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What's the Best Television Commercial?

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by Matthew (subscribe)
WEN Editor
Published October 25th 2012
Image by Takk (Wikimedia Commons)

All right, you'd be forgiven if you think I'm overly nostalgic. It was only a few days ago that I wrote the article about cures for nostalgia. Sorry, I'm not quite over it. Plus, I don't watch that much television nowadays so I guess this is another defence against using ads from long ago.

There was an Australian show called The World's Greatest Commercials that was hosted by Andrew Daddo and sometimes featured his dog, Cain. Unfortunately a relevant YouTube video cannot be sourced for the occasion, but that doesn't matter. In fact, it's probably better we can have our own online version of the show right now. Best of all, you get to choose from the list below or mention your own favourite ads for all to judge.

A "best commercial" may not be how funny or popular it is. Other factors can include how clever the idea behind the ad is, in which case the television commercial may be deemed a classic. We all have our personal tastes.

To kick off my brief list, you may recall the lovely gentleman sitting on a workshop table in a shed. He tediously cuts away at his selected potato, and we're then given a brief glimpse into just what lies ahead two mountain loads of potatoes to go. We soon realise that the smile on his face is a dead giveaway that the kind-hearted gentleman has the patience of Job.

This is immediately followed by a group of people wolfing down the chips in an apparent lack of appreciation toward the man's concentrated efforts. Obviously, the potatoes got offended, and hence today's quality of Kettle Chips... enough said.

Up next we have an ordinary bloke who is on a seemingly extraordinary quest for milk. What turns out to be an average trip to the milk bar suddenly becomes complicated when the woman behind the counter offers the bewildered customer an extensive milk menu.

The variety of milk can be a real tongue twister when any attempt at recital is made. This would suggest that the counter lady spent a long time rehearsing for the commercial.

I challenge you to memorise the list and say it as quickly as possible. Maybe time it using a stop watch and keep trying to beat your previous record. But you must pronounce every milk item correctly, otherwise you're disqualified.

Getting back to our model milk bar customer, surprisingly he finds such a list to be completely irrelevant, and the store owner doesn't appear to be the slightest bit fazed. What a waste of energy in mouthing off such a milky inventory.

Then, in an apparent insinuation that the customer might actually benefit from the low fat content (the woman looks down at the man's belly), the product - Paul's Smarter White Milk - is introduced.

Of course, our classic commercials wouldn't be complete without the appearance and downright clumsy proclivity and awkwardness of Michael Richards, who most of us know as Kramer from Seinfeld.

Unsurprisingly, he has landed himself in hot water again, being kidnapped by people whom he must have terribly annoyed we can only assume.

Fortunately, his Vodafone Navigator most likely the primitive 90s version of a GPS bails him out. And he literally rolls his way home. Oh Yeah.

My list is anything but exhaustive, and I don't recall many television commercials of any value today or even years ago. So your input is needed. Tell us, what is the best television commercial? Leave a comment, and even link to a YouTube video if necessary.
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The best commercial is the one for Kangaroo Island which has a wonderful concept, music, editing and images. Very evocative.
by demuv (score: 0|7) 2371 days ago
The Hyundai ad where the off-roader is driven away by a toddler to the tune of "The Wayward Wind, is a restless wind..." It was banned because the authorities believed it would encourage toddlers to steal cars.
by today (score: 0|7) 2371 days ago
It has to be the Carlton "Big Ad" for me. Only last week I thought about it and went to youtube to see if it was there. I love it.
by gilli21 (score: 1|14) 2370 days ago
by bsgou (score: 0|2) 2369 days ago
I love the one where the boy asks why the Great Wall in China was built where the dad says that emperor Nasi Goreng built it to keep the many rabbits out!!
One shivers when that little boy then goes to give a talk to his class mates about the Great wall excellent commercial for broadband
by ellen (score: 0|2) 2182 days ago
One of the best ads will always be the "Not happy, Jan!" ad for yellow pages. People still say "Not happy Jan!" years later.
by steve (score: 2|134) 2179 days ago

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