1970s TV set living room, warm and nostalgic, product placement, retro color scheme, urban, pop-culture, Americana, vintage, TV ads, kitschy, saturated hues, midcentury modern, Mad Men, consumerism, throwback.

Product Placement in 70s Commercials: The Rise of Classic TV Ads

Do you remember the 70s? Disco music, bell-bottom pants, and an abundance of classic TV commercials? The 70s were a turning point in advertising, with the rise of product placement techniques used in commercials. Let’s take a look at what made these classic ads so successful and how they paved the way for modern advertising.

The Golden Age of TV Advertising

The 70s were the golden age of TV advertising. People were glued to their TV screens, and companies saw this as an opportunity to promote their products. Advertisers began casting popular TV actors and characters in their commercials, from The Fonz (Henry Winkler) promoting Levi’s jeans to Mr. Whipple (Dick Wilson) selling Charmin toilet paper.

But it wasn’t just the actors that made these ads popular. It was the way they seamlessly included the product being sold into the storyline of the commercial. This technique, known as product placement, was becoming increasingly popular in the 70s.

The Rise of Product Placement

Product placement is the practice of incorporating a brand or product into a TV show, movie, or commercial. In the 70s, advertisers started using this technique in TV commercials, making it more subtle and less in-your-face than traditional commercials.

Instead of actors promoting a product, they integrated the product into the storyline of the commercial. For example, the famous Alka-Seltzer commercial from the 70s featured a man singing “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz” while the product dissolved in the water. This was a subtle way of promoting the product without directly showing it.

The Effectiveness of Product Placement in 70s Commercials

Product placement in 70s commercials was highly effective. It created a natural connection between the product and the viewer, making the viewer more likely to remember the product. It also created an emotional connection to the product. For example, the Coca-Cola commercial from the 70s featuring a young boy sharing a Coke with Mean Joe Greene tugged at the heartstrings of viewers and made them feel emotionally connected to the brand.

The Legacy of 70s Commercials

The techniques used in 70s commercials have had a lasting impact on TV advertising. Many of the techniques developed during this time, such as product placement, are still used today. However, advertisers have become more sophisticated in their use of these techniques, creating more memorable and emotionally powerful commercials than ever before.

The Humor of 70s Commercials

One of the most memorable aspects of 70s commercials was their humor. Commercials were used as a form of entertainment, and advertisers knew how to keep viewers engaged with their funny, quirky, and sometimes downright absurd commercials.

Who can forget the classic Yellow Pages commercial featuring two men trying to bury a dead body in a shallow grave? Or the famous Maytag repairman who had nothing to do all day because Maytag appliances never break down? These commercials were hilarious and kept viewers entertained while promoting the product.


Product placement in 70s commercials revolutionized the way advertisers promoted their products. By seamlessly integrating products into the storyline of a commercial, advertisers created a natural connection between the product and the viewer, making them more likely to remember and emotionally connect with the brand.

But it wasn’t just the product placement that made these commercials successful. It was the humor, the memorable characters, and the emotional connections they created with viewers. The techniques developed during this time have had a lasting impact on TV advertising, and we still see their influence today.

So let’s raise a glass of Coke to the 70s for revolutionizing the world of TV advertising!