The 80s was a decade of excess, and nowhere was this more apparent than in the world of advertising. Companies spared no expense in creating commercials that were supposed to wow audiences with their creativity and messages. However, some of these ads went down in history not because they were successful, but because they were hilariously bad. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the most memorable commercials from the era.
1. The Atari Game Library
In the 80s, video games were the hot new thing, and Atari was the name to beat. Their game library commercial, featuring a catchy tune and bright colors, was iconic. However, the video itself is a bit ridiculous. We see a group of teens playing different Atari games while their parents look on, approvingly. But here’s the kicker – they’re all dressed as if they’re attending a medieval fair. One boy wears a suit of armor, while another has a feathered cap straight out of a Shakespeare play. It’s hard to take any of it seriously, but that’s what makes it so funny.
2. Wendy’s ‘Where’s the Beef?’
Wendy’s 1984 commercial, featuring the now-infamous line “Where’s the beef?” is often cited as one of the best examples of 80s advertising. The ad features three old ladies examining a burger from Wendy’s competitors and commenting that they can’t find the beef. One of the ladies – the spunkiest of the trio – delivers the famous line, and the rest is history. While the ad was successful at the time, it’s now remembered for its over-the-top personalities and catchy catchphrase.
3. Folger’s Coffee ‘Home for the Holidays’
The Folger’s Coffee ad from 1986 is a classic example of 80s advertising trying to tug at our heartstrings. The commercial features a young man coming home for Christmas, where he is greeted by his younger sister. The two share a cup of Folger’s coffee, and we’re supposed to get all warm and fuzzy inside. However, the ad has taken on a new meaning in the wake of modern sensibilities. The brother and sister seem a little too close, and some viewers have found the whole thing a little creepy. Regardless, the ad is still funny for all the wrong reasons.
4. Toy Tops ‘Let It Rip!’
Toy Tops was one of the hottest toys of the 80s, and their commercial was just as exciting. The ad features two children battling it out with their Toy Tops, with a voiceover urging viewers to “Let it rip!” The colorful graphics, pumped-up music, and energetic kids made this commercial memorable. However, looking back on it now, it’s hard to take anyone yelling “Let it rip!” seriously.
5. Dr. Pepper’s ‘I’m a Pepper’
Dr. Pepper’s “I’m a Pepper” commercial from 1980 is another iconic piece of 80s advertising. The ad features people of all ages and backgrounds singing the catchy “I’m a Pepper” jingle and proclaiming their love for the soda. While the commercial was successful at the time, it hasn’t aged well. The over-the-top outfits, cheesy dancing, and product placement make it seem like a parody of itself.
While these commercials might seem cringe-worthy now, they’re still beloved by many. They’re a reminder of a simpler time when advertising didn’t take itself so seriously. The 80s might have been a decade of excess, but it was also a time of fun and laughter. The hilariously bad commercials of the era prove that sometimes, the best advertising is the one that makes us laugh.
So the next time you want to relive the glory days of 80s commercials, just remember to “Let it rip!” and enjoy the hilarity. But if you prefer something a bit more modern and polished, head on over to RFGC for more fun articles just like this one!