In 1994, Pizza Hut aired this TV commercial in the UK that was reportedly the first completely non-English advertisement on British television. The entire thing is in Klingon.
In 1994, Ikea ran this television commercial in major East Coast US markets. (Interestingly, the commercial's art director was Patrick O'Neill who went on to be Chief Creative Officer at everyone's favorite Silicon Valley start-up disaster Theranos!)
From a 1994 article in the Los Angeles Times:
Read the rest
A few East Coast Ikea stores have been targeted by angry protesters who have jammed phone lines since last week. One store in Hicksville, N.Y., was briefly evacuated last week after a bomb scare. No bomb was found.
At issue is the homosexual relationship between the two men in the Ikea ad, who talk about how buying the dining room table together shows their commitment to each other. If it becomes clear to other major marketers that Ikea's business is not harmed--and perhaps even helped--by the ad, it could profoundly affect the way major advertisers speak to gays and lesbians.
David Lynch has directed many television commercials but this one from 1993 for Adidas, titled "The Wall," gives any surreal perfume commercials (including Lynch's own) a run for their money. (See what I did there?) You can find a directory and clips of Lynch's other commercial, ad, and promo work here.
In 1990, Pee-wee Herman recorded this delightful TV commercial for Japanese company Wako Securities. As we know, the following year, Pee-wee (aka Paul Reubens) was arrested for indecent exposure in an adult theater. From an Associated Press article at the time:
″I know this may sound rude coming from a sponsor of his commercials, but he is not that famous in Japan, and the news doesn’t create as much of a fuss as in the United States,″ said Wako Securities Co. spokesman Yoshihei Nishimura.
He said, however, that ″renewing the contract with him is unthinkable, given common sense″
Here are soccer legend Pelé, comedy actor Don Knotts, and since-disgraced baseball hit king Pete Rose pitching the Atari Video Computer System in 1978. "Don't just watch television tonight - play it!" Read the rest
In 1985, HR Giger created a Japanese ad campaign for Pioneer's Zone home audio system. Apparently the biomechanical masterpieces seen in these print and TV campaigns were originally created by Giger for Alejandro Jodorowsky's never-made adaptation of Dune.
In 1980, David Bowie did a series of Japanese TV commercials for Crystal Jun Rock, a Japanese liquor. See below. “The money is a useful thing,” Bowie later said about doing the ads.
The soundtrack was the gorgeous track "Crystal Japan" that Bowie released first on a couple 7-inch singles and then as a bonus track on the CD reissue of "Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)." Bowie fan Nacho Video recut the three TV commercials into the lovely music video above for "Crystal Japan."
"101 degrees in the shade..."
It's been hot in the Bay Area and I was joking with a friend that we should take the "Nestea Plunge." They had no idea what I was talking about which surprised me, given the iconic ad campaign ran from the 1970s through the 1990s (and came back in 2014).
I grew up on Cape Cod, so we didn't have a pool, we just went to the beach when it was hot. For hours, my friends and I would put our arms out and fall backwards into the Atlantic, trying to reenact the Plunge we saw on TV. It was like an in-water trust fall with only the waves to catch you.
Cripes, you all remember it, don't you? Surely it's just an anomaly that my friend didn't know about it.
"Temperature was up around 103..."
"The temperature was up around 111..."
"Come on, taste the taste of wetness..."
Even legendary groupie Pamela Des Barres took the Nestea Plunge
They're *still* taking the Plunge in the Philippines Read the rest
In this Toyota commercial, a woman is singing a Christmas-themed song about cars. Near the end of the commercial you can see that her right eyebrow is falling off. Did Toyota not notice? Did it know and just not care? Or did it know and realize it would be a good way to get idiots to share it online?
I've always been a Raisin Bran fan, but I gotta hand it to Honeycomb. They had such wonderfully creative commercials in the 60s and 70s. Read the rest
When you got it... flaunt it.
"As we eavesdrop on these odd couples trying to outflaunt each other, we hear everything that has to be said about Braniff (International airlines)," wrote famed designer and adman George Lois of his 1968 campaign for . "We also imply that you might bump into a celebrity or two on a Braniff flight...They are not idealized celebrities—they are famous people who are portrayed as lovable extroverts, combined to radiate a surreal kind of believability."
This is presented on the viral internet as a clever 1991 cigarette commercial for "Sutaffu" cigarettes, but it appears to be from Topknot Detective, an Australian entry in the annals of Steve Oedekerk-style problematic remix humor. Note: includes child subjected to offscreen slapstick violence.
Here is an indisputably real Japanese cigarette commercial from 1991, introducing Sir Charles Sheen as himself:
Looks just like the Apple Store. Read the rest
This surreal advertisement for corn from 1964 is reportedly the USSR's first TV commercial.
Over at r/ObscureMedia, amer_amer kindly offers this translation:
If you would like to be healthy, fed for a hundred years, ask with a kind word at restaurants and cafeterias (and) recieve dinner wait, sit down, don't rush wait... (and) recieve dinner. Chef: where are you from? Corn: (unintelligible)... We were grown in azerbaijan, in a southern warm country, in the virgin lands of kasakhstan. Chef: understood. so what do you want? Corn: we want to get on the menu. Chef: i'm sorry, and i'm not kicking you out, but i'm not changing the menu. (The dishes start sliding) And the salads, and the soups, and (dishes) made from maize groats, and with sugar: porridge, pudding and cakes, and appetizers and garnish. Peace for all (i think). What a dish, absolutely spectacular! Every day will be prepared! Chef: and let me tell you something, all these dished can be made easily by any hostess (as in housewife).