Sometimes they give you an Excedrin headache; other times, they really satisfy.Either way, one thing’s for sure: TV commercials, they’re a part of your life.
After sampling hundreds of noteworthy promos, from the dawn of TV to the present, we managed to winnow the list down to a hearty handful of national spots. He has an annual budget of million, survived a backlash (David Letterman attacked him with a baseball bat), and has become a cultural cliche (he’s been compared to everything from Saddam Hussein to the Oscars).
(Local and international ads had to be excluded from consideration because they were not available to all of our readers.) Effectiveness in selling product wasn’t taken into consideration (if it had been a requirement, many of our favorites would never have made the list). He had a resurgence with last year’s hilarious spoof.
The winners were selected strictly on aesthetic grounds — just, if you will, for the taste of them. (”He’s out there,” says agency creative head Lee Clow.
In short, they are the 50 we consider uncommonly good. ”People believe in him.”) But the second Energizer Bunny spot is still the most inspired: The relentless, shades-bedecked pink pitchman leaves his own ad and rudely drums his way through three others — parodies of coffee, sinus remedy, and wine spots.
Jolting us awake from our sponsor-induced coma, this was literally breakthrough advertising — and helped separate Energizer from the battery pack. AGENCY: Ally & Gargano YEAR: 1981 3 AMERICAN TOURISTER “GORILLA” What better way to prove the durability of a suitcase than to have a gorilla jump all over it?
AGENCY: TBWA Chiat/Day YEAR: 1989 2 FEDERAL EXPRESS ”FAST-PACED WORLD” Quick: Whatmakesthisguysolovable? Maybeit’sthatfasterisalwaysfunnier(ask Keystone Kopsfans). Maybeit’sthatbusinessclichssoundevensillierathighspeeds. Whatever,thisseries,starringactor John Moschitta,isabsolutely,positivelyoneofthebestgimmicksincommercialhistory.”Peoplesaidmakingfunofbusinesswasadumbwaytodoadvertising,”saysdirector Joe Sedelmaier. This admirably simple, Clio-winning spot did just that—sort of.