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Tuesday, July 2, 2024


By Caroline Clemmons

Seeing a particularly obnoxious commercial on television prompted me to question the advertiser’s approving such an advertisement. Some commercials actually insult the public’s intelligence, in my opinion. This reminded me of past great commercials that have remained in my head as classics. These beg the question why some ads are so dumb while others are so well done they remain in our minds. Here are some of my favorites:


1.     My all-time favorite is the Coca Cola commercial that had a group singing “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…” Not only is it a pleasing song to hear, the sentiment it expresses is great.

2.     Second is the Oscar Mayer commercial with Andy Lambros as the cute child singing “My balogna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R...” Who could resist such a cute kid? And I don’t even like balogna.


Sam Elliott

   The Dodge commercial with Sam Elliott doing the voice-over always made me want to rush out and buy a Dodge pickup. No, I didn’t actually buy a pickup, but I thought about it.

Dick Wilson
4.     Another that became a household classic was the late actor Dick Wilson as Mr. Whipple and “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.” People nationwide repeated that.

5.     Remember Mikey (played by John Gilchrist) for Life cereal? He’d eat anything. That was such a realistic view of children plotting together against a younger boy, but not in a bad way. How many people did you know who were accused of being a Mikey?

6.     A second one for Oscar Mayer was the “Oh, I’d like to be an Oscar Mayer wiener…” Some jingles stick in your mind. That one even inspired a joke.

7.     An older one was the Alka Seltzer animated boyish figure who plops into the glass of water with “Plop, plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is.” My husband is a believer.

8.     I enjoyed David Naughton singing “I’m a Pepper…” for Dr Pepper, my soda of choice.

Dennis Haysbert
9.     Do you remember Dennis Haysbert's lovely, deep voice telling us we were in good hands with Allstate? How could you doubt him?

Clara Peller

10.             It’s difficult to narrow the field to only ten, but my vegetarian daughter thinks actress Clara Peller as the elderly woman in a Wendy's commercial asking, “Where’s the beef?” should be mentioned.


Once on a special, Barry Manilow play some of the jingles he’s written for commercials. On a talk show, Marvin Hamlish did the same. I understand that the cost of a great commercial must be prohibitive, but that doesn’t mean an advertiser has to insult our intelligence, does it? Do you have a favorite commercial—or one that especially annoys you? 


  1. Almost all of them annoy me now, but I admit to loving the old McDonald's Christmas commercials with the the little guy creeping into where the tree is, and the ringing Hershey kisses, too.

    1. When you consider how much an investment the ad agency, the filming costs, and the air space represent, you wonder how some of these ads were approved by the guys with the purse strings.


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