Our top 10 most memorable advertisements

Old Spice

Our top 10 most memorable advertisements

When we set out to list our top 10 most memorable ads of all time, little did we know that many of them would be from our, er, formative years. It’s an interesting outcome – the psychology of which we’ll cover in a future blog…perhaps. Meanwhile, in no particular order, here they are:

1. Honda – The Cog (2003)







The geek in Warren just loves the precision of this TV ad for its subject matter as well as the perfect detail, use of unusual camera angles and clever imagery. It’s one of a series you may be familiar with. Apparently, it took months to shoot.

2. Old Spice – Smell like a man, man (2013)

Old Spice

This is one of Dean’s favourites from the last ten years. He’s nominated it because it reinvigorated the brand, while making you cringe and smile in equal measure.

3. Conservative Party – Labour isn’t working (1979)

Labour Isn't Working






Probably Sarah’s first real awareness of an election campaign. Politics aside, she remembers being really struck by the simplicity of the message and the cleverness of its double meaning.

 4. Maxell – Blown Away Guy (1980s)








Music invariably strikes a chord with Ian, so it’s apt that one of his most memorable ads is by Maxell cassette tapes of a man being blown backwards by the sound from the comfort of his armchair.

5. Brintons Carpets – Vivienne Westwood collaboration (1993)











For Elaine, this extraordinary use of carpet as clothing sprang instantly to mind. The campaign included dresses, a trouser suit, even shoes designed by the anarchic British fashion designer to showcase the traditional firm’s exclusive carpet patterns.

6. Compare the Market – Compare the Meerkat (2009)

Meercat 1

Love them or hate them, you can’t dispute that Alexandr and Sergei are memorable – even spawning a franchise. Dean believes Alexandr is one of the strongest ad characters developed and progressed in the last decade. He says: ‘It’s good to see that the campaign has evolved rather than being replaced; it’s such a winning formula.” Simples.

7. Hamlet cigars – Photobooth (1989)


Once seen, never forgotten, in Sarah’s opinion. Gregor Fisher with his mid-seventies combover and photobooth fail were just superbly funny. He didn’t say a word, but didn’t need to. Even if you were too young to remember this one, surely that pleated curtain rings a bell?

 8. Kia – Keyboards (2013)

Annotation 2020-01-31 095825

Clever use of an animated wall of computer keys creating the backdrop to this ad caught Ian’s eye for its unusual movement. It was made on the strength of Kia using customer reviews on their website to sell cars.

9. Smash – Martians (1970s)


More characters that endured, the Smash Martians were used in a series of ads, our favourite being the version when they laugh at Earthlings peeling potatoes. Great alien voices!

10. Guinness – Anticipation (1995)


Saving the best ‘til last? We’re all agreed the combination of the music and conception of this ad is a classic. The dancing man whiles away time with quirky moves as his pint is poured and settles to perfection. This visual treat is backed by an equally quirky soundtrack (Guaglione) which made it to number 1 in the charts.

Let us know the ads that come top of mind for you and why.


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