In honour of World TV Day

StopPress takes a trip down memory lane – pre-Netflix and Chill – to revisit some of the most memorable TVCs from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s in honour of World Television Day on November 21.

In December 1996 the United Nations proclaimed the 21st of November as World Television Day, commemorating the date on which the first World Television Forum was held in 1996.

It stands as an important reminder of the power of visual media, and how it helps in shaping public opinion and influencing world politics.

To celebrate, here’s our round up of some iconic TVCs – which all just so happen to be food related:


Wendy’s – Where’s the Beef? (1984)

You know you’ve created an iconic ad when one of the lines becomes a phrase used in everyday life. Wendy’s achieved that status with their memorable “Where’s the Beef?” commercial in 1984. Today, people utter this phrase whenever they’re looking for more substance (probably all high school teachers marking exams after the year that’s been 2020…)

The commercial significantly changed fast food advertising for good. Never before had a burger joint achieved such pop culture relevance. Wendy’s VP of Communication, David Lynch, even said that this ad was their “grand slam at the bottom-of-the-ninth in the World Series.” Only a year after the ad was released, Wendy’s pulled in a record $76.2 million in sales – after they had been facing the possibility of bankruptcy.


Pepsi – Cindy Crawford (1992) 

This spot is so ingrained in popular culture that Crawford re-created the iconic Super Bowl ad 26 years later, with her son co-starring. Pepsi logos have changed, but Crawford’s popularity certainly has not. 


Mountain Dew – Bad Cheetah (2000)

Very early on, it was discovered that animals in ads generated a LOT of money for advertisers. Among the top choices were cheetahs, as they never failed to command attention. The attention grabber in this was the biker out racing the cheetah and retrieving a can of Mountain Dew that the Cheetah had swallowed.

Cadbury – Gorilla (2007)

Some commercials have such a clever beginning that they immediately grab the attention of viewers, which is what this particular ad does. It starts off by introducing the viewer to a magnificent looking gorilla; what happens next is guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

M&M’s Premiums – Mint (2008)

Unless they’ve been living under a rock, everyone is familiar with the iconic M&M’s ads and one of the best, according to many, is this one. The focal point is the mint chocolate, but Ms. M&M does a great job at selling it, of course.

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