Great and Remembered Ads: 7 Memorable Examples

With the media flooding us with numerous ads and commercials, there are only a few that capture our attention for an extended period of time. What makes these commercials different from the others? You be the judge.

Here are some of the greats:


How did Dove’s Beauty campaign become so successful? Simple: They’ve honed in on an essential truth behind beauty and capitalized on it. An insight that we all somewhat knew about but never exposed.

So what about the controversy behind Dove’s parent company (Unilever), who also makes Axe Body Spray? Their messages aren’t quite the same. In fact, they’re the opposite of Dove’s stance. My response to that? As long as Dove is spreading awareness about how we perceive beauty, who cares about what Dove’s parent company is doing. If Dove can transform a teenager’s perception about their own self-image into something positive, then this campaign is worth every penny.

Evolution 2006 / Ogilvy & Mather

Dove Real Beauty Sketches / Ogilvy & Mather


Not everyone remembers this ad, but that’s because it only aired once! It’s great simply because of the story behind the ad and what Apple represented during the time this ad was made. Apple was the underdog during the days when IBM ruled the technology market.

As I said, this commercial was only aired once, during the half-time show of the 1984 Super Bowl.

Apple’s 1984 Commercial / Created by Chiat/Day of Venice, California


This ad is remembered because it was not just about Chrysler, but it also represented the economic situation Detroit has recently been going through. The script for this commercial requires two minutes. At the time, the NFL only allowed a maximum of 90 seconds for a Super Bowl commercial… It aired anyway.

CHRYSLER 2011 / Weiden+Kennedy


We all remember the famous Budweiser commercial with the three frogs croaking “Bud,” “Weis,” and “er.” To be frank, there’s really nothing special about it, except for the fact that CGI was starting to ramp up speed around this time, and watching frogs croak Budweiser’s name seemed to fascinate America. Sometimes, that’s all success requires.

1995 Super Bowl Commercial: “Bud-weis-er” / D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles


An oldie but a goodie! This Coca-Cola ad features Mean Joe Green, a former All-Pro American football defensive linebacker who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. This ad won many awards and even inspired a made for TV movie. It’s mostly known for its classic tale of a boy who looks up to his hero.

1979 Coca-Cola Classic Ad: “Mean Joe Green” / McCann Erickson

And last but not least….


Not everyone may remember this ad specifically, but they may have heard of it. The featured phrase is still around today!

Wendy’s 1984: “Where’s the Beef?” / Dancer Fitzgerald (Saatchi & Saatchi)

What made all these commercials memorable is the stories they told. They were able to capture a hidden insight that either made us laugh, smile, or at least relate on some level. Some say any brand can do this, but if that were the case then why do many companies struggle to keep our attention, even now?

What do you think of the ad campaigns I mentioned? Any examples I missed that you’d like to mention?

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  1. Amy Swanson

    Awesome examples, Drea! I’m a huge fan of the Sherwin Williams’ ads where they use paint samples to create the scenery. It shows so much imagination and really stands out from other ads on TV. Plus, the music that plays in the background is great too, they always capture my attention.

    • Dréa Bell

      Thanks Amy! Yeah I love the Sherman Williams’ ads as well. It seems like they put a lot of time into visually telling a story that will capture the viewers attention, rather than trying to straight up sell a product like so many other companies do.

  2. Wash

    I think there are definitely generations of younger people that have heard the “where’s the beef?” catchphrase and likely have no idea where it originated.

    • Dréa Bell

      I totally agree, Wash! In a sense that’s what makes that commercial successful! Like so many other pop culture references, it’s interesting to see them live on, even though some generations have no idea where it came from.

  3. Julie Mussared

    These Ads are great! The first time I saw the Dove campaign it had quite an impact on me.
    I agree with Wash. Wendy’s did try to bring back their “Where’s the Beef” campaign ( which may have kept it in pop culture, but the original is really the one you have to see.

    • Dréa Bell

      I completely agree with you Julie. After watching your link, it’s almost like some brands try and revamp the old; but sometimes fail in doing so.

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