More often than not, it’s the funniest TV adverts that stick with us. Funny TV adverts that can make us laugh are often household favourites, and we find ourselves thinking about them for years after they first air.
So, we’ve rounded up some of the funniest TV adverts of all time for a list to cheer you up any time.
Specsavers – Should’ve Gone to Specsavers (2002-present)
When an advert’s catchphrase makes it into everyday vocabulary, you know it’s a good one. The “should have gone to Specsavers” campaign has been running for over twenty years, and continues to churn out funny TV adverts that have made the British opticians a true household name.
Over the years, the advert campaign – which features a range of scenarios from everyday life that are familiar to viewers – has created plenty of memorable hilarious spots. From the iconic vet TV ad to unlucky delivery drivers, the series is a nationwide favourite.
John West Salmon – Bear (2002)
You would be forgiven for thinking, at the start of this John West Salmon advert, that you were watching a classic nature documentary about a bear by a river, in the vein of David Attenborough’s best. However, the funny TV advert quickly turn this expectation on its head, as an intrepid John West employee begins a fist fight with the bear to get at the premium salmon in the water.
After the man distracts the oddly humanoid bear by pretending to spot an eagle, the voiceover proclaims that “John West endure the worst to bring you the best”. This line is a clever tongue-in-cheek callback to the brand’s historic tagline of “it’s the fish that John West rejects that makes John West the best”.
Budweiser and Burger King – Wassup (2018)
Undoubtedly one of the best adverts from the 1990s, Budweiser’s “Wassup” advert became a pop culture phenomenon. The ad perfectly portrays the relaxed, informal culture Budweiser has become beloved by, and has gone on to go beyond being just a catchphrase. In fact, it was honoured and remade into a hilarious collaboration ad for Burger King and Budweiser.
The phrase, and advert in general, have been parodied and referenced by everything from Scary Movie, The Simpsons and Friends, to being quoted by Arsenal striker Thierry Henry to celebrate a goal. The Burger King/Bud mashup goes to show that a funny one-liner can stand the test of time in ad-world to become a worldwide phenomenon.
Heineken – Majorca (1985)
A memorable parody of the classic My Fair Lady, this Heineken ad from the 1980s is one of the best beer adverts, but also an all-time humorous classic. In the scene, a very well-spoken young student of ‘The School of Street Credibility’ is trying to learn how to say “the water in Majorca don’t taste like what it ought to” in a classic Cockney accent. Her teacher is frustrated that she’s unable to properly pronounce the Spanish island’s name, so he calls for a drinks break.
In comes a pack of Heineken. After just one sip, the proper young lady is finally able to channel her inner East-Ender, and manages to perfectly pronounce the j in Majorca and add a bit of East London twang. It’s a brilliant parody of a classes rags to riches elocution tale, and makes for one of the most quotable ads of the 80s.
Tango – Orange Man/You Know When You’ve Been Tangoed (1992-2000)
An advert series that spawns a popular catchphrase and gets withdrawn for safety concerns is always going to be memorable. The hilarious campaign was dreamt up by ad agency HHCL, and started out as a joke idea in response to cause and effect advertising – which always showed how products would have a positive impact on a customer’s life.
The ads show The Orange Man sneak up on a Tango drinker and slap them in the face – a physical interpretation of the taste sensation of the drink. The ad is accompanied by deadpan commentary of the event, including the immortal line “you know when you’ve been Tango’d.” Reportedly, the ad was so popular that schoolyard re-enactments led to injury – and the funny advert was pulled off air.
Which funny TV adverts have we missed off our list? Let us know your favourites in the comments.