Other than Don Draper and the many people who work on Madison Avenue, perhaps no one loves the concept of commercials. However, a catchy or memorable commercial sticks with you. There's a reason Apple's "1984" commercial is still discussed decades later.
Most commercials make their way into your brain with the perfect slogan or an earworm of a jingle. Even when it had not aired for 16 years, the general American public remembered the Meow Mix jingle that cats recite to ask for the food by name. Some commercials, such as Alka-Seltzer's "That's a spicy meatball" have staying power, even though many people assume the commercial is for Italian food, not an antacid.
Commercials permeate pop culture so much that we often find ourselves quoting them. While you may not specifically ask for "milk's favorite cookie" or the cereal that's "magically delicious," you instantly know that those slogans belong to Oreos and Lucky Charms, and you may ask for them by the slogan as a joke.
Now, it's time for the test. Did you watch a lot of TV growing up? Do you still watch a lot? Are there times you find yourself looking up old commercials on YouTube? Then this quiz is for you. Test your knowledge of famous ad campaigns!
In 1984, Wendy's introduced "Where's the beef?" as its catchphrase in the United States and Canada. Later that year, Vice President Walter Mondale introduced the phrase to U.S. politics as a way to describe Gary Hart's policies as not solid.
In 1956, Timex started advertising on television. The company's commercials showed its watches surviving washing machines, paint mixers and jackhammers to prove that "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking."
In 1969, Alka-Seltzer aired the commercial with "That's a spicy meatball." Not long after, an Alka-Seltzer commercial featured the catch phrase, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!"
In 1952, Kellogg's introduced Frosted Flakes to the United States. Tony the Tiger has been the cereal's mascot since the beginning.
In the 1960s, Pepsi launched a campaign around the "Pepsi Generation." In 1984, the campaign was updated to "Pepsi: The Choice of a New Generation," with commercials featuring Michael Jackson.
In 1950s, Mars hired Ted Bates & Co., an ad agency, to come up with an ad that would increase sales. Advertising executive Rosser Reeves came up with "melts in your mouth, not in your hands." At the time, M&M's was the only candy sold covered in a shell.
Almond Joy and Mounds didn't receive their jingle until the 1970s. Leon Carr and Leo Corday wrote the jingle. The full jingle is "Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don't. Almond Joy's got nuts. Mounds don't."
"There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's" was introduced as Reese's slogan in the 1990s. In the 1970s and 1980s, the company's commercials featured situations where two people eating would collide. One person would say, "You got your peanut butter on my chocolate!" The other would respond, "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!"
In 1985, Kay Jewelers introduced the slogan, "Every Kiss Begins with Kay." Every one of Kay's commercials features the phrase.
To counter McDonald's, Burger King launched its "have it your way" campaign in 1973. It started with a jingle that stated, "Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce. Special orders don't upset us."
Pusha T apparently wrote McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" jingle, although some dispute that fact. In 2003, McDonald's hired Justin Timberlake to sing it. It is currently the longest-running marketing campaign in McDonald's history.
In 2000, Mazda introduced its "zoom zoom" campaign. Fifteen years later, Mazda changed its campaign to "Driving Matters."
KFC started using the slogan "finger lickin' good" in 1956. Prior to that slogan's introduction, KFC used "North America's Hospitality Dish."
In the late 1960s, Tootsie Roll created a commercial featuring a cartoon boy asking multiple animals, "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?" The 15-second version of the commercial is still aired on television.
Maxwell House's slogan, that it is "good to the last drop," is over 100 years old. It debuted in 1915. Before Maxwell House adopted it as its own, Coca-Cola originally used the slogan.
In 1984, "the best part of wakin' up is Folgers in your cup" became Folgers' slogan. Over the years, Folgers has commissioned country, jazz, folk, Celtic and acapella versions of the jingle.
The "Beef. It's What's for Dinner" commercials debuted in May 1992. The Beef Industry Council and Beef Board ran the campaign.
In 1987, the National Pork Board branded their product as "Pork. The Other White Meat." In 2005, the National Pork Board added "Don't Be Blah" to its existing slogan.
Toys 'R' Us introduced the "I'm a Toys 'R' Us kid" jingle in the early 1980s. Linda Kaplan Thaler and author James Patterson co-created the jingle.
Meow Mix has been around for over 40 years. The Meow Mix jingle was created in the early 1970s.
Kit Kat was first manufactured in 1935. The candy takes its name from a 17th-century literary club that met in a pie shop owned by Christopher Catling. The club called itself the Kit Kat club, which was a shortening of Catling's name.
In 1979, Skittles were introduced to the United States. The original flavors were orange, lemon, lime, grape and strawberry. Ten years later, Skittles would introduce new varieties, such as Tropical Skittles.
Maybelline is named after founder Thomas Williams' older sister Maybel. According to Maybelline lore, Maybel accidentally singed her eyelashes and eyebrows, then concocted a mix of petroleum jelly, coal dust and cork ash to conceal the damage. Thomas refined the idea and marketed his mascara.
The phrase "because you're worth it" began its association with L'Oréal in 1973. Ilon Specht, a copywriter with the McCann Erickson agency, came up with the slogan.
In 1988, Nike's first ad featuring "Just Do It" was aired. It featured 80-year-old marathon runner Walt Stack in San Francisco.
In 1955, Disneyland opened to great fanfare. Tickets cost one dollar, but rides cost extra.
Frito-Lay's history as a company dates back to 1932. It started with C.E. Doolin's visit to a San Antonio cafe. At that cafe, he found a corn chip manufacturer who wanted to sell his business, so Doolin bought it.
Pringles' mascot is named Julius Pringle. He has appeared on the cans of over 100 flavors.
Perdue has been family-owned and operated since 1920. Arthur W. Perdue founded the company. Since 1991, Jim Perdue has been the chairman and spokesman.
Verizon's "can you hear me now" commercials started in 2002. They continued for nine years. The actor, Paul Marcarelli, now appears in commercials for Sprint.
Bounty is a successor to Charmin Towels. The latter product was sold from 1957 to 1965. While it was a success, Proctor & Gamble decided to develop a product that was more absorbent.
In 1922, George Jacob Mecherle founded State Farm. The company started as an auto insurance company, but now offers about 100 products and services.
The first "The Real Thing" commercial aired in 1971. The song featured in the commercial was "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing."
In 1936, Leo and Lillian Goodwin founded Geico. In 1951, Warren Buffett purchased Geico stock. At the time, he was still a business student at Columbia University.
Energizer debuted the Energizer Bunny in 1989. In 2017, "Advertising Week" determined that the drum-beating mascot was so iconic it deserved a spot in the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame.