Do You Remember These Iconic TV Adverts?

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When TV adverts are done well, their influence knows no bounds. Not only can they influence us to buy their products, they introduce iconic catchphrases, entertain us for hours, and mould the direction of many future ads to grace our tellys.

Iconic TV Adverts

One such success story is Cadbury’s ‘drumming Gorilla’ advert, which has recently been named the nation’s favourite advert of all time. The advert, from 2007, has so far mustered up over 8 million hits on YouTube. Damn, it’s good. But, it got us thinking about some of our own favourites from the last 20 years. Do you remember the following iconic TV adverts?

(Side note: We’re going to exclude the John Lewis Christmas adverts from this list for two reasons. First, they’re all so good, it’s impossible to choose between them. And secondly, I’ll just end up a blubbering mess.)


Kicking off our list of iconic TV adverts is this creation from Levi. Nope, it’s not the opening for Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. But it just goes to show just how much of an impact the advert had on shows to come.

At the time it was released in 2002, the Levi ad was the company’s most expensive commercial. It didn’t have the sex appeal of the 1985 laundrette advert, but it did have, uh, lots of walls.

Diet Coke

Probably the sexiest ad on our list of iconic TV adverts – and for good reason. The original Diet Coke ad from 1996 featured women flocking to the window to watch a topless builder neck a can of coke. It was so popular, the whole premise was completely revived for a 2013 version; this time with a sexy gardener.


I thought this iconic TV advert was much more recent than it actually is (it premiered in 2008!) and now I feel horrifically old. This £1m advert follows a young boy walking through 122 years of British history, all with a loaf of Hovis tucked under his arm. It certainly did the company well, boosting sales of Hovis products by over £12m in the weeks after it was launched.

Mac UK

The UK version of the US adverts with Justin Long and John Hodgman capitalised on the success of Mitchell and Web’s comedy partnership. Still completely quotable 8 years on – and they definitely made Macs the cool machine of choice.


First shown in 1999, Guinness’ iconic TV advert was voted the industry’s favourite. In fact, it’s won more awards than it really knows what to do with. (Fun fact: it was directed by the same guy who did the Levi’s wall advert.)



This Budweiser advert inspired the catchphrases of all 1999 schoolkids – even though they were all about 10 years too young to drink it.

Seven years after its 1999 release, the advert was conducted into the CLIO Hall of Fame. We’ve never actually heard of this, but we imagine that’s a pretty good thing. Almost as good as being mentioned in our iconic TV adverts list.


Watching 250,000 coloured balls bouncing down a San Francisco street sounded magical to my 14-year-old self. Ten years on, I’m more concerned about how they managed to clean that all up. I mean, it just sounds like hell.

Nevertheless, the TV advert remains one of the most iconic even to this day.


Yeah, Cadbury’s marketing team should be given a medal or something. They didn’t just make one brilliant advert – they made two. The ad, from 2009, raised a few eyebrows, mostly for the serial killer-esque children they cast.

Jaffa Cakes

“Full moon, half moon…total eclipse!”

You’ve never eaten a Jaffa Cake normally since watching this advert, have you?


Mesmerising from the moment the first cog rolls along the wooden plank, this iconic Honda advert features a chain of colliding parts taken from a disassembled Accord car. It’s two minutes of pure joy that just feels oh so satisfying to watch. That’s probably why it’s got almost 6.5 million views on YouTube to date.


The most recent ad on this list of iconic TV adverts, Three’s#SingItKitty won over everyone. Starship fans, phone fans, cat fans and, uh, kid fans. Personally, I’ve never been so jealous of a stabiliser-cycling child.

Did you enjoy getting all nostalgic with our list of iconic TV adverts? Why not try out some similar RiseFeed articles, including Nickelodeon Might Be Bringing Back Some of Our Favourite Shows and 6 of The Most Bizarre SpongeBob Cameos.