
  7. California Raisin Advisory Board: “Heard It Through the Grapvine” (1986 — raisins)
  8. Budweiser: Croaking Frogs (1995 — beer)
  9. Bush Campaign: Willie Horton (1988 — political campaign)
  10. California Milk Producers: “Got Milk?” (1993)
  11. Partnership for a Drug-Free America: “This is Your Brain on Drugs” (1987)
  12. Ikea: Gay Men Shopping (1994 — furniture)
  13. McDonald’s: Nothing but Net (1993 — Michael Jordan and Larry Bird competing for a Big Mac.)
  14. Pepsi: Michael Jackson on fire (1984)
  15. Reagan Campaign: Morning In America (1984)
  16. Nike: Bo Knows (1989)
  17. Nike: Revolution (1987 — Beatles Music)
  18. Grey Poupon: Pardon Me, Would You Have Any Grey Poupon? (1984 — Dijon mustard)
  19. Federal Government: Crash Test Dummies. (1984 — seat belts)
  20. Playtex: Model (1987 — lingerie)
  21. Chevrolet trucks: “Like A Rock” (1991)
  22. New Coke: Max Headroom (1986)
  23. Because Pets Can’t Drive (1999 — sock puppet)
  24. Reebok: Dan & Dave (1992 — Olympic hype)
  25. Taster’s Choice soap opera (1991 — coffee)

Personally I think they could have added a few other classics in place of those they chose. Remember these?

  • The Clapper: “CLAP ON! CLAP OFF!”
  • Trix: “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!”
  • Pepsodent Toothpaste: “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with  Pepsodent.”
  • Coke: “Mean Joe Green”
  • Eggos!: “Hey! L’eggo my Eggo!”
  • Frosted Flakes: “They’re Gr-r-reat!”
  • Lay’s: “Betcha can’t eat just one!”
  • Bounty: “The thicker, quicker picker-upper, Bounty!”
  • Life Cereal: “Hey, Mikey likes it!”
  • EDS: “Cowboys Herding Cats”
  • Lucky Charms: “They’re magically delicious!”
  • Tootsie Pop: “How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?”
  • Morton Salt: “When it rains it pours.”
  • Bell System: “Reach out and touch someone.”
  • Nestle Chocolate Bar: “Nestle’s makes the very best, N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestle’s makes the very best — CHOCOLATE!”
  • Coke: “I’d like to teach the world to sing.”
  • Alka Seltzer: “I can’t believe I ate the WHOLE thing.”
  • Toys R Us: “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a Toys ‘R Us Kid!”
  • Pepsi: Little boy sitting on the beach gets sucked into the Pepsi bottle.
  • V8: “I could’ve had a V8.”
  • Taco Bell: Little Chiwawa saying “Here lizard, lizard, lizard.”
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter: Starring Fabio
  • Burger King: “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us, — Have it your way!”
  • McDonalds: “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.”
  • Dr. Pepper: “I’m a pepper, he’s a pepper, she’s a pepper, we’re a pepper, wouldn’t you like to be a pepper too?”
  • America Beautiful campaign: A classic Indian views trash with a tear in his eye as the announcer said, “Please … keep America beautiful.”
  • Oscar Mayer Bologna: “My bologna has a first name it’s O-S-C-A-R.”
  • Charmin: Mr. Whipple saying, “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.”
  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies: “Snap, crackle and pop!”
  • Alka-seltzer: “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!”
  • Band Aids: “I am stuck on Band-Aids ’cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me.”
  • Campbell’s Soup: “M’m! M’m! Good!”

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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