Frogs and dogs and bears, oh my!
We’ve all seen them. They’re the commercials that get discussed around the watercooler (or the Black Chairs) the Monday after the Super Bowl. They’re the commercials that inspire the oddest cravings at the oddest times, making executives rich and ad companies famous. Most importantly, they’re the commercials that make our wallets smaller and our pants just a little tighter — well, most of them, anyway. Below are five of the greatest food ad campaigns. Some of them are funny, some of classic, but on the whole, they have one thing in common: They’re memorable.
1. Milk - “Got Milk?” This slogan started in 1993, when the sales of milk had been in a 20-year slump. But after the ad campaign came out, milk sales skyrocketed. Although simple, the ads reminded viewers why they drank milk in the first place — it perfectly complements peanut butter sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, and cereal. Today, it’s hard to name a celebrity who hasn’t been photographed with a milk mustache. And the ad campaign is still working, 14 years later, which is a rare occurrence.
2. Coca-Cola - It’s getting close to Christmas, which means the return a beloved ad campaign — the Coca-Cola polar bears. As one of the biggest companies in the world, Coca-Cola has had many great ad campaigns — including the 1979 classic featuring Steelers player Mean Joe Greene — but this one stands out. Many link these commercials to the start of the holiday season, waiting eagerly for them to show up each December. The adorable polar bears (and penguins, at least last year) help give Coca-Cola a feeling of tradition and warmth. Beat that, Pepsi.
3. Budweiser - The series of commercials with the Budweiser frogs — shown in part during Super Bowl XXXII — is probably one of the most memorable sets ever created. Along with bitter diatribes from lizard Frank to his best friend Louis, these commercial could always be counted on to say, “Bud. Wise. Er.” These words, spoken separately by three separate animals, continued even when the second frog apparently had a panic attack and had to be replaced by Frank.
4. Taco Bell - Way before Paris Hilton started carrying around Tinkerbelle, there was much cooler Chihuahua on the block. This one was oddly dedicated to Taco Bell, with the war cry: “¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!” Many attribute the Taco Bell dog to the rise in popularity of Chihuahua dogs around this time, but he was also a huge marketing tool for Taco Bell. In addition to burritos, sales of his stuffed counterpart were through the roof, especially the versions that said one of three things: “¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!”, “Viva Gordita!”, or “Drop the chalupa!”
5. Subway - Seven subs with six grams of fat or less. Subway was the first major restaurant to celebrate its healthiness. Remember Jared? Inspired by the weight he lost by eating Subway subs, people flocked to the restaurant, gaining it a huge following. Even today, a few years later, the phrase “eat fresh” immediately reminds people of Subway. Subway was the first restaurant to start this trend, now huge in part to its great marketing.